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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Divas


MJ

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How do you guys deal with Divas? I just suck up to the teacher and ignore them, but their snide comments and sneers really poison what should be an enjoyable class.

 

MJ

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The minority of people who can dance better than me in most classes I frequent these days have enough experience and humility not to do the Diva thing. As for the rest --- they don't try it on me. If they did, I'd probably suggest that when they can dance as well as I can, then they tell me where to get off.

 

Even if you don't dance demonstrably better than the Divas, you can still help create an environment in which respect is earned for hard work and improvement rather than simple achievement.

 

Your position as a board member should carry some weight as well. When you're in a studio of an organization on whose board you sit, you have a certain level of authority and responsibility to ensure that the class runs well. Making sure there are barres for everyone, giving up good spots at the barre if the studio is crowded, turning off lights and locking the door if needed, even making a decision to cancel a class or terminate it early --- those are all things a board member in the studio needs to do from time to time.

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I'm now ex-officio and that was for a different studio/company.

 

I think some of the Divas/Divoes (what is the masculine of Diva?) were jealous of my performance in a local ballet production, many in class said wonderful things about my performance.

 

Typically I'm the only guy in this class, I'm also the first to strip down to a tshirt and tights/shorts. I'm fairly certain they think I'm an intruder into their world.

 

They sit in the middle of the studio immediately after reverence to put on their toe shoes, thereby preventing anyone from practicing a grande allegro step. I've never seen this happen in any other studio, most students go out in the hall or off to the side.

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The masculine of "diva" is "divo". It comes from Latin "dives" = wealthy person. However, as time wore on, the local "dives" sometimes made it into the Lares and Penates, the Roman household gods. Hence, "divine".

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...

They sit in the middle of the studio immediately after reverence to put on their toe shoes, thereby preventing anyone from practicing a grande allegro step. ...

How many of them are there? Do they make a pile bigger than a car?

 

This would be a terribly stupid and dangerous thing to actually do, but :devil: I'm just thinking of Laschwen's post in the Adult Ballet Students forum, in the recent thread on grande jetés, which included this gem: "... The coolest grand Jeté I ever saw was done in a university parking lot over an MG convertible by a guy I went to High School with..."

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"They sit in the middle of the studio immediately after reverence to put on their toe shoes, thereby preventing anyone from practicing a grande allegro step. "

 

Could you ask them to move?

 

Jim.

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I'm a little confused here about whether the Diva characters are just women, or women and men.

 

Maybe one could try the simple, direct approach: ask the pointe shoe changing divas to move, explaining that you are going to practice grand allegro while they're changing shoes.

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As a metaphor, "diva" seems to be a near-synonym for the term "prima donna" in usage today. They exist in both sexes, all jobs, and some would argue, all species. Mathilde Kschessinskaya was a diva. Maria Callas was another. During World War II, it was a good thing that George Patton and Douglas MacArthur were on different sides of the Earth. Patton and his ego-duels with Lord Montgomery (another diva) caused enough mischief! The "diva" is characterized by an immense sense of self-entitlement, combined with a thin skin which allows threats, real or otherwise, to be perceived at nearly astronomical distances. Threat response is nasty, sarcastic, and usually explosive, which are the trademarks of the "diva".

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I meant the diva characters in this case. If they're men, they probably won't be changing pointe shoes after class, but they might be engaging some other anti-social activity. Tactics aimed at in-the-way pointe shoe changers wouldn't necessarily work with these man divas, since the situation of divaness would be different.

 

Divanation?

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