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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Dealing with boastful/arrogant friend at ballet studio


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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?


To provide full disclosure in this conversation, my DD has had a good year. DD was promoted a level, had amazing Nutcracker casting, and is also going to SAB this summer. Perspective is needed. My own DD has had some years of frustrations & struggles, and will likely have difficult years in the future.


From what you are saying, Boastful Ballerina seems to think one summer at SAB is a big indicator of career potential. Again, I think she is riding for a fall. There are many parents' posts over the years on BT4D who have had children attend SAB. Some have gone on to dance careers, college, or quit dancing entirely. Bodies change, injuries occur, & desires change.


Now... here's just hoping my DD does not end up with BB for her roommate! :angelnot:

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  • Notoetape


  • dancemaven


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The difference is your DD has had some struggles, so I'm sure she actually appreciates the rewards that come her way. Our BB is quite the opposite. She's had a good year, basically a good Nutcracker, got accepted to SAB, and now not only believes good things will always come her way, she expects it (or so it seems by her recent behavior). This is all fine. I just wish she would not look down on those who haven't fared as well this year (DD), and be more supportive and encouraging. I, too, hope for your daughter's sake, she doesn't get BB for a roommate. She'll know right away: she's the girl who is very sweet, very enthusiastic, but after class will say

(See OP)... The teacher hates me, blah, blah, blah....OR, the teacher keeps looking at me and smiling, blah, blah, blah....OR, I'm so good, I just know I'll be asked to stay, blah, blah, blah...

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And yes, you are correct, it dies appear that BB thinks acceptance to one summer at SAB creates a career. She also acts as if my DD non acceptance indicates that DD sucks at ballet and should get out of her way and quit already!

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Maybe I missed it somewhere, but what are the ages we are talking about here? I think that makes a huge difference.


Over the years, DD has dealt with the BBs as well. A lot have fallen by the wayside and do not dance anymore. Some left the studio and guess what? Even with all the self-promotion, they are still just at another studio. They haven't gotten anywhere. The world of ballet is very small, especially when the kids get older, and while some can put on a fake sweetness, we are finding out that their true self is seen and noticed by all. Those that are really talented, don't have to brag about how good they are.


As Hilary stated, one summer, or lack of summer, at SAB, does not make or break a career. We know of several dancers who were always accepted to SAB until their senior year when they were not accepted. We know dancers that were never accepted until their final year. We know of dancers that were asked to stay year round at SAB and found they hated it and left. We know dancers that were given full scholarships with housing, plane tickets, etc. and yet they either quit after a few months there or were not accepted into NYCB and quit. Anything can and does happen. Some that seem to be spectacular, find at age 16-17 that they no longer have the perfect body or all the other dancers that had been behind have suddenly not only caught up, but surpassed the former spectacular dancer. I think once BB gets to SAB and sees that she is a very small fish in a huge pond, it will change her attitude, although be prepared when the dancer comes back from the summer and brags about how well she did, whether it is a reality or not.


It is frustrating, but there will always be people like BB, even in companies. We have the choice whether to let it affect us. We have been so upset many times by the way some dancers have acted, what they get away with, and/or how they treat DD. In the end, we have always seen those dancers never really get anywhere while DD keeps trucking along and has learned to ignore the BBs. They have to learn to have blinders and just focus in on their own dancing. If you have to basically ignore the BB, then do it, but don't let them put you in a place where your daughter loses her love of dance or her confidence. You can't control BB, but you can control how she makes you and your daughter feel. Plus, I guarantee, if BB is doing this to your daughter, she is probably doing it to everyone else at the studio so know you are in good company and others might not be happy with BB either:)

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I've been following this conversation but not sure I have much to add other than, been there, done that and you are not alone! I think TwelfthNight summed up everything I have been thinking. I don't think you have ever stated the age but if we are talking about the younger end of the 13+ range for this part of the board, BB has a long way to go. A 12/13/14 year old BB has many years to try to maintain her high horse placement and it doesn't always work out the way they want it to.


And get the idea that SAB is the Holy Grail of dance training out of your head. It is the right place for some and many think it is the best but there are lots of great places to spend the summer and future years. Not everyone must go through SAB to make it in the dance world.

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One of our girls attended SAB last summer. She made many friends, but through this audition season she became nervous because speaking with those friends several did not get invited back.


So one year attending SAB doesn't guarantee anything, not even that you will be invited to return.

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Wow. This is very interesting, and to some degree helpful. BB (and mom) have us all convinced that once accepted to SAB one is always accepted to SAB, and if they don't see "it" in you at 13/14 years, they'll never see "it", and because DD was not accepted, she simply doesn't have "it"-

You've all been very helpful and insightful. Just wondering about SAB winter term. Is that audition similar to SI audition? I know they don't travel the country, but is their a different set of criteria used for students attending during the school year?

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Sending a hug your way, Notoetape. What your dd and you are going through is indeed painful. We have experienced it too, with the added bonus of the BB also setting out to destroy my dd by spreading lies behind her back. Time will heal the pain. Take care.

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Thank you! It has been a tough year. DD has a great attitude about it all, so hopefully one day, she'll experience the joy of being accepted to her favorite program, whatever/wherever that may be.

In the meantime, we have 6 more weeks until BB takes off to SAB.

