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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Dealing with negative comments from peers


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Yes, it's always okay. I don't agree with anyone all the time and can expect no less of another. However, that doesn't negate having an opinion and offering it based on how a discussion (collective) is going.


And since further discussion was offline, let's keep the thread to what is a discussion between several members about this issue. :clapping:

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Oh my goodness! We have been there! My DD almost quit ballet because of all of the negativity and really hasn't been the same joyous dancer since. She's always looking out for someone to pounce. She's starting to outgrow it at 15, but all but had a breakdown when winning a coveted role 2 years ago. She was accused of all sorts of things, but it really was the parents as bad as it was the students. I'm a teacher, and I've never confronted one child without having both parties present. All this school did was accuse, and not tell us where it came from. Very unfair, and very damaging. We are still working on her self esteem. But as stated, her ballet friends have become some of her very best friends....

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Thoughtful interview with Susan Jaffe that might be helpful to young dancers. The interview was published here a few years ago: http://www.dance.net...usan-Jaffe.html It goes on a good bit longer and has some good photographs.


A: So a big, three-month rehearsal period happens, and I was getting some parts and people were whispering, Whos the new girl? Whos the new girl? Nobody would talk to me.

Q: Oh, no!

A: Yup, I mean [says more emphatically] NOBODY would talk to me.

Q: Do you mean the corps? Or the corps and soloists?

A: I mean nobody, except there was this one girl who came up to me. At the time, people called me Suzy and now people call me by the name Susan because I dont like Suzy. She came up to me and said, [does another fabulous imitation with a slight Southern inflection] Suzy, everybody hates you, but Im not like that. I want to get to know you before I decide whether I like you or hate you so lets go have dinner. [laughter]

Q: Perfect! [more laughter] Now do you think they hated you because you were so beautiful or because you were getting parts or

A: Because I was getting parts.

Q: Okay, so they were just completely jealous of that fact.

A: Yeah, well, it was because of Baryshnikov and why is Baryshnikov giving her parts and

Q: But its also because of your talent. I mean, you had the whole package which is intimidating.

A: I suspect thats why.

Q: I mean, its still not any easier to deal with that kind of behavior, but at least theres a reason.

A: Yes, and we did go out to dinner and became fast friends.

Q: Good! She crossed that line!

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