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Video Audition Trauma/Drama....


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(First, I hope this is in the correct place and follows the guidelines-if not, please correct me, I'm new and am trying to do everything right. :) )


I've been having issues with my ballet teacher for a while now. First, it must be said that I live in an incredibly small town with a complete lack of ballet training. I trained at a wonderful school, and hour and half away from me, from ages 5-14. Then, it shut down and I was left a different studio, in my town, that was...just not what I was looking for. (ballet classes were very much a sideline, and the school was focused primarly on tap and jazz) I studied there for a semester, before a new studio opened in my town. Because of the lack of baller students, I am the oldest and only one in my level, which the next class below me is ten year olds. The same ballet teacher teaches all classes.


This teacher has had a fairly impressive career as a professional dancer before she retired and moved to my town to have children. She's young (28 or 29) and is inexperienced in teaching although her roles were numerous. She is an incredibly talented dancer, but recently, I have learned that talented dancer doesn't always equal good teacher.


For the first two weeks, this ballet teacher was great. Since it was only me in the class, she really focused on my technique, and helped me a lot. Then, she started getting a little unfocused. We started beginning class an half an hour late, and ending five minutes early, which leaves me with a 45 minute class. That is not acceptable for an advanced ballet dancer.


Let me say that I'm not a very natural dancer. No natural turnout or extension, flat feet. However, I am I flexible and very strong, and have an impresisive work ethic and will do anything to improve. She was supposed to help me work on this and work around it to make me a better dancer. So far, she won't let me lift my leg unless it's totally turned out. (Which means it's barely off the floor.) When I lift it high, it still looks totally turned out, but she won't let me lift my leg unless my leg is completely rotated. (remember-ZERO natural turnout) Meanwhile, she won't correct my bent knees. (I can't feel them when they are bent, she was supposed to be correcting them.) Point is, I will never be able to lift my leg that as high as I can with full turn out. No matter how many times I do it, because it is physically impossible for my body.


She starts class late, ends early, is completely scatter-brained about remembering her own combitnations and music. (she can't remember them, so she makes something else up during the combitnation, and gets mad at me for doing the orginal thing she told me to do) She talks to me about problems with the artistic director...and I just don't feel comfortable with that.


One day, out of nowhere: Everything was fine, I was working hard, etc, etc. I'm doing barre, turn to crack my neck a few times. Then out of no where, she yells:


"Out of all my students you should be the one who knows how to concentrate. You should be smarter and more mature than that. Your busy paying attention to what's going on in the lobby, that your not working hard at all. You never work hard, your never concentrating. Your hips are never straight! I can't do the work for you!"


(my hips are never straight because I fractured my back, and they will NEVER be totally straight. It's phsyically impossible)


I'm totally stunned at this point. I guess she took me popping my neck to me looking out in the lobby, which I truthfully wasn't doing. I'm not asking her to do any work for me. I'm asking her to just show up mentally, so she can teach me class. I held back tears the entire class. I was emabarrassed and sad.


I needed to make a video audition for a summer program, which she of course, helps me with. I go, after a two week break, to film the video. Stupid mistake #1 on my part. I watch the video back, and it's awful. She shot it at bizarre angles, the combinations did not flatter my dancing, and I can dance way better than that. So, I am obviously not satisfied.


On the video, you can include a solo. (not mandatory) But the teacher decides the solo is unnessecary. Stupid mistake #2 on my part. I should have done a solo, because my strength is in performing. But the only one I've got isn't finished, therefore, I'm sort of stuck. But a solo, showing what I'm really good at, could be the difference between an accetpance and a rejection. I cannot send the video like it is. It does not give an accruate view of my ability and does me no justice.


My mom thinks we ought to go to the studio this weekend and re-film, without Ballet Teacher, because Ballet teacher was the opposite of helpful. (and yes, my mom was a dancer and knows what she's talking about) Problem is, if Ballet teacher finds out I've refilmed without her, I'm dead. I'm confident that my Studio Owner (not my ballet teacher) can keep it a secret, but Ballet Teacher's husband works at the studio and I'm terrified that she'll find out.


Reason for that? I'm the only one in my level because of the whole remote-area thing, so she'll freak out on me, alone. No questions asked. I know for sure she will. She's done it before, and she'll demand to know why she hadn't been called. I don't think I can deal with it alone.


So...do I risk it and try to re-film upstairs in the studio? Or just take it for what it is and don't audition this time around? I'm sorry is this is insanely long, I just wanted to give a good grasp on what has happened. Any advice would be amazing.


(sorry if this is totally mental and confusing, my studio/teacher situation is bizzare) Anything anyone has to say will be helpful. I'm desperate for advice, so fire away.

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  • Administrators

a) refilm the video


b ) find a new school even if you have to drive a very long way

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Holy Moly!!!!!!!! That is one very controlling and mental teacher!!!


I once had a teacher who at the end of the year performance, would ask the seniors how many years they had been dancing with her. Some would say 2, others would say 15. She would show no emotion or gratitude. :wacko: Just "How many years have you been dancing with us?"!!!!!!!! A couple of years ago, I stopped her studio!!! Thank goodness!!! I am still young(13), so I still had a chance to go to a good studio. :rolleyes:

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Sorry, Salongs20055, this is the Young Dancers Forum, no parents allowed. This is the bailywick of dancers ages 13-16 and the Teacher Moderators. So I had to remove your post.

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Odette, this is one more piece of evidence that all of the coo-coos aren't in the woods.


Reshoot the video.


Find a new teacher.

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Film the video again with the hope to get out of town and move onward to a new teacher.

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Wow... I wonder if your teacher is bi-polar or depressed, because her erratic mood swings seem frightening. I definately wouldn't be keen on being a dance studio alone with her. Try talking to the principal of studio and see if she has any suggestions.


As for you video- I say reshot. There is no reason that this woman should stand in the way of your dreams. Try to finish up your solo or just use a music editor to end the music.


Good luck!!!

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Thank you all for the wonderful replies. You re-confirmed what my parents and I had been thinking.


I am re-filming this weekend, without the teacher. I will also be checking out some new studios and possibly some resdidental year-round programs.


Thanks for all the advice! :thumbsup:

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  • Administrators

You are most welcome! That's why we are here :thumbsup: Good luck to you!

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  • 13 years later...

I know this post is from a very long time ago but I still wanted to comment because I had a similar experience with a teacher who filmed an audition video which I was not happy with. The best advice I can give which has worked really well for me is that if you are a perfectionist or you have an idea h=of how you want the video to look you should really just do it yourself and maybe just have someone help you film. I found it so much more beneficial to come up with my own combinations practice them and then have a friend film me I would then watch back the video and correct myself and re film. The video turned out sooo much better!

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