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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Worst performance ever leads to "promotion"..? Report from the ballet trenches

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It's been an interesting year.  DD15 moved from long-time studio to a new, very small and intensive program.  She was the new kid on the block with a bunch of other long-time proteges of this particular teacher.  

Spring performance was her worst ever!  For the first time EVER she blanked out on stage, in a piece she knew cold, and said she didn't know where she was the rest of the piece.  Missed a cue and almost came in late on her solo.  Walked the wrong way a couple times.  Small mistakes from the audience perspective but she felt this was her opportunity to show this teacher he could trust her, could give her more roles and responsibility, etc etc.  The mistakes stood out and she felt that not only did she fail, but that she possibly ruined ANY chance she had because now he would never give her a chance and she would just languish.  She was in tears and so disappointed in herself.

Fast forward two weeks.  He tells her he looked over all the photos from the show, that her photos are beautiful, her lines have improved dramatically, she is far and away better than even in December, he would like to step up her training for YAGP, etc.  He is VERY conservative about entering dancers at YAGP, especially for a full two classicals and a contemporary.

We have been waiting for feedback since September.  Did not even know if he would train her for YAGP next year - she'll be 16!  I had a sinking feeling at the performance, she is just not where she should be.  And now here we are!  I guess you just never know until you know, and then of course you still know nothing at all.  But let's just say DD is no longer wallowing in regret over the performance!

Ballet has surprised us yet again.

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LOL.  I -- personally -- have given up trying to anticipate reactions and feedback to performances. 

It's the preparation and hard work in the "trenches" that makes the biggest difference.  Performances are live art, and out of your DD's control.  It's a good lesson to learn about time and perspective, though. 

Congrats to your DD on her hard work. 

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Elf Font

Thanks for sharing your story, RaisingBallerina. It's a nice example of thinking the worst, but not really knowing how your performance is viewed by other people. 

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Everyone makes mistakes. What matters is how you recover, and what you do after.  Keep up the hard work, and good luck at YAGP. Definitely go for it!

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