Je Suis Aimee Posted December 14, 2010 Report Share Posted December 14, 2010 In my two and a half years taking ballet, there were times I certainly felt like crying out of frustration after class, especially in the beginning, when I couldn't even do a soutenu. Now for the first time, I am, only I'm much more upset than I have ever been, and it isn't sheer frustration, it's genuine hurt and a feeling of helplessness. In a nutshell, my teacher totally had a go at me in class... Now I've pretty much grown accustomed to the fact that she very rarely sends a compliment my way and criticizes me freely, complete with exaggerated imitations and all... and to be fair, it's probably because she takes me seriously and thinks I can take it and that it motivates me. But today, she essentially implied that, away from the barre, I am useless at ballet. I don't do anything well. My arms are never good. That all of my movements are like I'm petrified of falling. And that apparently I'm just a total clumsy ox. That she tries putting the steps in slower (lie - that is extremely rare) and nothing helps. But, she finished, it's a good thing I'm so dedicated. I put 500% into ballet and it just felt like it was all being swept into a dustpan. It just left me feeling so crushed, like I don't even know what to do next. Almost, almost, like why even continue. If I am that clueless and inept, then apparently I need to go all the way back to square 1. But the ironic part is, I'm not clueless and inept. I know this, which is why it hurts as much as it does. And for the record, there is nothing I can't do en pointe, that anyone else in the school can. So it's not like I'm the moron of the school who just can't hack it. If anything, I'm one of the most advanced and able. Not to toot my own horn, but this is something I have observed with my own eyes. The other ironic part is that for a moment, I was contemplating going to a different school, to start learning everything from the very beginning. But then I was like wait a minute. My school is supposed to be teaching beginner ballet. In fact, tonight's class is supposedly adult beginner ballet, which is why I wear my pointe shoes. It was to strengthen my technique by getting to practice simple movements en pointe. But what basically has happened is this: almost no one comes to class, and true beginners come and almost rarely stay. So since it's usually just me and maybe one other person, the "beginner" class is now pretty much as hard as my int/adv technique class, if no real beginners show up. And en pointe, that is extremely difficult to do. This is where her style of teaching is starting to lose sense to me. It's not like I'm in a class full of people, where I am the only one who can't do what is asked, and I'm holding back the class. On the contrary - she makes the classes as difficult as they are, because of me. I'm one of those students that when I show up, you know the class is going to be harder. But it's too much too fast. The pointe classes, even the regular technique classes, have always seemed more with an intent to challenge than to teach, if that makes sense. We're almost never taught things step by step, or broken down into preparatory steps. It's more like, I wonder what crazy advanced move she's going to throw our way today. But to get back to my point - if I'm so inept at the things she's throwing my way, then why in the world not take it down a notch? It's not like there is anyone to be prejudiced by that! It's also driving me utterly berserk the way she takes something I can't do well yet - pirouettes en pointe, for example - and instead of practicing them, she'll put them in super fast and exhausting exercises. If it is clear as day I can't do something yet, what is the point in making it even harder?? I yearn to learn everything about ballet - everything about the arms, the head movements... everything. I'm probably a teacher's dream. I'm a perfectionist, completely thirsty for every single little detail. I'd gladly start again at the very beginning. But she never really went about it that way. It's like, imagine going to a calculus class, and you spend a little time in chapter one, and then you jump to chapter 4, and then to chapter 9. That's what this feels like. Like I'm being set up to fail. Me killing myself trying to do these advanced movements, without the built up technique or even the strength. And then getting railed that I'm just "afraid" or inept or whatnot. Obviously the answer is I need to express to my teacher that I need to get myself to the kind of class where I will be taught, as slowly as is required, everything down to the tiniest detail about ballet technique and how to do it well. The funny thing is, it presumably should have been her teaching me that. I'm starting to suspect though, that she doesn't have the patience to do so, which is why she's handling her classes at the super accelerated pace she is. I'm also starting to think she has abnormally high expectations of me...or something. I mean to demoralize someone like that, when they're one of your best students... it just doesn't make sense. *sad sigh* If you've made it this far, thanks. My mom thinks she was probably having a bad day or something, and took it out on me. Any advice, commiseration etc. is appreciated. Quote Link to comment
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