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SheCanDance

Teacher Hates Me, Should I Go?

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SheCanDance   
SheCanDance

Dear Dancers,

 

Advice would be appreciated. I’m going through a crisis at the moment. Sorry this came out as a rant, but I am unsure how else to explain everything.

Over summer last year, I had been searching for a studio to take private lessons. At 17, I had little ballet experience so I thought taking privates would catch me up and learn pointe. I did dance from age 3 and stopped at age 10, then went into recreational at 15. But I had to leave my recreational class due to financial problems.

 

Found a studio, emailed them, and they sounded excellent. They said the ballet instructor could do privates, and out of all the studies they looked to be a good fit for me. The private lessons were also more reasonably priced than others.

 

September came, and when I met the owner and one of the staff, they both suggested I try out the advance ballet class.

 

Also, in the two months before September, I had begun working out at the gym. I am chubby, and not the ideal dancer’s weight. If I wanted my instructor to take me seriously, I knew they met losing weight. By September I lose 10-15 pounds. And I was on my way to losing more (Doctors told me it’s highly possible I have PCOS, as both my mother and sister suffers from it. It basically makes weight gain easier and weight loss harder. It’s been something I’ve struggled with since puberty). But I flipped my lifestyle, and started eating organically, gluten-free, and raw veggie/fruits.

 

So back to ballet: After a few advance classes the ballet instructor suggested intermediate classes. She said the advance class is too, well, advance for me. I agreed. But I told her I didn’t feel comfortable taking a class with younger kids. Intermediate was like 7-12 and advance was like 13-16. Even then I was the oldest.

 

She then asked my age. Told her and she seemed shocked. Then she said I could stay but I would have to work extra hard and catch up quickly.

I hadn’t anticipated the problems I’d have to face in class. And they interfere with my dancing. They distract me from being my best and going “full out”, which has been something my teacher is trying to get me to do all the time.

 

It’s just I went into this class expecting smirks or even giggles because, let’s face it, I’m a chubby girl in a tight body-suit.

And I walked into class already feeling shy, embarrassed, and self-conscious. But I was always trying hard at everything.

 

Everybody laughs when I dance and try my best. The other students began making snide comments/remarks about me to their friends, which I of course heard because I was standing a few feet away. I’m not sure if they intended for me too or not to hear, but it was upsetting either way. And stuff like this would happen right before jetes or some other complicated mash-up of steps across the room. And when it came my turn I messed up because I was thinking about what the girls just said.

Incidents like these happen a lot in this class, and as a result our instructor views me as the weakest dancer. She constantly tells me to pay attention. I don’t know why though, because I’m always the one looking at her, ready at the barre in the beginning of the class and I’m always concentrating on dancing.

 

All the other students talk, jump and act silly at the barre (never ready in position) and are too busy joking with their friends to listen. This class is nothing like a professional ballet class. It takes minutes for everyone to settle before beginning.

 

The class is only two times a week. It’s not as intensely scheduled as other classes, though I think it should be more.

In many classes there were times when everyone needed a partner. Two would dance across the room in a certain stream of ballet turns and such. Nobody ever picked me, and I was often alone. My teacher sometimes forced another student to go with me, or when just I and another girl were left, the other girl didn’t want to go with me.

 

Everyone got their partners, and then one of the girls was left with none. They’d usually look at me and then she go begging her other classmates/friends to let her go with them. They eventually had to go with me, but you can imagine how this made me feel. Like a piece of dung. I’m not sure if it’s because I was the chubby girl or if it was because I was the weakest dancer. It was really hurtful some of the things they said to their friends, like “I don’t want to go with her” “Not her!”

 

I once overheard a girl’s remark about me needing a “big tutu” and she emphasized this to her friend by spreading her arms widely. This happened right in front of my teacher to which she did nothing…

 

I’m convinced the instructor has given up on us. She’s letting a 10-year-old be a part of the class.

 

So now the class is pretty much a circus act.

 

At this point I’ve only lost around 25 pounds.

 

We’re less than two months away from our final end-of-the-year dance in June, but our teacher hasn’t even taught us the whole recital yet. She’s only taught us not even half. We’ll look like a bunch of fools up on that stage. For the small bit of the dance that she’s taught us, she is relying on us to remember the majority of it. I don’t have my private lessons anymore, which I came to rely on when needed my teacher to help me understand a certain move. Now the most important and vital dance routine of the year for me, and I don’t know what I’m doing. And she usually ends class 5 minutes earlier than it ends, and runs out of class before any of the students, going off somewhere. So much for asking for help after class.

 

Yesterday’s class was horrid. For our exams next year we’ve been learning port de bras and adagio and stuff. My instructor had me do it again (she’s been doing that a lot), but this time she had another girl do it with me who had also messed up. She mimicked our dance and told us that’s not how you do it.

I know all the steps (am a little confused with the hands as nobody has made that clear). The other girl had begun crying. She had us in front of the whole class as just we two went. We did it twice, but then she started crying and my teacher was getting frustrated. So then she made me do it by myself as the entire class watched. Already feeling self-concious, this had a bad effect on me. I was worse doing the steps than before and in turn angered my teacher.

