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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Unprofessional teacher


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For our spring performance, I am to work with a very unprofessional teacher. She is a difficult woman and doesn't get along with most of the department (faculty and students). She comes to rehearsal with little idea of what she wants and little knowledge of the score, beyond the fact that she tells us how much she dislikes it (it's Prokofiev's beautiful Cinderella). She has always had a particular dislike for me and my dancing and is unusually nasty to me. In class, I am usually able to "consider the source" and try to take whatever might be constructive in her constant criticism. But I am DREADING my solo rehearsals with her. Part of me is scared of her, because she really is a very strange lady, and part of me is just so frusterated at her lack of professionalism. Any advice so that I can remain professional is appreciated-- I'm sure this won't be the only time I'll have to work with someone I dislike, and I need to be able to handle it.

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Well, I have to work with someone right now who is very mean and points out loudly every mistake that I make (but this is a work study program for school, not ballet rehearsal). He makes me so angry, and I have told my mother many stories about him, and she always tells me that its not my problem, its his. Nothing I do will ever be perfect enough, so she tells me to to not waste my time thinking about him. Not very helpful advice, but try to remember that you aren't doing anything to provoke your teachers' nasty attitude, that is just how she is. She may have a very rough personal life, and so she takes it out in the studio, or she may be just a bitter person. Who knows? Just try to get through it.


What is your role in Cinderella? Are you one of the fairies? My civic ballet company danced that last year, and I was 1/2 of one of the couples in the ballroom scene! The music is a little different at first, and the choreography is a little wierd at first, but by the time we performed it, I loved both!! :wink:

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so hard to respect a teacher who doesn't command respect at all! good luck with her, and try to think that the more unprofessional she gets the more pro you'll be by taking it in your stride. let us know how it goes. :wink:

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Swanhilda, this is unfortunate, but it does sometimes happen. You don't have a choice in terms of working with her, so the best thing to do is just concentrate on yourself and the work. Keep the ultimate goal in mind, which is the performance, and just work on the choreography you are given and make yourself the very best you can be in spite of her inadequacies. :wink:

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