airchild Posted September 19, 2008 Report Share Posted September 19, 2008 Hi guys, Today I had a really terrible time at ballet class. The teacher taught us a new allegro variation, ending with a sissone en avant and changement. Having never learned sissone properly, I ended up having the wrong arm movements and wrong placement/weight transfer. Plus, I was wearing my new soft block shoes that were very loud (and making my uninitiated feet very tired), making a noise when I landed, causing the teacher to frown on me. She made me do it over and over again in front of the class but I still didn't "get it". Plus I was getting really tired and could not go on. The last few times the teacher looked more and more irritated so I had an urge to cry but held back the tears. When I was done I rushed to the back of the studio and took out my towel to wipe my tears, and calmed down for a few seconds. I also had an urge to storm out of the classroom but decided to finish the center exercises, which I did. Then I went out and lied on the floor to cool down (I have a special exercise to realign all the load joints of the body, and this requires lying down on the floor with the calves and thighs at 90 degrees). During this time, I burst out in tears but covered my face with my arm to hide it from the others. Anyway, I called the teacher after class to discuss how I felt "hurt" and "humiliated" by her picking me out in front of the class the whole time today. I also told her I felt humiliated when the other ladies laughed at me when she picked on my faults. But she thought that I was blaming others for my own problems. She said she got "signals" from me that I was really serious about improving my techniques, that's why she had been correcting me more than the others. Well, to this I replied, "Don't get me wrong. I really appreciate your corrections. In fact, in the past I have always taken them quite well and made improvements based on them. But today I just couldn't take it coz I felt it went over the limits." I don't think she truly understood what I meant by my "limits". She pointed out to me how I made the others "scared" because of my "behavior" (meaning, crying and lying in the corridor "blocking the way and being so mad", etc.). She told me that of all her years of teaching she had never seen an adult "do such a thing" like I did; only among teenagers. I felt I was wronged by her assessment that I was "mad" because I did not burst into tears in front of the class nor did I storm out of the studio. I cried quietly in the back of the room and outside the studio. Is there anything WRONG with that? Is it an unacceptable "ballet etiquette"? How I felt -- to me -- was a totally natural emotion and why was I chastised for it? The teacher asked me to "put on a smile" in class next time so the other students would not be "scared of me". I know that in ballet, one is "supposed" to look pleasant and not tense even if one feels physical strain. However, I am still in the process of learning how to do that! My face just naturally tenses up when I find a movement difficult to execute, or when I am concentrating. And today, I was at the verge of total frustration and reaching my physical limits, hence the crying. I'd like to know if any of you ever experienced anything like that? I feel so alone in this. On one hand I understand that one is supposed to bite your lips and "get on with it" in ballet. But at the same time I am an adult and I pay for the classes. So am I that WRONG to express how I feel to the teacher? Quote Link to comment
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