One funny note to add: another girl in our studio was also accepted to SAB, but because BB was accepted first (different auditions), she insists she is the better dancer and that her audition was tougher because she auditioned earlier in the process. She even stated " by the end, they'll take just about anybody because they have to fill the slots" hence my DD must really be bad because she, too, auditioned later in the SAB schedule, and did not get accepted! (double whammy)

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BB and mom are drinking the SAB kool-aid. Anyone who claims they have it all figured out is just fooling themselves - and that earlier audition statement is just flat out rude and not based in fact. I could actually argue that it might get tougher later in the cycle because they have secured spots from the earlier audition acceptances and could have fewer available towards the end because of a higher than expected acceptance rate - but I actually don't think either is true and would be pure speculation anyway unless you have inside administrative information. Big, well run programs know how the numbers work and plan their tours accordingly. There is just no sense in trying to read more into it.


SAB is a big deal at our studio. My DDs have never chosen to audition because they don't like the very stylized affectations of SAB training and they get very solid Balanchine influenced training year round without the extremes that SAB introduces. There are seven dancers from our school attending SAB this summer. We usually have at least three or four accepted every year and have indeed seen girls accepted one year and not asked back the next. Even two acceptances in a row and the third year was a no. My personal opinion from watching the results over the past few years is that they are more focused on the body (read this as potential) in the earlier years (12, 13, even 14) but by 15/16 the whole package needs to be more fully formed. And sometimes it's just a complete puzzle to this mom watching from the sidelines. :nixweiss:


You will not find a definitive list of "top ballet schools" on BT4D. The site is structured to let you read all the good and bad of the various schools and make an informed decision because every dancer needs different things at different points in their training. What is great for one may not be a fit for another. During the frenzy of posts during SI audition time you can get a feel for the programs that seem to get more activity than others but that just means they are more well known, not that they are necessarily better. Take some time this summer to read back through the experiences of all the various programs. My DDs make a short list every year and target their top three or four programs. It has worked for us for two years now and takes some of the stress out of the process.


Good luck. This too shall pass.

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ballonne mama

I've been following this conversation but not sure I have much to add other than, been there, done that and you are not alone! I think TwelfthNight summed up everything I have been thinking. I don't think you have ever stated the age but if we are talking about the younger end of the 13+ range for this part of the board, BB has a long way to go. A 12/13/14 year old BB has many years to try to maintain her high horse placement and it doesn't always work out the way they want it to.


And get the idea that SAB is the Holy Grail of dance training out of your head. It is the right place for some and many think it is the best but there are lots of great places to spend the summer and future years. Not everyone must go through SAB to make it in the dance world.



Also on the Holy Grail SAB topic.... I will pass on an opinion we got at audition decision time from a wise ballet guru (with an impressive teaching resume' and her protege' all over the world in big-time companies) told us that she doesn't recommend SAB until at least age 16/17. She feels the Balanchine style is better explored once a very, very strong foundation in already in place and added that there are more injuries when studying Balanchine- especially during the years a kiddo is still growing.

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We too are not huge fans of the Balanchine style, preferring the clean technique of ABT and the aesthetic of Russian-based training. If your dd wants to add Balanchine training to her repertoire, she can do that at numerous places: PNB, Carolina, Pennsylvania Ballet, Boston Ballet, etc. SAB is only the holy grail if you have a strong desire to dance with NYC Ballet. My dd doesn't, so SAB is low on our list.


Ultimately, the BBs are only making themselves look bad. As the people around them mature, they begin to see that. "Truth is the daughter of time." I'd credit this quote, but I can't remember to whom to attribute it!

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I just want to point out that crazy braggart parents & children can be found in almost every walk of life:

"Betsy potty trained at 13 months!"

"Henry spoke full sentences at 15 months."

"Annie is 2 grade levels ahead in math!"

"Jenny is 3 grade levels advanced in reading."

"Sally placed 1st in the Little Miss Twirl Competition"

"Johnny got a million on his ACT/SAT"

"BB got accepted to SAB... and her acceptance was better than Maggie's acceptance because BB was accepted from a different audition" ... okay that one is new me and truly laughable! :P


Parents & children have a right to be proud of accomplishments, dance or otherwise. But in reality, our children are not a totality of their accomplishments. What they do is not who they are. Of course it brings great joy to DH & me when DD accomplishes something she works hard for. DH & I also share in DD's pain when she suffers disappointments.


In reading this thread, I'm still sad for BB. It's sad to need she and her mother feel the need to not only brag, but embellish. BB is in for a sad angry life when she doesn't feel the rest of the world recognizes the gift she believes she is to the world of dance. It's too bad. :(

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To clarify: BB and MOBB(mom of boastful ballerina) are always subtle, if not kind, in the way they boast/throw their superiority around. It's very subtle, but accumulatively, it's like getting clubbed in the head. MOBB was a prodigy herself at a nationally acclaimed, big city school/company, so she has a wealth of knowledge and first hand expertise that the rest of us at our little, mid-size city ballet school don't have. This is another source of greatness the BB and MOBB like to share with the group.

The confusing thing is that the story alters depending on how well you know the MOBB. I finally got the real story after she'd had a few too many drinks. She quit in high school, and never actually danced as a professional. Usually, this small fact gets trailed off when either tells the story. Often because they never get that far in the tale, others are dying to hear any inside scoop or opinions on technique she might be willing to share (which is not much), so she gets cut off right away with lots of jaw dropping oohs! And Ahhs! I, too, asked her lots of questions and felt lucky to know someone so connected to the elite ballet world. How or why she told me the absolute truth, I'll never know, but she did, so when BB pulls the story out of her arsenal, DD and I just shake our heads. She was the one who actually said that SAB auditions get easier, the later in the process. She did not attend SAB, so how she know this, I have no idea. I suppose it's an assumption she made based off of her overall expertise.

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