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DD Facing Competitive Attitude in Class


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Hello- I need some advice on this, but dont know how to deal with it. My daughter seems to have a dance classmate that always seems to be competing with her in every aspect. She thinks about it often & complains to me how this particular girl treats her with a negative attitude. Her other classmates are fine in class, but I was just wondering if this is something she will have to come across in her dancing. What can she do? I dont want to be like that other moms that run to the directors & complain that my daughter has this issue. But its been like this since this particular girl lost her place in class. <the attention mode>


Have you guys ever experience this in your dancing careers? If so.. how did you handle it? How about all you moms out there.. what advice can you give me as a mother and share with my 10yr o/dd.

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  • swanchat


  • 2dancers


  • mydarlindancer


  • bailarina95




My daughter has had the same thing happen to her. DD is 13 but the behavior has been happening for 2 years. I think it gets really bad during the middle school years and then gets better.


The behavior ranges from outright snubbing to that "teenage grunt thing" to glares through the window and most interestingly to exact imitation of her leotards, her pointe shoes and even her ballet bag. We swear that a couple are even stalking her! :huh:


Advice: Listen a lot and keep the avenues of communication open. We tell our DD that we are glad it's not her behaving in this way and explain that the "nasties" are just not feeling good about themselves. We repeatedly tell DD that the behavior feels personal but it is just behavior of people who are fearful that they are not "good enough." We classify this as "Wannabe behavior." It happens in all arenas-not just ballet. We tell her that sometimes the inexplicable jealousy of others hurts but to keep in mind that these people are really insecure and hurting inside. We warn her never to stoop to their level. When they are being nasty, she ignores the behavior and focuses even more on the combination or whatever instruction is happening. In that way, their nasty behavior probably improves DD even more! :lol:


She does not talk in class even to her best ballet buddies and removes herself from any situation where she would need to interact with the "nasties." She will politely respond to them if spoken to but no longer tries to initiate a conversation before or after class or during breaks. She is there to dance and learn. :P


I have never complained to the AD or teachers or the parents about "the nasties." I prefer to help DD learn to deal with others directly, with empathy and in a healthy way for self-preservation. I think going to the teachers to "tattle" just backfires and associates your kid with the perpertrators. It's hard to watch others treat your child badly and there have been times I have wanted to intervene in a likewise nasty way :clover: especially when "a nasty" seems to get a nice part or brags about something but thankfully, I have just stewed then let it go.I have warned DD to make sure that she stay alert for physically aggressive behavior and stay 2 arms lengths from anyone who might trip or push (more of the self-preservation thing) I remember that it is my job to teach my child the ways of the world and unfortunately she will run across these types from time to time.

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I appreciate the time you took to write that for me. Thanks I will share that with my daughter..


Youre right on dealing with it between us. Ive come across moms that complain & teachers end up picking on their kids in a bad way.. so i know what you mean.


The funny thing is that the bad kids mom and I came to like each other.. & she is cool person.. but I cant understand her kids attitude with mine. So I put on a face when I pick up my kid like everything is fine to this mom. Do you know what I mean?


I interestingly to exact imitation of her leotards, her pointe shoes and even her ballet bag... i know what you mean.. my kid experiences with that as well, & the funny thing is that she found out that that girl shares with others how many times she got compliments from her teacher more than my daughter.. I was like c'mon give my kid a break.. I tell my DD you are there to learn not to count how many times you get compliments.. i cant believe that stuff goes on. But she needs to be strong & yes you are right ignore..


Thanks for the advice.. I will print this for her to share!

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Basicly it is a character issue. Insecure people are hurting inside and all that nastiness goes somewhere. I tell my dd when this type of thing comes up, that this is a chance to strenghten her character and the other girl or girls aren't. It is tough to see. :huh:


Our dd's will come out the better for learning to navigate these socially difficult issues. :clover:

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My DD has encountered this many times, but nothing like when she entered a pre-pro school. She was actually elbowed hard in the ribs in class, by a supposed friend. Needless to say, they are not friends anymore. The glares, laughing and pointing, gossip, all that doesn't bother her any more. What does is missing shoes! :huh:

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Wow, and I thought it would get better after middle school :P I also thought I might be a tad bit on the paranoid side when I told her to watch for physically aggressive behavior. Wow again :clover:


Even more reason to teach them to deal with these "nasties." in a healthy way...mama is not going to be around as they get older! :huh:

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Oh my gosh swanchat! I thought I had written your post for a second!!! What you described is exactly what is going on with my dd and she's also 13. It's so frustrating to see it happening to your child. A friend of ours who was a professional dancer and grew up with the same type of thing, told her that the best way to deal with it is to continue to improve, take corrections, dance beautifully, be friendly (to a point) and smile. Pretty soon, they'll see that their cruelty isn't having the desired effect anymore and give up. And, actually, in the last two months (out of a year and a half!) it appears to have fallen off quite a bit, they still exlude her, but the other stuff isn't as blatant anymore. :thumbsup:

She doesn't go to school with the girls :grinning: in question either, which is an absolute Godsend! She has an incredible group of friends at school who love her to death, :wub: so she has been fortunate to have that feeling of belonging and being accepted that she lacks at the studio.

