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Fear of teachers


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Is it wise to remove a student from a teacher they are uncomfortable with and afraid of or is it better to push them to learn to just deal with it. Let's face it, ballet careers are rarely going to produce warm fuzzies all of the time. But what is healthy fear?

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Is this teacher new to this student? If so, give it some time. Students are often intimidated by a new teacher, and once they get to know them, then they are not afraid of them at all. I would also first question exactly why the student is afraid of the teacher. Is it possibly just that this teacher is a stronger disciplinarian, or perhaps a teacher known for being very demanding?


IMO there is no such thing as healthy fear. Fear is fear. Respect is one thing, fear is another. If the teacher is actually mean or rough with them, or very negative all the time, this would be a reason to consider a move.

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I'm interested in this question also. My DD is going to have a teacher this year that has taught her in the past and my DD really does not enjoy the classes. She thinks the teacher is really moody - one day everything is fine and the next she is overly critical and snappy. My DD never knows what to expect. I really don't know whether to push her to take a class she clearly does not want to take or to let her "have something else on that night".

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I believe you are very right Ms. Leigh. The difference between fear and respect is huge. My daughter feels that a teacher can be very demanding and push her to her fullest and still display a respect for her as a person. It is when she doesn't sense this respect that she loses trust in what that teacher can offer her. So I guess it's not "fear" of the teacher as much as a feeling that the teacher does not respect the students. This is a new teacher and she must decide if she will stay with him or go back to her former teacher.

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If your child truly fears the teacher, I would not continue classes with the teacher. I had a similar experience and thought my daughter would adjust. After a year of classes, we switched to a new school and it took us several months to undue the damage. My daughter had become cautious and unsure of her dancing. She is finally dancing with renewed joy and confidence. I believe now that a student's dancing can not blossom if they come from a place of fear. I think some ballet teachers take on the persona of the mean ballet mistress to cover up their short comings. Good luck with your decisions hopefully you have some alternatives in your area.

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Hello luckydancer, welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers. :)


Your profile says dancer, but your posts read like you are the Mom. Are you also a dancer?

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Thank you for changing your profile, luckydancer.

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We had a similar experience as luckymom. A teacher that was overly critical and underly correctional caused my dd to be stressed out and nervous during all her classes.

We changed ballet schools and slowly but surely her joy returned.

It's the joy that makes all the effort worthwhile- not the teacher's approval, not the parts she gets, and not the level she is assigned to .

It's all about the joy- I feel so proud when she dances from her heart!

So, my advice is to follow your heart.

Good luck!

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