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Ballet Talk for Dancers

"Cognitive Distortions" in Ballet


hart

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Amatol-I think "perfectionism" is negative because one gets frustrated if they don't achieve that unachievable goal. "Striving for Perfection" may sound similar but I think is very different. The goal is seen and worked toward but the small achievements are appreciated even if they aren't perfect. You can enjoy yourself even if you haven't gotten it just right. By the way, from reading your post, you don't strike me as a perfectionist. (Except for the 99% right, 1% wrong comment :( ) Everything after it shows you have a healthy balance of trying to do your best with what you have and seeing the overall picture. You're right, it's not just what your body looks like standing in front of the mirror, but what you can do with that body while you're dancing. Your comments were very encouraging!

 

Candi

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HA!  I take class at several schools--how does one know which mirror is telling the truth?  That's the true distortion.

 

 

I know my mirrors at home lie to me so much (very kindly) that when i see a photo of myself or (horrors!) a video, I wonder for a brief moment who that cow in my dress is. Then reality sets in. .

The ballet class mirrors are to me just a tool to see what is in the wrong place that I am not quite feeling...yet anyway. I notice what is in the right place too. I don't know which the fat or thin mirrors are. I try to avoid looking too much or I might see the batwings too, and avoid the end of the barre looking smack at the mirror ever since I tried that spot.

 

Laschwen

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Dance_Scholar_London

Radell Sally et al has published an article entitled 'the impact of mirrors on body image and classroom performance in female college ballet dancers' in the journal of dance medicine and science. very interesting to read!

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spinbug~

yeah you are right I guess there is a difference between striving for perfection and "perfectionism". Thinking about it I do have unrational bouts of perfectionism as well, but have found them very counter productive to actually improving so try to turn that negative energy around to work harder. Occasionally I do just sit in the corner and pout because I can't do anything right and beat myself up about what a failure I am, usually realize how silly i'm being and knock it off (though this is something that has developed over time, I guess there are good things about ageing!).

And as you said in an earlier post having a good sense of humor helps :devil:

 

As for the mirrors, I didn't even know there were fat and skinny mirrors!

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Dance_Scholar_London
As for the mirrors, I didn't even know there were fat and skinny mirrors!

 

As soon as you come across one, you will find that out very quickly :devil:

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And as you said in an earlier post having a good sense of humor helps :devil:

 

This is true with "fat" mirrors as well. :)

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Amatol, Sometimes when we just want to "feel bad" about ourselves it helps to have a friend to rant to (momentarily), get some much needed empathy, a hug, then a kick in the bum to get up and go again! Hope your week goes well and you have good friends that help you along the way. :thumbsup:

 

Candi

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Amatol,

 

I totally agree with your comment that "being a perfectionist type attracts one to ballet". Many people find me to be this very perfectionist type because they believe I very rarely settle for anything less than perfect... I see myself as just trying to put everything I've got to whatever it is I am doing and work as hard as I can (and even harder) to do a great job!

 

Ballet is perfect for perfectionists. Unless you are one, you have a slim chance of succeeding at it... Only perfectionists are able to work on their tendus and plies day in, day out for years and never get bored and never say "OK, my plies are perfect. I can stop now..." Unless you put 2000% in it and more and put up with all the pains and difficulties of ballet, you are unlikely to be good at it. Of course, none of it would be possible without great LOVE of the art!

 

I do take some classes with teenagers (just for technique) and I can totally tell if a girl is doing it for the love of the art or if she is only in it because her mom insists... It makes such a difference. Actually, yesterday one of the girls dropped out because she could not deal with it and decided to "put a stop to the torture". Her mom commented to the teacher that the girl was not motivated enough and brought me up as an example of someone driven and in love with it! I was flattered!

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Amatol,

 

I totally agree with your comment that "being a perfectionist type attracts one to ballet". Many people find me to be this very perfectionist type because they believe I very rarely settle for anything less than perfect... I see myself as just trying to put everything I've got to whatever it is I am doing and work as hard as I can (and even harder) to do a great job!

 

Ballet is perfect for perfectionists. Unless you are one, you have a slim chance of succeeding at it... Only perfectionists are able to work on their tendus and plies day in, day out for years and never get bored and never say "OK, my plies are perfect. I can stop now..." Unless you put 2000% in it and more and put up with all the pains and difficulties of ballet, you are unlikely to be good at it. Of course, none of it would be possible without great LOVE of the art!

 

I do take some classes with teenagers (just for technique) and I can totally tell if a girl is doing it for the love of the art or if she is only in it because her mom insists... It makes such a difference. Actually, yesterday one of the girls dropped out because she could not deal with it and decided to "put a stop to the torture". Her mom commented to the teacher that the girl was not motivated enough and brought me up as an example of someone driven and in love with it! I was flattered!

 

 

Striving to be perfect works great if you aren't too let down about it when you don't reach your goal. If you can't handle anything less than perfect and have to suffer repeated frustration it can lead to a major burn-out. In that case would it be ballet that a person actually loves or rather an irrational need for the ideal at all cost?

 

A person can, in fact, be too driven when their efforts lead to a negative attitude about themselves and what they are doing. Reading all of your post, I'm thinking you may be applying perfectionism more in the way of having personal discipline and having a positive attitude to apply it.

 

Great compliment from the mom. :blink:

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