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Dealing with boastful/arrogant friend at ballet studio


Notoetape

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My DD has a good friend at ballet who has had a tremendous year this year. Multiple nutcracker roles, understudy for advance role in school performance, accepted to SAB SI ( DD was not) And boy! Does she let us Know about each and every single one. If the conversation is not about this girl and all she's accomplished, she finds a way to steer things back in her direction, even in a larger group this is the case. Apparently, this girl and one other have determined who are the best dancers in the studio, and make sure to socialize with only those they deem worthy. My DD is not high up on their list, so what once was a nice friendship had turned hurtful at times. The issue is, my DD still likes this girl, and is always excited whenever she is asked to do something with her, which is only when this girl needs something (a ride home, a place to go so she doesn't have to stay home alone, etc)-- the pecking order created is impacting DD confidence, so how do I help her get perspective on this friendship. They are in upper levels at studio, with not many kids in her level. Ignoring this boastful ballerina is not really an option!

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Moderator hat on:

 

Please note that I have moved this thread to the Parents of over 13 year olds forum as it was posted by a parent.

 

Notoetape - welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers! Sorry I had to move your first post! It's just a matter of finding the right location for your item.

 

:)

 

 

mom2

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Thank you! Now all we need is some advice! Btw: DD is not jealous of friend, quite the opposite, actually, but does get tired of friend needing to be constant center of attention. Even in class, when DD is given compliments, or asked to show combination, friend huffs and puffs and then says, "that was the worst class ever"!

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DD had a "friend" like this at dance. They started out as 'besties dance' buddies back when they were tiny (kindergarten age) and were fine until about middle school. Then, her friend (who was quite cute and petite and used to being a "pet" of older girls due to being 10 years younger than next oldest sister) started letting all the attention go to her head and was given to making snide, imperious remarks and lording it over everyone. When the girls started on pointe, she met everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) at the entrance door to the academy and bragged how she'd just gotten her pointe shoes, showing them, blah, blah, blah.

 

DD just let it ride. She stayed 'friends', but recognized what was going on and just tried to ignore it. Yes, it hurt---especially when that friend and another called one night to brag they were having a sleepover and DD wasn't invited and that both of them would be professional dancers before DD.

 

Honestly, it is just typical middle school stuff. Not that that makes it right, but I simply told DD to remember that her 'friend's' actions and behaviors said more about her than about DD or others. Yes, it made it a bit lonelier at dance without her long-time 'bestie' , BUT DD found she had several other friends who truly were friends, through thick and thin. Those three friends, now scattered all over the country, and DD still keep in touch, visit each other when possible, and always pick up right where they left off, no matter how long between visits or contact.

 

Sounds like your DD has the right approach---no jealousy and just continues on. Her 'friend' will become more tiresome to your DD as time goes on--unless the 'friend' minds her ways--and your DD will likely find truer friends to spend her time with. The friends with character are much more interesting and rewarding than those that are so full of themselves (often to hide their own insecurities or because they truly believe the world revolves only around what's important or pertains to them). DD's friends are seldom the 'most popular' or 'the beautiful people', but she has the most eclectic, warm-hearted, funny, self-secure, interesting, world-aware, and true friends.

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Sounds like there's at least 1 of those types at every ballet school in the world.

 

I will say this: A person who is confident in themselves, happy, secure, will not behave like that. I feel sorry for people who feel that need, because they will slowly end up alienating everyone around them. My advice to her is to develop new friendships and develop a thick outer crust. Now she'll know how to avoid people like that in the future, because she'll recognize the behavior.

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Wow! Thank you. I have tears in my eyes, as this is exactly what's going on now, and last night: DD got text from the BB ( boastful ballerina) asking "how DD was she doing" only to make it known that she was having a sleepover with their other good friend. Get this: this comes late in the evening, after they had gone together to see our city's professional ballet company's final show to which WE

bought the tickets! DD was sad but also realizes they are not true friends. The behavioral pattern has been the same with BB from the start of heir friendship, we just didn't see the pattern until recently.

