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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Need Help ASAP


starlightdreamer

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I've been thinking about asking for advice on here for a while now, and because I'm feeling more down, discouraged, and generally sad than ever, I felt like it was time to share. Fair warning that this post is going to be very, very long, but I really do need some help.

[edited to remove because too much personal/identifying information]

Last night I had a breakdown because of all the stress I'm feeling both at dance and at school of rejection, being disliked by my teacher, lack of sleep, not being able to get the grades I want, etc. I don't know whether I should dance during this summer or focus on school things; even if I do dance, I'm not sure I want to. I don't want to quit ballet, but I'm not sure I can continue to do this. When I dance at school (jazz/modern), I'm so so much happier and enjoy what I'm doing. The problem is that there are no other good studios near me that I can get to easily that I could dance at. There's an option at my current school of taking just 2 classes per week and not being a part of shows. . But even though I don't want to be a professional dancer, i still want to improve in ballet.

I don't know what to do, but obviously what I'm doing now isn't working. I would appreciate any advice you could give me, because something has to give before I go crazy (I can't verify that hasn't happened yet). Thank you in advance for your help, it is hugely appreciated.

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Ballerinakat, it sounds like you have reached a point in your life faced by many young dancers around your age. I think maybe you need to read through your entire post again, and then start thinking very hard about what you really want to do in your life. You have stated several times that you do not want to be a professional, but you are trying to cope with a program geared towards that goal. Think very carefully about what is really your top priority, and what it will take to get there. Have a sit down discussion with your parents, and also with your teacher or AD and your academic school counselor. You need to figure out a plan where you can accomplish your main goals and still have other things which are important in your life. If that top priority is dance, then of course you may have to let go of some other things, but, if it is not dance, then you need to find a way that you can still do that but not with the same intensity. One does not have to be in an intensive program to continue to dance. If you love it, then find a place to dance where you are happy and appreciated and can do it without the competitiveness of the top pre-pro programs.

 

I think you know that Ballet is a very, very tough way to make a living, and that there are way more qualified dancers than there are jobs. One needs to be very driven to continue striving for that goal, but one can love to dance and take classes and perform and have it a part of your life forever with just a slightly different purpose than those who have only that as a goal. Right now dance is causing you to beat yourself up, creating negativity that is affecting other areas of your life. That is not healthy!

 

You are not crazy at all, and it is not even that unusual to be where you are now. But I think you are smart, and very capable of figuring out what you really want to do with your life, and of seeking the right counseling to help you do that. No one does it alone. Parents, teachers, counselors are there to help and support. Use them.

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Thank you so much to both of you for your advice. It is so needed and so, so appreciated.

 

For now, I'm just going to keep chugging on... I love to dance, and will hopefully see some improvement in the next few months. If worse comes to worst, however, I do dance at school (modern/jazz) and may be able to reduce my hours if I talk with my teacher so that ballet isn't so stressful/miserable anymore for me, because that's not what ballet is supposed to be like!

 

Again, many thanks, and I will keep you updated.

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