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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Grades in dance


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This summer I'm graduating from upper secondary, where I have been at a special education, with both the usual academic subjects (maths, english and so on) and dance training in ballet, modern and jazz. Ever since the beginning I have worked hard and tried to always do my very best, because I want to dance profesionally. Well, this year has been a nightmare. First we got new teachers in all three dance courses. The one in jazz has been great, but the man we got in ballet and modern... to be honest he's been awful!


He's more in to modern which affected the ballet classes. I'm more in to modern too, but I still wanted a good and solid ballet training! And the modern was not the best I've had either. He doesn't know his own exercises, he doesn't correct us or anything. A lot of the girls in my class have started to doubt that they want to dance, just because of him. I tried to keep an open mind and do my best in the beginning, but it was kind of hopeless.


In November, I got glandular fever, and pretty bad too. I was in a hospital because of dehydration (I couldn't drink, the glands were so swollen that it hurt just to breathe), and for a month I was hardly allowed to be out of bed. Not that I could, after walking 60 feet I got dizzy and my whole body started shaking. I was devastated because I missed so much dance training, but of course, I had to get well.


When I finally could start dancing again, about February, we had a new ballet teacher, who has been wonderful. Unfortunately, I missed a lot of her classes because of the glandular fever, but I worked hard and catched up pretty good.


So, now that we got our grades in dance, I wasn't very happy with mine. (We have three grades; passed, well passed and very well passed. And of course failed.) So in jazz I got well passed, in modern well passed and in ballet just passed. I don't mean to brag or anything, but I'm one of the best dancers in our class, and I work really really hard in every class. Some of the other students have gotten really unfair grades too, and everbody is very upset. I can understand that the fact that I couldn't det the highest grade due to my abscence when I was ill, and I think that's fair. But the grade in ballet is so unfair! Since we've had two teachers, they decide the grades together. The last ballet teacher had not seen me work that much, which made it difficult for her to make a fair grade, but she said that I worked hard and was talented, so she had wanted to give me at better grade but couldn't. Our first teacher though, said I could only get passed since I had been missing so much. But at the same time he gave passed to a girl, who had been away more than me, but deliberate (and he knew that). And when she came to class, she came in jeans, participated for ten minutes and then sat down and watched the rest of the class. And she got the same grade as I!


I confronted him about this, and he just shrugged his shoulders and said I had been missing too much. I don't know what to do, I just think it's so unfair! Just because of this grade I feel like I'm the worst dancer in the world, and that I'm never going to make it as a dancer. I didn't get ill on purpose, but it feels like my teacher thinks so and lets me pay for it now. I'm worried that the dance schools I'm auditioning for will look at my grades and think I'm a lousy dancer. :wacko:


Sorry for the long post, I just needed to vent. I would like to hear your opinions about this!



Edited by Niphredil
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Christina, does your school have such a position as an Academic Dean? Lodge a complaint and appeal your grade with her or him. That's what an Academic Dean is supposed to handle.

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I've never heard of an Academic Dean before, what a funny name :o I did go to the vice principal, but he couldn't do anything. It's the teacher's decision alone. My mother is going to talk to him, and perhaps he will change his mind. Otherwise, I have no idea what to do. I'll just have to hope the dance schools only care about my audition results! :wacko:

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I'll just have to hope the dance schools only care about my audition results!

I don't know what it's like where you are, but in the US, the audition is THE critical test of how well a dancer has been trained. :wacko:

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Thank you for you replies, Mr. Johnson! I needed some encouragement :) I've decided to let go of it, and focus my energy on my auditions instead. Thanks again!

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