To help me deal with it, I read the "The Odd Girl Out" by Rachel Simmons. It helped me because it made me realize that even though they had targeted my dd, it really has nothing to do with her personally, if it wasn't her, they would have targeted someone else. And,it's actually made her more determined to dance. (oops, I don't think that was their goal). Anyway, her character will be stronger because of it.

It still makes me mad sometimes, but I can put it into perspective now. :rolleyes:

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Does this type of thing happen often at summer programs? My dd hasn't faced this at her home studio, but did have one experience with nasty behaviour at a rehearsal: another dancer pushed her, causing her to trip over yet another dancer who was stretching on the floor. I saw this happen, and it was definately intentional. I couldn't understand the reason for this behaviour, as the nasty one is 3 years older than dd, and a very good dancer herself. If this type of thing was an ongoing problem at an away program, I would want my dd to seek help from the staff! I think young children still need adult support to cope with bullies (and that's what these girls are). They need to learn how to deal with situations on their own, but especially when parents are not around, they need to feel that they can go to the supervising adults for help.


Does anyone have experience with a child being bullied at a residency or SI?

How was the situation handled by the staff?

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Similar things happened with my DD around 12/13. It started with one girl and then became a "who's side are you on" thing. It made trust at the studio an issue but also made it very clear to her who her true friends were. I would always tell my DD "If they are picking on you then they are giving someone else a break" and "If someone is trying to get your goat, then hide your goat". It seems to be better now, she is 14 and more abe to filter out things. Also I have found that the tights don't always fall far from the leotard. (get it - apple/tree, sometimes I crack myself up) :grinning:

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Also I have found that the tights don't always fall far from the leotard. (get it - apple/tree, sometimes I crack myself up)  :D

:D love it!




dancindaughters: My dd has been to two SI's and she didn't experience anything like what goes on at her studio. I think an SI is a leveling ground, so to speak, because the majority of the girls are all in the same boat....away from home, new teachers, new people to make friends with, etc. and the chaperones, at least at her particuliar SI's, really fostered friendship and inclusion. :)

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bobbypin finder,


I have found the same thing. In regards to the "stalkers", the moms behave just as badly with the glares and stares and demands to the administration. Love the analogy! :D



dancing daughters:


I think the behavior can (and will) happen anywhere but because their is no "history" between most of the kids at SI and because the mix changes any existing dynamics, it must be less of a problem. DD's first year, she was actually harassed by a 10 year old boy (with sexual overtones) at the very end of the program. Some of his comments really made me wonder about his home life. DD reported the behavior to the directors and the boy was physically separated and watched like a hawk. The entire SI staff was wonderful. Second year, no behavior issues at all and no, the boy was not back!


Who knew that at the tender age of 10, we would be describing and defining sexual harassment to our DD? It was another life lesson. I find that ballet facilitates many life lessons at an early age and my hope is that it gives our DD's wisdom beyond their years! :)


2 dancers: I am going to go out and get that book! Thanks. :D

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One of my DD's encountered a problem fellow dancer at her home studio. It began the year my DD auditioned and went to her first SI. It worsened the next year when this child began to attend auditions as well. It became more overt when DD went to a major SI that summer and this child did not--nonacceptance. This was middle school years. DD was glad to break free of the problem child when DD went away to residency. She was not gone more than 2-3 weeks when a friend called to say this child, now a freshman back home at the local high school, had a bookcover over one of her text books on which she had written "I hate MARY JONES." (DD's "name")!


Now at residency, bullying was more subtle. But competition does breed contention, and DD made friends and also met some really "mean girls." Thank goodness for the guys.

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Yes, having more boys in residency than at the home school is a benefit not just in the partnering department! :D Mine too enjoys the lack of competition that boys offer to their female friends in the dance world. They 'get it', but they are not in direct competition, so there is far less drama and they are usually pretty willing to listen to all the mean stuff that goes on amongst the girls with a much less emotional ear! :)

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What did you meant that this girl who is bothering your DD had "lost her place in class?" It might help if we understood that part. Was this an intense disappointment to her, or an embarassment perhaps? Something like that might be a catalyst to a series of emotions that she isn't yet equipped with to deal with in a even-tempered way.


I'd say that your and you DD's response and attitude will be a reflection of your good manners and general character in this situation.


I will also say that sometimes these childhood friendships wax and wane, and sometimes, surprisingly even flourish into a new, improved version in later years!


Truthconquers said it very well! She wrote, "Our dd's will come out the better for learning to navigate these socially difficult issues."


She is so right....love your name, TruthConquers...right on!!!

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2Dancers...wow, great comments. Guess we've all been there with our DDs.


It sure was easier raising our sons. They always "got over" their little fights with each other and I just can't remember that they even had ANY with their buds.


I am looking so forward to my DD getting out on her own to her first SI this year....I have such confidence that she will not disappoint us as she has integrity. But as she avoids conflict, I hope that she will choose wisely and if she encounters something that needs to be attended to, as swanchat related, that she will be brave enough to get help. This is timely advice to be added to all the other things I am teaching my not-so-streetwise DD before she leaves home.

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