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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Dealing with boastful/arrogant friend at ballet studio


Notoetape

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Also, as far as BB being sad that the world won't recognize all she has to offer, that simply WILL. NOT. HAPPEN. BB knows the ballet world will recognize her and her glorious-ness. In fact, the ballet world will not only recognize it, but the ballet world will be lucky to have her.

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Momof3darlings

One thing that is most important to remember is that if you spend too much time focusing on someone like the Boastful Ballerina, then you are not only giving in to exactly what she wants (your focus on her journey). But you are and can also be taking what is an individual journey of your own dancer or dance parent and allowing someone else to make you think your path isn't important. So......someone from a studio gets into a program that no one else in the studio does. Big whoop! Move on and concentrate on the journey you're own. Yes, I know these types can make life hard. But as much as you'd like to, you can't control them. You can only control you. So instead of continuing to decipher every little thing about their journey, how about simply stopping and focusing on your own. That you can control.

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So true and so important to remember!

While it might seem we are hyper-focusing on this particular child all the time, this is not the case. People are posting opinions and I'm responding with tales of what's transpired over nearly seven years, and truly ramped up over the past few months, hence my OP. I am truly appreciative of all the insight and opinions of those who know much more about it than me.

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My DD is doing great, as a terrific attitude, and is very happy to know BB. She only wishes she'd be more supportive, but also understands this May not be BB nature, and so it's up to DD what type of friendship to have with her. She adores her regardless of the level of their friendship.

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Clair De Lune

Every one of us is on a different trajectory. Sometimes my dd feels ignored in class, that she isn't valued by the AD, that her peers are moving ahead of her, or that somebody is achieving something that she is not getting, and I have to step back and look at the bigger picture. In preschool, the teachers used to hold up the children's artwork and say (with a wink) to the parents, "It is the process, not the product." I believe this wholeheartedly about ballet as well. The end products: a good role in the Nutcracker, a company position, a scholarship, are shining moments, but should not distract from the beauty in the process of learning to dance and dancing. To some people, we "don't have what it takes" and to others, we are awesome and amazing. What matters most is the work and the joy. I hope your lovely dd finds a wonderful SI and gets the chance to shine very soon.

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One of our challenges with this particular situation is that BB's level of success is truly remarkable against most standards, so it is difficult not to analyze her path. Her trajectory has been very successful, plus she does work hard, not harder than any of the other kids, but she certainly is not lazy. Does she hold the only recipe for success? No, of course not. But since we've seen no other dancer succeed at her pace, it was hard not to wonder, especially when I know so little about this world.

That being said, I have witnessed the first fall from the studio pedestal, so I have now seen with my own eyes, that a fast rise to the top early on guarantees nothing long-term: In first grade, a girl announced she was going to be a professional ballerina. She had the desire, attitude, work ethic, etc. she was rewarded top Nutcracker roles, etc. I watched in awe and amazement how this child and her parents walked around the studio with a focus and determination, like I'd never seen in my life.

Puberty came early to this other ballerina, and her decline, which was slow at first, picked up speed this past year,and now she's been completely displaced. It was hard to look her parents in the eye when casting was announced for the school recital, as their daughter's pain and disappointment reflected in their eyes. It had never dawned on them that puberty would get in the way of their DD dreams.

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Notoetape (cute name) we are dealing with a similar issue. It is hard I know, but I keep reminding my DD that her turn will come and that good things happen for those who work hard and keep a good attitude! There is something very powerful in knowing that you have not yet reached your potential, it pushes you to keep working.

I know from other life experiences that when a child achieves 'greatness' (or success on any level) they often get a big head and they start to act and think that they are superior to others. When that happens the openness to learning is diminished, and they will start to experience less success because they already think they are the best, they just stop being hungry to get better. If that makes sense.

Encourage your DD to ignore BB and just focus on being her best! Hugs to you both :-)

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Yes! Such good advice, and DD and I talked about this very thing last night!

 

Thanks to all for the wonderful support (you included!) We appreciate the insight regarding SAB and all the suggestions on how to deal with this situation. DD suggested we travel to NYC to see the school, a ballet and look around the city to get a feel for whether or not it would even be a good fit for her, which I think is a brilliant idea. SAB may be best fit for BB but May not be for DD. Just because they are friends doesn't meant they want the same things as dancers.

