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Ballet Talk for Dancers

having a parent as your ballet teacher


Millyc33

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Hello dancers!

I am looking for some advice from people who are in a similar position to me or just anyone Who has any positive advice really :) My Mom has been my main ballet teacher since I was about 10 years old- It Definetly has its advantages and I am so greatful for everything she has done for me.

Over the last few years I have found it quite difficult at times, mostly because I find it so much harder to control my emotions and thoughts when I'm having an 'off day' at dancing when my Mom is teaching me. She's Definetly a lot harder on me than everyone else in the class and although this is a good thing because it helps me to progress so much, emotionally I find myself getting frustrated and often upset hearing my Mom always correcting me in a 'less friendly' tone. We've discussed my problem often but she has told me that she can't change the way she teaches and she's only trying to help me- which I know and appreciate. however there are some days when I just do not enjoy class because I am too busy comparing the way My Mom is teaching me in comparison to the others in the class. I know other girls who have mothers who are teachers but chose not to learn off them because they understand the difficulities that arise, however My Mom is a FANTASTIC teacher and has done so much for me, and she is the only good teacher in my very small town so I do not want to change schools. Any advice on how to make my experiences in class happier for the both of us? We often end up arguing and I hate this! :(

Edited by Millyc33
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I would suggest having another talk with her. Find a good time, and approach it in a calm, well-thought out and mature manner. No emotions, no whining. The main thing you must tell her first is that you totally believe she is a fantastic teacher, you want to study with her, and you would NEVER try to change her teaching. You would just like for her to treat you in the same way she treats the rest of the class, not better, but certainly not worse. Her tone when correcting you is not the same as the others, and you feel hurt by that. You know that she expects more from you, and you will give her that, but you need to know that she also has confidence in you and respects you the way you respect her. :)

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I too am in this situation but the other way around...I teach my children. It can be difficult at times but we have frequent conversations about our different relationships. When we are in the studio it is purely a student/teacher relationship. As soon as we get in the car to come home, father/daughter (son) relationship. Those are hard lines to follow at times but adhering to that concept helps us in our multi-relationships. The most important aspect for us is the communication we have about the relationships. I would also mention that I do not correct all my students in the same manner. Each student will respond differently to various methods of delivery. A harsh tone may work well with "Sally" but would put "Jane" into tears. It is possible your Mom feels that the way she corrects you will work for you but not others. Have a chat as Miss Leigh suggests. ( At least you don't have Mom AND Dad teaching you as mine do. :o )

 

Remember, what happens in the studio STAYS IN THE STUDIO! It does not come home with us. (I can't stress that one enough.)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank-you very much for your advice, it was certainly very helpful! I did have a good talk to Mom and I feel like things are slowly getting better in class, now that she understands how frustrated it makes me feel. I know it is difficult though because sub-consciously she will always treat me slightly differently as a daughter rather than student but I feel like things are getting much better now that she's aware how I feel about the situation and we are both making an effort in class :) I most certainly agree about 'what happens in the studio stays in the studio' And I Definetly think that sticking to that theory makes life at home a lot easier for both of us!

Edited by Millyc33
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