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Here's the thing tho: BB is so clever in that she seduces kids into being her friend, while also employs two communication methods: 1)the "teacher hates me today" method used to get the "oh! No they don't. You were amazing in class today" or 2) the "the teacher said I have the most amazing and might be cast in (fill in the blank). This then gets all the kids (and parents) wondering if indeed she will get cast in some special role the others have no chance of getting. I just wonder why the kids don't see thru it all. They are mesmerized by BB.

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Unfortunately in life, we have to learn how to deal with people like this. They are found in all professions too. It's important for your dd to learn how to key in to recognize the red flags that go along with these types.

Red flag #1

"Oh the teacher hates me!!!!!"

Response this type is looking for: "Oh, no she doesn't. You were awesome!"

Proper response: "Oh, hm. Ok" Change subject.

 

Red flag #2

"The teacher said I'm getting cast as an amazing role because I'm awesome!!!"

Proper response: "Oh. hm. ok" change subject

 

She has to learn how to be absolutely neutral. She also has to learn how to protect herself, and anticipate the bad behavior. So she cannot say anything to play into the game. So take a wide variety of likely scenarios, and help her to come up with responses so she can feel empowered.

 

As she gets older she will have to learn how to recognize a similar type in prospective boyfriends, and it's much better to learn now!!! :wink:

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Just playing devil's advocate here a teensy bit, Notoetape, with all due respect to Clara76.

Although I totally agree that the behaviors you describe from BB are WAY out of line, I feel that the responses Clara suggests might be a little harsh, AND might be perceived as rudeness born of jealousy? I don't know... maybe I'm wrong. I definitely agree that the subject should be changed promptly when it seems that BB is about to go off, but maybe more appropriate to say something like, "Aww, we all have bad days.", or "Nice! Good for you!" (before you change the topic.) After all, there are times that ALL of our dancers will want to share exciting news with their dance friends, and I would hope that their peers would respond with kindness and encouragement. I understand that the situation Notoetape describes has gone far beyond that... but I still think it is better to take the high road.

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I agree, it's a fine line to walk, neutral without coming across aloof or envious. DD has taken high road so many times, she might as well be walking in the clouds! Maybe BB will get asked to stay for winter at SAB, (according to her, she WILL be asked) so this is problem just might go away (to NYC) by summer's end.

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Notoetape-

 

I can't help but thinking BB is riding for a fall and it makes me really sad for her. (I can be sad for her because I'm not subjected to her rude behavior.) I have seen a case where the 'best' dancer at 13 grew into her adult body and was not the 'best' dancer at 18. I'm really happy BB is having a great year, but it's just that, a year. I saw another case where an excellent & favored dancer was plagued by a nagging injury and actually demoted a level. It also sounds as if Boastful Ballerina suffers from Big Fish-Small Pond syndrome. There could be years of lousy casting, nagging injuries, or SI rejection letters... it's all part of the journey.

 

You've gotten great advice on how to deal with BB. Tell your DD to keep her chin up. :flowers:

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I hate to admit it, but when it comes to BB, some sort of cosmic ballet karma would be an amusement. I would not wish any harm, just a little dose of humility. Not a lot. Just a bit.

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When my eldest DD encountered the boastful ballerina in our school, I advised her to respond to every boast with a heartfelt and breezy, "you must be so pleased!" After BB heard that quite a few times in one afternoon, she realized how ridiculous she sounded and minimized her boasting ! My daughter couldn't believe how quickly the situation rectified itself!!!!

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learningdance

Capeme...I can imagine Edith or Mary from Dowton Abbey offering this response. How classy! It made me chuckle!

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Momof3darlings

I have to agree with Capeme. Sometimes a response like: " We are so happy for you! Now it would be nice for you to be happy for us as well!" is in order. Or "no, I didn't know you were accepted to SAB, when did this happen?". Passive-aggressive yes, but worse than overly boastful.

 

It's also a good time to explain to your DD about fair weather friends. Hoping that while she may have a few, she understands that she is important enough to have friends who honor her as much as she honors them. Hard to find, but good to know that's what to aim for.

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