 

Hugs to all:)

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TwelfthNight

Notoetape, DD has friends who are considered the best of the best in the ballet world (not professionals yet). These are the kids that are given full scholarships to SAB, Royal Ballet, PNB, Ellison, Houston, Boston, etc. One thing stands out. They are all nice kids that are humble. They realize they have to work hard and even then they will be fortunate to get a company position. Others DD knows are not humble, but instead are self-serving and haven't gotten anywhere really. Some were given multiple full scholarships in their younger teens, but when they had to come to the table with the "goods" in their later teens, they found they were now on equal footing with others their age and the scholarships and notoriety vanished. As I said before, those who are good, don't have to brag about how good they are.

 

Did BB get a full scholarship to SAB? If so, than I can see they might be interested in her for the year round. DD has friends who were asked to stay year round at SAB and they were all given full scholarships for the summer and the year. So, my point is not that you can't be asked to stay without a full scholarship, but that BB will find other dancers at SAB that are there for free. These kids are very talented and have potential in spades. BB will find she is a small fish in a large pond. Hopefully, it will bring BB back down to earth and she will see that to make it, she will need to be thankful and kind to those around her and not to think anything is a given as far as a career. There are so many talented kids out there all looking for that coveted contract. Nothing is a given and things can and do change. All you can do is focus in on your journey and ignore the rest.

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Notoetape

BB did not get a scholarship to SAB. She didn't get a scholarship to any of the SI she to which she was accepted. She was accepted to those she auditioned, SAB being the first. I haves feeling that she has no idea how good other dancers just might be. She will find out soon enough.

We do appreciate all the various comments y'all have made. We had no idea kids got scholarships, airfare, housing, etc. so that's been very enlightening. Also, the ebb and flow of acceptance is also very interesting and encouraging. Thanks so much. DD and I feel much better about the entire situation.

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Notoetape

Sorry for the whacky spell check. I should edit everything prior to touching the post icon.

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dancemaven

You can edit your own post. Use the 'edit' in the lower right-hand corner of the post. :wink:

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My DS has been offered full scholarships to every SI he auditioned for (even a top European one based on only 3 photos). He didn't audition for SAB as his AD advised against. So plenty of good dancers go elsewhere.

I accept that scholarships are generally biased towards the boys- but he has also had consistent feedback from a lot of very experienced and international calibre teachers/ADs etc that he has what it takes to become a principal. BUT he is completely humble, takes NOTHING for granted and would be grateful just to be offered a job! At 16 he knows very well what it takes to succeed. Not only this- I think he is far, far more aware of and focussed on what he still has to learn to become as good as the professionals he admires than he is aware of his own'brilliance', and I find this is true of all the dancers at his vocational school. In fact what seems to mark out the serious vocational dancer is an awareness of their own faults (sometimes to a worrying degree).

 

Your BB sounds like she's either just very young and ignorant or very immature. A fast rise at a young age (and if she is so talented and this is her first SI one assumes she must be fairly young or she would be coming a bit late to the arena!) is no guarantee of future success.

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Sustained success in ballet takes talent, focus, and I don't know if I would call it humility - because a great deal of self confidence is needed - but a certain kind of discipline and autonomous, tenacious motivation and drive. I know of a dancer who seemingly had the perfect facility and a beautiful quality of movement as well. She was the apple of the AD's eye at her home studio. She went away to SAB (but it could have been any number of top programs) one summer & she was never the same afterwards. She couldn't deal with the fact that there were indeed other dancers who were outshining her. She got into a roomful of dancers who were EACH the apple of their own AD's eye & she crumbled. The dancers who will succeed are the ones who (aside from being talented & well trained) are inspired in such circumstances.

 

I will also say that I believe that dancers must have a certain kind of self-centeredness, because they must pay careful attention to their body which is their instrument in this art form, but not self-centeredness in the way you describe.

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Notoetape

It will be very interesting to see how she does with a different group of dancers.

 

What I've realized reading all these posts is that DD has her own journey, and it's up to me to support her. An SAB acceptance/rejection is not going to impact her career to the extent BB thinks it will, which takes a lot of the pressure off DD. It sounds as if most of the kids who are the stars at 13/14 yeas old, don't always sustain the level of stardom, as much as they'd like to believe they will. At our studio current ability determines casting, there is no grooming or developing. It's all about the here and now, so if you're doing great NOW, you get cast in a better role. There are no chances taken. It puts a lot of pressure on the kids who are still growing into themselves as people and dancers. What comes first? The confidence, then the roles? Or, the roles and then the confidence? I have to say that the girl who went thru puberty and has been dethroned at out studio, took a lot of opportunities away from kids who would've loved the chance to have even one or two of the parts she received.

 

I love hearing about all the truly exceptional dancers out there. It's wonderful to know there are humble kids out. Hopefully DD will meet them one day!

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