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Ballet Talk for Dancers

not giving 100%


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we should never assume we know what's going on in someone else's head.

Particularly when you're dealing with children, especially teens! A few years ago, one of my daughter's ballet teachers met with me, in part to tell me my daughter wasn't "putting forth the effort"--I was stunned to hear this, because I knew how important dance was to her--He went on to say the other dancers in the class resented her because she had the talent they all wanted, but didn't use it. Meanwhile, they were working their tails off to learn the skills. After talking with my daughter (around age 13 at the time), and looking at where she was in her life at that point, it seemed her attitude in class was more about dealing with peer pressure and being accepted and less about not wanting to give a good effort. She was trying so hard to "belong" & to be "just one of the kids in the class" that she was downplaying her abilities. After we talked, she seemed to realize her behavior was having the opposite effect, and we discussed ways she could handle things better. She still has a hard time on those few occasions when another dancer is "mean" to her and maybe a little jealous. I feel one of our basic needs is to be liked and accepted by our peers, and you can't discount what we'll do to accomplish this. Thankfully as she has matured and her identity has grown stronger, peer pressure is less and less an influence.

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