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Ballet Talk for Dancers

corrections in ballet classes


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I dance at a small studio, and I think that I have been getting pretty good training. However, this year one of my teachers has barely been watching or correcting me; instead, she pays attention to another girl for over half the class. I don't really understand why except that this girl has a "perfect" body type for ballet (long legs, good turnout, feet, etc.). However, she is not very dedicated (I dance twice as much as she does), and does not want to be a dancer anyways. A lot of the girls in my ballet class feel the same way that I do, and we have been thinking that perhaps we should talk to the director of the school so that she at least knows what has been going on. I'm not sure whether this is the right thing to do, however, so I was wondering what the "correct" thing to do in this situation would be...I am going to audition for another school if things don't get better, but I have to at least make it work for the rest of the semester. Thanks for your help!

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  • Administrators

Sometimes new people in the class require more attention because they are not working in the same way as the people who have been there, and the teacher is trying to bring this student up to the level and quality of the class. If the student has a good facility, there is a realistic possibility of doing this. Even if she didn't have that facility, the teachers' attention might just be drawn to the student who needs help the most, sometimes to the detriment of the those who are doing well. This is not necessarily right, however, it is somewhat understandable, and I must say that I have been quilty of this too. Not because the student is better, but because she can be as good as the others with just some work at the beginning.

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Thanks for your input, but I think that I was a little bit unclear. This student is not new; she has been at the school since she was very young. And she is not one of the awworst in the class, but simply not very dedicated.

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Let me take a whack at this.


Since you say that the student is underdedicated, perhaps the teacher is trying to create motivation by positive reinforcement, which is attention. Positive reinforcement doesn't work as quickly as negative, which is punishment, and that's why drill instructors in the armed forces use it over praise. (Geddown an' gimme fifty! {pushups}) However, lessons learned with positive reinforcement tend to last much longer, and it's a gentler way to provide motivation. The teacher who uses this method has to have the patience of a saint, though, and being around saints can be tough on everybody else around them! (Can you imagine being friends with Francis of Assisi? All those animals, and him always trying to take off his clothes to give to you?)

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Thanks for your help. That may very well be part of her reasoning. However, I still don't know if there is anything that I can do about this. It's really frustrating that I don't receive the corrections that I need when I am one of the few people in my class that has any desire and enough dedication to dance professionally. Thanks.

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Is there anyway to ask the teacher for more attention? I just got moved up a level this year, basically, skipped one, and while I'm actually not absolutely horrible (which is a surprise - once I got adjusted, I've been dancing fairly well, and I've improved dramatically in adages and grande allegro recently), I'm not exactly the star of the class, if you catch my drift. I tend to work better with a lot of attention, positive OR negative (actually, I prefer negative ... getting told that something is nice doesn't exactly help you dance better), and I haven't been getting very much. I suppose that that's a good sign - some of the girls I moved up with have been absolutely GRILLED - but, I'd still prefer to have more indicators that I'm not just wasting time I could be spending studying for school.


Also, is there anything you can do about really horrible people in classes? Basically, they've already been given a strict lecture - these are the girls I moved up with - but even so, they still keep being incredible rude to the girls that we used to be in class with (they have stopped, but were, being that way to me as well.) In this one combined-level class we had recently, they were being absolute HORRIBLE ... My mother talked to one of the teachers on Wednesday, and she said she'd get my main teacher to talk to them again - is that the only thing you think I can do? They aren't being rude to me anymore, now just obnoxious in general. They were almost going to be moved back down a level for the rest of the year, to teach them humility, but ...

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Guest Elfina Pixie

YOu should go privatly to your teacher and ask her about it. Complaining about it will not help things get better. Most of the time the teacher will not even realize what she is doing. But be warned, if you say something to her she may get offended so be very polite and DO NOT ARGUE. I have had that kinda thing happen to me before. One thing you can do also is just stand at the front of the barre and really show your dedication. Your teacher wil notice you sooner or later. I hope some of that helped. :yes:

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Guest DancinKiki

This is something that I can equally relate to! There is a girl in my ballet class who is also on my team, who seems to get most of my teacher's attention. Sometimes I wonder if its her long beautiful legs and perfect turnout, and sometimes I wonder if maybe its because shes such a funny gal who everyone can get along with. Whatever the case may be, it still hurts and can be such a hard issue. Another girl on my team gets bugged by it as well, and we are auditioning for a company this spring. But until then, I realized I couldnt stand it anymore. I talked to my teacher, to let it all off my chest. It felt soo much better, and actually, she has taken it to heart. Just this last class I had on Monday, I noticed a differance. Sometimes the best thing to do is face your problems. Who knows? Maybe it will work :thumbsup:


~Kiki :wink:

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