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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Dealing with boastful/arrogant friend at ballet studio


Notoetape

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Guest Blossoming ballerina

 

This has been a good thread to follow.

Dealing with dancers like this are valuable life lessons.

Sometimes these are the best times to teach these lessons.

Your dd has been exposed to this situation and will get through it because you are aware of it and guide her.

It certainly is a good idea to acknowledge BB but to keep the comments low key and not add to her ego, is also the best idea.

The other dancer in question will to learn a valuable lesson but as said in previous posts it might take her being knocked down a peg or 2 - so to speak, beforehand.

My dd has learnt some very valuable life lessons through similar situation. Hard at the time, but maturity kicks in and these lessons become part of there tool box to handle the next situation.

 

Hope it all works out :)

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Drivingtodance

My dd has dealt with this type too. She found the best way to handle it was as others have suggested, a sincere, "Oh, that's great," and a change of subject. It also helped to withhold results of SI auditions, talks with the AD, and scholarship information just to avoid adding fuel to the fire, so to speak. I agree that this is usually a case of small pond, big fish, coupled with typical teen insecurity, and as dancers get out in the larger scene and see where they stand, hopefully they gain a dose of humility. It's not easy for her when your dancer is going through it, but a life lesson, for sure!

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Here's where I get confused, though. BB was accepted to SAB, and every other SI she auditioned for, so that reinforces that she is indeed a good dancer, right? SAB was her first audition, and when she got accepted she let everyone know, and hasn't stopped talking about it since. This seems to have influenced the teachers, too. SAB is the holy grail of ballet schools, right?

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No one says these type folks (like BB) are untalented. Often, they are. But, in my observation, these boastful, attention-craving folks are either quite insecure or honestly do believe the world revolves around them as the center and are truly oblivious to persons, events, feelings that don't directly impact them. Some of these latter are annoying, but not mean-spirited, but it does take a bit of getting use to them.

 

However, those that are insecure or full of themselves and seek attention at all costs are simply bores with boorish behavior. They will either learn to trust their talents and as they feel more secure will act more humbly or they will drive most caring folks away.

 

But, either way, no one said they don't have talent.

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Drivingtodance

The acceptance means she has the attributes that particular auditioner is looking for on that particular day. Yes, obviously there is talent there. However, we know of older dancers accepted to SAB that could not do a clean double, but had the perfect body for ballet. I don't know how old BB is, but for SAB the body and feet seem to trump all. As for being the "holy grail of ballet schools," that depends on the person you ask! It doesn't mean your dd does not have talent if not accepted there. However, an acceptance doesn't give BB the right to brag. People will be much happier for a humble dancer!

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DI agree that a little humbleness goes a long way. As far as BB goes, she deserves good things to come her way like all other hard working dancers. The boastfulness is one thing, it's the huffs and puffs when she's not the center of attention, and DD is, that are frustrating. I'm comforted knowing there are BB at other studios, and who knows maybe she'll find a companion at SAB who boasts as much as she does.

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The BB doesn't even have to be particularly boastful about her accomplishments. I have spent a few hours in the last few days listening to moms of dancers in a different level from my dd talk about their dds' recent experiences with a certain BB and the clique that has developed, excluding others when they were all friends prior to BB's taking on this "queen bee" type role within the class.

 

The girls at this level don't go to away SIs (they do begin to in another year) and don't get leads. So, it's not even those types of things. I should not even say girls because the boy in that level feels it as well. I've heard that directly from him.

 

My dd and I have noted that the BBs before this one have all disappeared. The worst offender that she encountered at ballet doesn't even dance at all anymore. Same for the another one from another level. Not sure what that means, but found it interesting.

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Is this type of behavior more prevalent at smaller schools or schools attached to professional companies? Just curious if it's clear across the board, or if one promotes more competition? Aldo, how big is big when it comes to ballet schools? Ours has roughly 150 kids spread out over 7 levels, the higher levels have only about 15 kids each, so it's hard to ignore the BB on a class that small.

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Momof3darlings

It is not a ballet school issue. It's an individual pre-teen/teenager issue that happens to occur in a ballet school. It happens in any environment that is competitive, even academic schools.

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I watched a BB systematically work her way through friends at our school. At each step she befriended a girl who was just a little bit of competition for her, a level higher, or cast in what was deemed a "better" more challenging role in our annual production. The mom would befriended the friend's mom, and they would be a little isolated group by themselves. They would do everything together, until BB consistently seemed to begin to get better roles, or got moved up a level, or was accepted to an SI that the friend was not. The the passe friend would be "unfriended" ~something you can actually do nowadays thanks to social media, and a new best friend would be in place. Past best friend and her mother would kind of be left standing there not knowing what they had done to be excommunicated in such a way. The cut off was complete; BB would even get up and walk across the room to stretch someplace else if passe friend tried to sit near her.

 

I never would have thought this was real if I had not seen it with my own eyes. It was very disruptive to the girls who wanted to be friends with everyone and couldn't understand why they couldn't have a birthday party and invite everyone. It was like something from a Real Housewives TV show.

 

This BB and her mother have thankfully left our studio. BB was and is very talented; but she did not leave a fan base behind. And now that DD is older, they are actually quite proactive to make sure no one's ego gets in the way of a happy dance place again. The girls plan functions together, and hold "friendship circles" in between shows, where they bond and communicate and share.

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Wow! This, too, sounds exactly like what our BB is doing. The mom, too. I used to hear from the mom all the time. Now, it's rare, if ever, I hear from her unless she's had a problem with her husband, and needs to vent about him. Before my DD found out she was not accepted to SAB, I heard from the mom frequently because she knew I had multiple options for accommodations near Lincoln Center. After we got the news, her "friendship" went completely radio silent. It's no wonder where the BB learned some of her behavior.

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I watched a BB systematically work her way through friends at our school. At each step she befriended a girl who was just a little bit of competition for her, a level higher, or cast in what was deemed a "better" more challenging role in our annual production. The mom would befriended the friend's mom, and they would be a little isolated group by themselves. They would do everything together, until BB consistently seemed to begin to get better roles, or got moved up a level, or was accepted to an SI that the friend was not. The the passe friend would be "unfriended" ~something you can actually do nowadays thanks to social media, and a new best friend would be in place. Past best friend and her mother would kind of be left standing there not knowing what they had done to be excommunicated in such a way. The cut off was complete;

This is exactly what BB does. It appears almost calculated.

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My advice to you is really and truly to let it go. I found that I felt that the whole situation was so unfair, and I couldn't believe that they were "getting away" with behaving so badly. I found myself calling attention to it as often as I could.

 

BB's mother's excuse was always "jealousy." That others were jealous. And because I was so shocked and indignant; I probably certainly looked jealous. I said things I really wish I had not said. I certainly would not want my daughter to follow my lead.

 

Always take the high road. As long and you make sure you are decent and do not lower yourself to their level, you will always be able to hold your head up.

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