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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Dealing with boastful/arrogant friend at ballet studio


Notoetape

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Your student dancer, like mine, like probably most everybody else's, will always encounter dancers who are more advanced technically, who have better facility, who have more of this, and more of that (fill in the blanks). That's just par for the course. Try not to be envious, but genuinely happy for those who succeed at any given moment, although a boastful attitude shown by a successful student can make this difficult. Encourage your daughter to see the success of others as an inspiration, not as something that potentially holds her back. It has been said many times before, but it is worth repeating: enjoy the journey - nobody knows what the "result" will be, and even if you reach the loftiest goal, it is still a darn difficult career.

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TwelfthNight

I thought I had said everything I needed to say, but I was reading this thread to DD and DH and another interesting angle came out of the ensuing discussion. Notoetape, you said BB tends try to make herself the center of attention and when your daughter is being noticed in class, BB tries to turn the attention towards herself with the huffing and puffing. Is it possible BB is jealous of your daughter?

 

Most of the BBs that DD has encountered have been singular in their determination to be nasty to DD and usually one other kid in class. They tend to be very nice to those they feel will get them something and/or those who are no competition to them. We call it the "fan base". Dancers that are competition to the BBs are usually the target of the meanness or they are the ones that have to take the brunt of the bragging behavior. Even though your daughter didn't get into SAB and get the extra roles in the performances, maybe BB sees something in your daughter that she feels is a threat to her.

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If BB carries this sense of superiority with her in class (and you do mention she huffs & puffs!) then the teacher must be aware of her behaviour. Good teachers know EXACTLY what is going on in class, on every level. I would NEVER put up with that @ my studio no matter how talented the student was. Everyone gets along together or they're out! Class fees received to teach a 'hobby dancer' are identical to those paid to teach a 'pre pro dancer' and so both class places deserve equal

standing.

Maybe if you had a word with teacher she would follow through with a general announcement about getting along, everyone has strengths & weaknesses etc.

Poor behaviour only continues if adults allow it too!

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Dancemad, that is how it is at DD's studio...if there is any hint of poor behavior it is dealt with swiftly but delicately. Sometimes a quick call or note to the teacher to let them know something is brewing can help them to keep everyone working together.

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

 

 

 

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!

 

to add- another student at DSs school has just been accepted into the youth company of ballet company probably considered one of the top 5 in Europe. She is just 16. The only time I have ever heard her talk about her own performance (and this is a girl who I saw perform the Rose Adagio impeccably at 14 years old) is when she said she had made a right pig's ear of it after a solo she wasn't comfortable with (though not quite in those words as she isn't English!). I don't think it would ever occur to her to boast- she's too busy working to improve!

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MamatoMary

Poor behaviour only continues if adults allow it too!

 

Exactly! We have one of those at DD's studio (although the girls use the term BB as short for "Ballet Bully"). As young as 9 or 10 this girl would be nasty to others and say things like "When I'm Clara ..." or "When I'm in the Junior Company ..." She would travel too fast or turn the wrong way and run into others - always blaming the other person. Well, when she was old enough to be Clara or join the Junior Company the teachers had had enough of her as well, and they wanted girls who are nice to others in those positions. She also got into a three-letter SI last summer and bragged and bragged and bragged about it all spring, but has said nothing upon her return throughout the year. She doesn't even wear the t-shirt everyone gets at those places. So, I guess she did find out she was an itty bitty goldfish in a sea of sharks.

 

BTW, I tell DD that there are some things in life you deserve but won't get, and there are some things you will get that you don't deserve. Nothing means a thing until you have that company contract signed, sealed, and delivered.

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  • 1 month later...

We've dealt with this plenty at our studio. At our studio, the "fabulous" dancers are all friends and pretty much ignore anyone they don't feel is fabulous. Not really a big deal, until good friends become "fabulous" and you realize they weren't such good friends after all.

 

My daughter tried to stay friends through the false modesty and the showing off ALL the time and being blown off for the fabulous ones, because she truly considered her a good friend, and I think also because she didn't want to appear jealous. But when the kid started parroting the teacher to my daughter any time the teacher gave my daughter a correction ("Yeah, you need to point your toes more", "Yeah, you totally messed that up"), it was becoming hurtful and I told her to just find someone else to stand next to. She is of course polite to the kid and friendly when SHE is friendly, but there's no point to go out of her way to be friends with someone who is so willing to stomp on her feelings.

)

I think the most important lesson she has learned is how NOT to be. She is careful with the feelings of others when she gets something they don't. She doesn't brag, and she tries to be friendly to everyone, whether they are at her level or not, whether they are younger or her age. And this can be hard for her. Being treated like she doesn't matter by the fabulous people has made her much shyer than she was before getting serious about dance, but she still tries to make sure no one is left out or on their own. And when I see her making sure a new girl doesn't feel left out at lunch breaks at intensives or talking with a little girl who just wants to hang out with the big girls, it makes me proud.

 

We're not perfect. She and I both have had our bitter moments over shabby treatment (she's much better about that than her mother, I'm embarrassed to say). No one wants to be mistreated and mamas get ornery when their babies are hurt. But we talk about it, and try to focus on the good things going on, the good friends, and not the ones who have abandoned her or been rude. And I do believe that these things tend to be cyclical. The flavor of the month often changes. Bodies change and girls who were fabulous lose their edge. But after seeing the way these girls act, my daughter (I hope) will always remember, even when the winds of fortune blows in her direction, to be kind, inclusive and to not forget the girls who have been there for her for years.

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  • 4 months later...

Notoetape said: I haves feeling that she has no idea how good other dancers just might be. She will find out soon enough.

 

This is what I was thinking as I read through this thread . . . I had a daughter attend SAB one summer, and the level of dancing was pretty incredible. This girl might be right in the mix, but chances are having that many dancers in the same room of such a high caliber will be a new experience for her.

 

My daughter enjoyed SAB, but in reality, unless you want to dance with NYCB, there are plenty of places to get awesome training and we've decided (at this point) she will try other places out and see what's out there.

 

I realize this thread is a few months old, and the BB is back home now (unless she got asked to stay for the winter) . . . hopefully it was a good experience for her and maybe she's toned it down a bit. :)

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