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why all the politics...


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Even though we all do this for fun there still seems to be politics in the studio even concerning adult recreational students. It is still competitive. There are still people who aren't mature enough to accept that some people go on pointe, and get to the more advanced levels before others. There are still little cliques. There are still teachers favorites. There are still adults that are rude to people they think don't deserve certain things. And much to my dismay there is still jealousy, disrespect, and anamosity. The only difference between the adults and the kids is that the adult politics are kept more on the "down low" and the adults are more likely to be nice to your face and then talk behind your back. I just find it so silly becuase it's not like we are competing with eachother for anything in particular. No one is going to be getting a corps contract and no one is going to quit their day job. I just don't understand it. It's not that i even really pay much attention to it, and I don't have much involvement in it, but it just baffles me because I feel like it's such a waste of energy. Does anyone else understand why this is?????

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I think it's called human nature, kellylynn. :wink: Unfortunately, this kind of thing exists everywhere, probably in every field. Politics are involved in everything. :)

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Knock knock, teacher here. But I would like to point out that much of studio politics is caused by adults and not the kids. Maybe I am naive, most of the time the kids are pretty good as long as their parents stay out of studio politics. So it would seem to be human nature that competitiveness and gossip would come into play with adult students. :)

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I think it is smart of you to not pay attention to it.


I've only been at my current studio for 1 year, but I have seen nothing of what you described, in the adult program or the student program.


My previous studio (there for 6 months) seemed to have a bit of gossip amongst the student's parents, but I also didn't sense any competition at all amongst the adult students.

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sorry. i didn't mean to offend anyone. I just see what goes on in my studio, i just thought maybe other students had to deal with the same kind of thing. I guess not. Thanks. :blink:

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Hi Kelly

I don't think you offended anyone, it's just that every adult class will have some element of what you describe. You can't stop it, prevent it or not have it. It's part of class. One week it could be incredibly edgy, and others all peaceful and just get on with it. Is your workplace lucky enough to be one where every single person gets on well with everyone else without any bitchiness/competitiveness? It would be nice. There are times when people, mainly women, are more perceptible to the emotions of others around them and in a ballet class you get a lot of women together, there are going to be some awkward moments.

Don't forget though, adults have to go to work, well most of us, and a full days work dealing with the nuts that we have to deal with during the day, does sometimes get aired in class. We carry it into class without realising and glare or bite some poor girl's head off, when in fact we just had a rough day and all she did was hit you during pirouette exercises.

So I hope you're able to just keep on dancing in your class and not worry about the politics, they'll take care of themselves.



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kellylynn - don't worry! I think it depends on a lot of things - both the personality and aura of the school/studio and the teacher/students involved. Some teachers actively encourage competition, some studios may draw in competitive types... Sometimes the bigger, open studios also see more competition because that's also a place to be noticed, to audition, etc. You never know. Some begin-againers are self-frustrated about their time away, and push it to get back in to things... I've also seen, in an all-adult setting, a new person really playing up to the teacher - giving rides, babysitting for free, etc etc, in order to ply for better casting in a small show! I've also had a teacher egg-on two of us who were cast for the same role - she'd do it independently, and so she thought the other person didn't know, but we were friends and eventually discussed it. Thankfully, our friendship survived, but nonetheless, I will internally always compare myself to her...


Ignore it. All of the arts are so janus-faced in some ways - the end goal is public display and approval - even just within a class. However, the satisfaction and enjoyment is usually quite intensely personal. The dance is your dance. Don't let other's pettiness or insecurities detract from that.


And Ms. Leigh is, as usual, right-on regarding human nature. People often define themselves according to who's around them - they self-rank. That always happens, but it's how we deal with it that's important.


In the meantime, have a cuppa, and remember why you love those classes so much!



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Ah, so many things can go on in adult classes


--Consciously or not, the cares of the rest of the day get carried in


--People play games to get noticed, as ami says, sometimes because classes have the flavor of you-just-never-know-who's watching auditions


--Some people are just competitive and game-playing no matter where they are


--On the other side, in adult classes the teachers sometimes conclude that some students want to be left alone and others want to be pushed, and they react accordingly. Sometimes the teachers guess wrong. This can make it seem like the teachers have "favorites".


--Happily for me, I am mostly blessedly unaware of most of this stuff. It has to be quite blatant before I notice, and then my attitude is usually a big fat (as the teens say) "WhatEVer", as in "wow, this person has a really strange attitude for an adult class".

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As for cliques, you made me think about something in terms of my old class. I would imagine to a new student that class was very intimidating. There was a core group who'd been there since the teacher started the class. Many of them were pretty good and took all her classes, even the beginning levels. We'd stand near each other at barre. We knew about each others lives. The teacher would joke with us during class and sometimes the conversation drifted a bit between exercises.


Looking back, perhaps the whole atmosphere was a little too casual; the teacher-student relationship that is. To a new student, I can see where we looked clique-ish. In retrospect, I think it did create some disparities in the way some students were treated by the instructor. I can also see how that may have even driven some people away. Ultimately it was one of the factors in my decision to move on as well.


My new teacher is very good at keeping things even in class. Students get equal attention and we all get along quite well. I can see where it's a much more supportive environment for a new student.

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Yeah i guess your right. No matter where you go there is some of that to a degree. I think you guys think that it bothers me. Just to clarify it doesn't at all. I just didn't think that it would be in the adult ballet studio. So I was just wondering if this was a normal thing that happened across the board or if it was just where i am. And I also carry the same "big fat whatever" attitude about it as well. :blink: I just can't understand why adults who usually are aware that this is a "hobby" act like we are on an audition. Or sometimes you get those one time a weekers that raise an eyebrow when they find out you take more than one class per week. Or the ones that push themselves into the more advanced level if they find out that you are in it. They think "well, why shouldn't I be there too?" I just find it all very.....weird and childlike. I guess its because i can really care less about what other people are doing so I don't know why they would care so much about what I am doing. That's all. :innocent:

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...I just didn't think that it would be in the adult ballet studio. .

To quote a famous line, "You are mistaken. That is not good company, that is the best." If there is a ballet class restricted to saints and yogi masters, maybe ... :) the rest of us still have our foibles.

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As a teacher (but not of ballet) I have always been shocked by how classes take on their own personalities. At my studio, the worst class as far as cliques and gossip is concerned is the class with the worst dancers. It also happens to be my level, but I don't learn a lot in that class because so much time is wasted with people gabbing in class. I have just decided to take the classes below and above my level because I am just not interested in putting up with it. This is definitely an advantage of being an adult.

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I think people get wrapped up in ballet really easily. The fact that it's not a life-or-death issue (not for adults and not even for aspiring teenagers either) doesn't matter. Also, I've noticed that adults act like children in many ways when they enter the studio --- some of those ways are good and essential to the learning process, and some are annoying.

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