 

When it came to doing jetes across the floor, I was paired with the last remaining girl who hadn’t a partner. My instructor made us do it again and again, while everyone else had only done it once and got it right. Our instructor said she was about to leave the room if we didn’t get it right. I was terrified. I tried my best to remember, but the nerves got to me and I found myself struggling to remember certain steps, which only made my instructor more angry. The other girl didn’t help. She’s one of the ones who has said means things to me and she has a bad attitude in class. She’d always got her arms crossed and doesn’t even bother trying. So, during the dance she stopped halfway through, and because it’s partnered I stopped to, knowing I looked ridiculous trying by myself.

 

Yesterday was the worse of that class because there’s never been so many times where my teacher had me (whether with another girl or by myself) do things over again.

 

I’ve thought about this much before. I sometimes suspect my teacher hates me. When I talk to her after class, she doesn’t even look away from her phone or say hello or goodbye as she does the other student. I can tell from her body language around me that she doesn’t care much for me. Especially in the way she talks when I ask questions.

 

I often push the thought away that she hates me, but since yesterday’s incidents I’m thoroughly convinced she does indeed hate the living guts out of me. I can’t deny it any longer and live in la la land. She knows I’m not the strongest dancer, the one with littlest experiences, and yet she’s put me in top spots at the recital dance, placing me mostly in front of stage. Like for instance we do a arabesque, while I’m at the stage’s front (or is it end? The edge most close to the audience) and she’s got my doing that when she can see my leg hardly goes 90 degrees up. It’s going to look laughable when my leg comes up and all the others girls can go way higher.

 

I’m sorry if I’m unclear on anything. I’ve been holding this in this September so it’s been long. I haven’t told me mom anything about class other than positive stuff. My mom said she wants nothing to do with my ballet (no paying for it, no talking about it) she honestly doesn’t care and sees it as a waste of my time. I get zero support on this.

 

Thing is, I really enjoy dancing. It’s healthy for me to. I thought if I’m going to exercise, why not something I enjoy to do.

 

But I have no support from anyone. It’s heavy load to carry sometimes. It’s like there’s a boulder crushing me. With no job, I can hardly afford to pay the tuition monthly. I gave my $150 birthday money to pay for a month and started selling my stuff on Ebay to make cash. On top of my studying I try to get in some practice at home, but it’s been harder since I’ve been looking for a job and chores at home have doubled since my sister never helps and my mom is busy with work.

 

I have two choices:

 

Stay in ballet, devote time at home to practice, prove to myself I can be an averagely skilled dancer, and flourish in the year end recital...

 

Or should I quit class? My teachers hates me, the other students dread me, my own family has not one ounce of support to offer and besides, no employers seem to want to hire me.

 

Has this been a huge waste of my time and money?

 

Should I go to my teacher next class and ask if I leave class would makes thing better? I don’t want to drag everyone else around me down. And now it’s gotten to the point where my teacher is threatening to leave class because I’m such an awful dancer.

Edited by SheCanDance

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Victoria Leigh   
Victoria Leigh

Hello SheCanDance, and welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers.

 

I'm sorry to hear that you are having such a hard time in classes, but two things seems to be the biggest factors: a ) The school is not a quality school. Advanced classes have technique and pointe classes 5/6 days a week, not 2. One does not get advanced with 2 classes. There is no discipline in the class, and that is totally unprofessional. Students not serious. Teacher not qualified; b ) Teacher also very wrong for putting you in that class. You need an adult beginner class, or maybe advanced beginner. But not a teen advanced class.

 

Leave the school, and try to find one that knows what they are doing. Studying ballet should be a positive experience, and you are not getting that.

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Victoria Leigh   
Victoria Leigh

Reminder that this is a YD Forum and posts from parents will be removed. Two posts have been removed.

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SheCanDance   
SheCanDance

Hello SheCanDance, and welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers.

 

I'm sorry to hear that you are having such a hard time in classes, but two things seems to be the biggest factors: a ) The school is not a quality school. Advanced classes have technique and pointe classes 5/6 days a week, not 2. One does not get advanced with 2 classes. There is no discipline in the class, and that is totally unprofessional. Students not serious. Teacher not qualified; b ) Teacher also very wrong for putting you in that class. You need an adult beginner class, or maybe advanced beginner. But not a teen advanced class.

 

Leave the school, and try to find one that knows what they are doing. Studying ballet should be a positive experience, and you are not getting that.

Thank you, Victoria Leigh!

 

I agree my experience hasn't been positive. But I'm think I'm too blame for a large part of it too. The studio also teaches other types of dance, like Jazz, hiphop, contemporary, tap and more. They're big into competitions and won a lot of awards. It's just ballet isn't a high quality area they have. I wish there were more classes a week and that we were learning pointe. Everyone in the class takes another type of dance, somes even take like 5 other dance styles. I'm not sure if those other classes allow them to act silly in class but I think that's why they believe they can get away with it in ballet.

 

To make things easier, I should have probably left way early within the first months of joining. I always thought things would get better as the year went on.

 

My instructor is good at what she does but I don't think she knows how to handle the other teens. And I think she wants the students to like her, so that's why she's very easygoing with them. She never wanted to put me in that class, but the intermediate class. I should have, after a couple months, realized I'm never going to get to the level of skill of everyone in the advance class in a short time and maybe should have gone with privates or another school.

 

Reminder that this is a YD Forum and posts from parents will be removed. Two posts have been removed.

 

Aw, I read those two post last night and was going to reply this morning! :( But thank Beezus21 and blossomingballerina for your kind words and great advice. I'll defitenly talk to my teacher and tell her about some of my concerns. I'll keep you guys posted!

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