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Ballet + annoying friend

Striving for Grace

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I have a friend with whom I started my ballet training last summer. We're great friends, get along famously, etc. We continued to take classes together after our initial class ended, but at the last one we took together, she wasn't really committed and I was a tad irritated by her. Maybe she was different because we were in a fairly loose (as far as ballet goes) open level adult class and we weren't dancing for grades, but I still found certain things that she did to be annoying and distracting.


Although she still loves to dance, when she showed up (for only half the classes) she'd show up late (middle of the barre), do her hair at the barre, giggle and try to talk to me at the barre etc. She also tended to do things that we hadn't been asked to do- like we'd be learning arabesque turns and she'd burst out with attitude turns. :shrug: When the teacher would say "that's a nice attitude turn, but in arabesque turns we keep the leg straight" or something, she'd be like "oh I know, I just love attitude turns." And she'd continue to do them! :shrug: When we started to learn sissonnes in that class she yelled out "ooooooh! sissonne girl, right over there!" (pointing at me). Then she came over to me and was like "hey, lets do pas de chat jumps instead, I hate sissonnes." I was like, "after class, k?"


Anyways, just some examples to illustrate. NOW, we are supposed to begin taking formal classes again in mid September. She wants to know which class I'm taking so she can be in the same one. I love the kid, but I cringe at the idea of taking class with her again, and am playing the "I still don't know which one fits my schedule, why don't you go ahead and choose and maybe we'll end up in the same class" card. Am I being too selfish?

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No, you are not being too selfish. However, I think it might be good to talk this out, and let her know that you take classes seriously and respect the discipline of the class. Or, if she is in the same class, perhaps ask the teacher to talk to her, not related to you at all, but just to her attendance, tardiness, and discipline issues? If you value her as a friend, then it needs to be worked out, or she will no longer be a friend. :shrug:

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Thanks for the great advice, Ms. Leigh! :grinning:


I called my friend a few moments ago and we of course talked about ballet. I took the opportunity to let her know, as you suggested, that I take ballet classes seriously. I also told her that since in our last class my presence seemed to be a distraction to her, she only had to tell me if she preferred that we be in separate classes this semester. She was quick to say that I shouldn't worry, I hadn't distracted her that much, I was actually pretty quiet :flowers:.


A more direct approach seeming necessary, I asked her to try harder to be on time and to do her hair before class out of respect to her fellow classmates and the pianist and teachers (as well as to avoid injury to herself- don't the initial plies and tendus serve to align and warm the body in preparation for center work?). She said she'd try, but found that difficult as she simply must eat something before class and dressing and doing her hair takes too much time (yet the latter takes her all of 15 seconds at the barre :blink: ) I've worked out college class schedules so that we both have an hour free before ballet (also a college course and therefore on campus). In that hour, I'll be darned if we're not gonna get her dressed, hair done and snacks eaten! :lol:

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Guest pink tights

Grace, why don't you just tell her that you will not tolerate such behavior. Also, while it's nice to spend time with a friend before class, helping her get ready is another matter!! She really needs to learn to do these things on her own. My fear is that if you help her, she will only depend on your kindness and you will start to resent her even more. She is in college, yes? Then she needs to act like it.

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I have some friends like this - but not ballet ones, luckily!


My experience has been that even if you are quite honest with them they will not really change the way they do things.


I'd go ahead and book yourself into the classes you want to do. If she goes to them too, it's her problem. I'm sure that your teachers don't think you're a pain in the neck because you are her friend. If you just ignore her behaviour she will get fed up if it doesn't seem like there's anyone to play up to.

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Sounds like you need a fierce teacher. Some teachers (in fact, all the ones I've had, even the mild ones, let alone the really controlling ones), even in casual adult clases, wouldnt put up with all that for more than a moment. I'm surprised they let it happen - and maybe the next one wont.



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QUOTE(Kate B @ Aug 29 2006, 05:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I'd go ahead and book yourself into the classes you want to do. If she goes to them too, it's her problem. I'm sure that your teachers don't think you're a pain in the neck because you are her friend. If you just ignore her behaviour she will get fed up if it doesn't seem like there's anyone to play up to.


I agree. Don't worry about her too much. It is really her problem. And if she does not take ballet as serious as you do, I wouldn't worry. Maybe she just wants a nice workout. Nevertheless, she should not distract you - just look for another place at the barre.


And about being late....

Especially in adult classes, there will always be somebody late (getting out let from work, etc...). I suppose Adult teachers are used to late students.


Anyway, don't worry anymore about her, but enjoy your class

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Yes I agree with Kate B too. You have to do your own thing (in class and in life) There is a lovely, kind-hearted lady in some of my classes - who just never stops talking, and you have to kind of tune it out for the sake of your concentration. I'm quite good at ignoring her so she probably thinks I'm snooty, others in class are more patient than I am!

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