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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Need advice for DD with other girls in class


Curandera

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My 13 year old DD really has fire under her and wants to be a dancer. She signed up for summer ballet class in the city, is practicing from Finis Jhung (Ballet DVD tapes) at home and is also signed up for a ballet class at her regular in-town studio. Her regular in-town studio dance teacher is very good but the class has two older students (16 and 22) that spend the time moaning about every step they have to do, giggling and goofing off. They are favorites of the teacher. My DD and I can't understand why they are signed up for summer dance class if they have no interest in being there. The 16 year old is a naturally good dancer but she is ruining the class not only for my DD but also for the other girls who look like they want to get better at ballet this summer. The teacher just smiles, and even laughs with them, and tries to work around them.

 

My DD is very quiet in class, but her temper is coming to the surface. She told me she just wants to say "Can you just shut-up! I can't hear the teacher!" the next time the girls moan loudly about doing an adagio. I told her she could become a target as someone who is stuck-up or trying to be a teacher's pet. And she said she knows but doesn't care anymore. She just wants the girls to pipe down so she can have a decent dance class with proper discipline like they have in the city. I told her I agree with her and as long as she knows the consequences, go right ahead.

 

We've been with this studio for 5 years and we have talked to the teacher before and she just doesn't have it in her to demand discipline. Other than that, she is a really positive teacher that is very good at teaching technique. The teacher is also the studio owner so there is no one else to talk to.

 

Have any of you had this experience? I think if nothing else, I think my DD expressing her feelings will at least be a good release for her pent up frustration at these girls. The girls are very nice girls, but they are interfering with class.

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There is absolutely nothing wrong with your daughter expressing her frustrations to the teacher again. I would explain both that it is hard for her to hear, and her feelings that the class is structured around those who don't want to work rather than those who do. I would also explain the things your DD would like to say during class but has not but are boilingon the surface ready to come out in frustration. What it sounds like though, is your DD has outgrown this environment. The dedication and focus is important as a rule. Of course, there can be more lighthearted days here and there, but it sounds like this is the norm?

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My DD cannot stand disrespectful students! She has since she was 12 piped up in class and yes, there are sometimes consequences but for the most part it has worked. Or at least the dancers not there to take class and get the most out of it move away from her.

 

Talk to the teacher one more time- this is her job. Point out you are paying to take a class and not getting what you pay for. Then go to the owner of the studio, who should care. Or find another class and ask for a refund.

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You said your DD is taking classes in the city as well. Is it an option for her to take more classes in the city? Sometimes it is hard to make that change, but your daughter wants more than her "home" studio may be able to provide. She may have just outgrown her "home" studio. Good Luck!

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"Her regular in-town studio dance teacher is very good...", but "two older students that spend the time moaning about every step they have to do... They are favorites of the teacher."

 

These two comments seem to be in conflict with each other.

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Thanks for all the comments! It was the first class of the summer so maybe they'll settle down. I think she is going to call it like she sees it. Like EdgarT6 said, at least they may give her a wide berth when she's in class.

 

Lisa 23164 and Momof3darlings, my DD probably has outgrown her studio, but for many reasons, including she loves her teacher and her friends, we are going to stick it out one more year. This will give me some time to clear some stuff off my table and get ready to chauffeur to the city during the winter months. Yikes! The sacrifices we make for the love of dance!

 

Mom1, I have no idea why they are favorites of the teacher when they are so disrespectful. But I don't get a lot of relationships I see in dance studios. How many times have we seen whining, spoiled princesses talk to their mothers in ways that would have left my behind red for a week if I'd acted like that to my mom. My daughter just stares at these scenes with her mouth open.

 

Well, we can't change the world, just our little ballet class of it. :wink:

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The drive is always a problem and with snow in the winter and construction in the other seasons traffic is always bad. While your DD is at the studio in the city see if you can find a carpool. My carpool is the only reason my DD is able to go to the studio 6 days a week. When we started at the studio we didn't know anyone! Four years later our carpool is still going strong! We each have 4 kids so we have been very flexible with our schedules. One takes and the other one picks up. Good Luck!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update: crisis averted. I didn't mention in my initial post that my DD was about the only dancer that was in proper ballet attire. The big city school requires a black leotard with a very low back (to better see your lats I assume because they really come through), pink tights and no skirt or shorts, hair in a bun.

 

The girls in her home studio went to class that first day looking like the cast of a Bad-News-Bears Ballet movie. One wore jazz shoes, the hair of some girls was all over the place, some had very, very long, ill-fitting skirts (couldn't even see the knee, let alone quads or hamstrings), etc.

 

The first class, my DD did receive a load of compliments from the teacher for her technique and was used as a example for the other girls to emulate.

 

She hasn't been going to the big city school for very long and truth be told, she said the corrections she received at the big city school weren't much different from her small town teacher, but the atmosphere was very different, very professional, everyone there wants to get it right and wants nothing more than to be there learning. The big city school is also associated with a professional ballet company and you can see some of them and the higher level dancers walking the halls going to their class rooms. Even their walks are amazing!

 

So this week, there was such a change in the rest of the girls, it was actually kind of funny. Everyone was dressed appropriately, they also concentrated very hard and the one 16 year old who was moaning and giggling came up to me after class and told me how excited she was that her Mom signed her up for a week at the big city school!

 

I think we all win on this one!

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That's nice to hear. My dd is also at a company associated school and she loves it when she can talk to the dancers or when they come in during extended session or adult classes. The atmosphere is quite different. I'm glad your dd had a positive influence on her class. That does sound win-win!

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