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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Mean Teacher


Dancer830

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We live in a small town with very limited studios. MY DD has been a part of a studio since she was 3, she is now 16. DD is set to have the lead this spring in a well-known production. DD is a lovely dancer (accepted to many prestigous SI's), works very hard, is serious about her training and very respectful of her teachers. The main ballet teacher, unfortunately, has taken a keen dislike to DD because DD doesn't take private classes from her (all the rest do). The Dance Director was the one that has asked DD to perform this particular roll in the spring.

 

The ballet teacher, first day back after break, pulled DD aside and told her she wouldn't waste time teaching her the role, if DD didn't attend ALL classes. DD takes all except one because it interferes with an important college commitment. This teacher has ignored DD, humiliated amd belittled her in class, told her before Nutcracker (leading roll) that she would be awful and the list goes on...I have spoken to the Director who says the teacher is just "old school". I have gently approached the teacher and been told she doesn't understand the problem, I have told DD to just go in and dance and don't worry about her-"rise above it".

 

DD is very upset, rightfully so. My question is, should DD just drop all the classes with this teacher and give up a plum roll? Is the self-esteem hit just not worth it? Do the leading rolls really make a difference on a resume?

 

Thank you in advance for any opinions and thank you for reading my long post :thumbsup:

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A few thoughts-

True self esteem cannot be subjugated by mean teachers or people who, for whatever reason, take a dislike to you. True self esteem is a belief in oneself- a solid core of strength from which one pulls regularly. Conversely, true self esteem cannot be built by roles, acceptances to prestigious SIs, or happy teachers; it has to become a deep faith in yourself, especially for a dancer. I'm sure you know all of this, but bear with me for a moment.

 

So this would be a good time for some reflection between the 2 of you on the topic of self esteem. This could be a good learning experience and training for future personal relationships. Tell her to dig deep and to decide what she's really made of. The answer about what to do about this one role, this one situation, will come best from her.

 

I can say this much- this will not be the first time she is confronted by people who will attempt to tear her down....regardless the profession. How a person learns to navigate the murky waters of others' insecurities is a hard lesson learned and a great one to learn when young.

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Thank you Clara for your words of wisdom, they do indeed ring true. I have expressed these thoughts to DD, however I will be passing along your input as well. I believe that "hearing" this from a third, neutral party may have a little more impact than just "old mom".

 

DD spoke with a trusted teacher this evening who assured her all will be well. This teacher also reminded her that these personalities exist everywhere (as you also point out) and that she better learn to work with them if she truly wants a future in ballet. Only DD can make that decision and we, of course, would be supportive of any career path she chooses-ballet or otherwise.

 

On another note, I read DD your Recipe for Ballet and she was quite moved. DD asked me to print it so she could post it in her room. Thank you for that recipe, it is priceless :shrug:

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AW... Shucks!!! :shrug: I'm happy if I can help. :thumbsup:

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Thank you Clara for your words of wisdom, they do indeed ring true. I have expressed these thoughts to DD, however I will be passing along your input as well. I believe that "hearing" this from a third, neutral party may have a little more impact than just "old mom".

 

DD spoke with a trusted teacher this evening who assured her all will be well. This teacher also reminded her that these personalities exist everywhere (as you also point out) and that she better learn to work with them if she truly wants a future in ballet. Only DD can make that decision and we, of course, would be supportive of any career path she chooses-ballet or otherwise.

 

On another note, I read DD your Recipe for Ballet and she was quite moved. DD asked me to print it so she could post it in her room. Thank you for that recipe, it is priceless :shrug:

 

 

I just want to add, after rereading my response, that I did not mean to imply that all individuals involved in the professional dance world are like DD's teacher. There are just as many, if not many more that are lovely individuals working in a field they are passionate about and want to share. Afterall, dance is a moving art meant to be shared, is it not??

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