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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Changing schools


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Hello, all,


I haven't posted on Ballet Talk in a while, but I'm feeling a bit down, and I know that people here will understand. I recently made the decision to change ballet schools. The intermediate and advanced teacher at my old school is very talented, but she has a "negative" teaching style which led me to become more and more self critical, to the point where I was not progressing at all. I became quite depressed for a while, and I realized that I had to get out. I am now at a school with a much more positive atmosphere, and I know that I will feel much happier and more fulfilled dancing there.


My problem is that I feel very sad about leaving everyone at my old school, where I have danced for the past 5 1/2 years. I even feel a bit bad about leaving the teacher. My definite decision to leave was made over the holidays, so I didn't really get a chance to say goodbye to everyone; also, it didn't seem like a good idea to just show up in class and spit it out, what with the possibility of hard feelings with the instructor. I thought that I was over this, but I received an email from my old teacher tonight asking about the reasons for my departure. I did my best to answer diplomatically, but also honestly. Now that I've finished, all those feelings have come rushing back...


I know that this is something that will probably just take some time, but I guess I'm just looking for a little support from people who've been there. Thanks, all of you, for taking the time to read this. It's really nice to know that I have this community to turn to.

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It's all right - one of our purposes here is to allow a certain amount of "venting" when you're feeling down about ballet. :sweating:


But tell me, what is your new school like? Do you enjoy the classes? Is the teaching ethos more compatible with your learning and working style? Do you feel better, especially right after class? Do you get on well with the other students? You say that you "will" feel happier, but how do you feel about your new school right now?

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Thanks, Mr. Johnson; venting is just what I needed.


My new school has a much happier, more family-like environment, and everyone there has been friendly from day one. The classes are very different than what I'm used to, but I'm really enjoying more actual dancing (and so far none of those torturous hour and 15 minute barres of which my old teacher was so fond). The teachers definitely have a very positive energy--I recognized the difference immediately after I took my first class, when I realized how ridiculous my negative self-talk seemed in comparison with the teacher's perception. (She told me that she was glad to have me and that I fit perfectly with the rest of the class.)


That internal negativity is the reason that I said I "will" be happy: it's going to take a little time for me to retrain myself to think more productively. I've gained some confidence since I was cast in a solo role for our spring production, even though I had myself convinced that I completely blew my audition class. I also heard back from my old teacher today, and she seems understanding, if a bit surprised. So, all in all, I think that I'm finally getting back on track. Thank you for the support; I really appreciate it.

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You have made a difficult decision and you can be commended for having communicated your needs well to your "old teacher". Students leave schools for various reasons, this is nothing new. You have shown great maturity is your ability to say goodbye politely and move on. Many students never say a thing. They just go. :D Teachers only want what is best for their students.


Enjoy your new school, teacher and friends. :thumbsup:

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  • Administrators

Sorry, isamaaa, this is a Young Dancers forum. Nice post, but, we can't leave it there.

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I switched schools last year, not because I disliked the old one, but just because it was no longer offering what I needed. When I first left, I went back to talk to my old teacher about my reasons for leaving and my goals, which helped a lot and gave it closure. I often felt bad about myself at my old school, but when I went back to talk to my teacher she was very nice and encouraging, which made me feel better about leaving.

Switching schools is so hard though...I totally understand what you're going through!

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