Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

I got annoyed by this adult classmate


Recommended Posts

Sylbergreydancer; yes "if it was said in a helpful manner".. right?

You got a good point!  I was actually given a small correction (just arm position) while were doing combination by another older lady who I later found out used be a soloist.  She approached me with a smile and in a very good timing (=right after I danced in a group)  I said "thank you" because I did appreciate. 

But the lady in this story pointed out my "turnout" level... It sounded like my general style more than correction of a certain step.  And the way she explained was like a teacher's and not friendly at all.

Edited by LaLaDancer
Link to comment
  • Replies 40
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Redbookish


  • Ballerinamom2girls


  • Chasse Away


  • LaLaDancer


I've gotten corrections from a few more experienced dancers and been grateful for it--"did you know you sickle a little in your passe en dedan?" "No, no I didn't!! Omg! Thank you!"
A correction like "DiD YoU KnOw YoU hAvE tO TuRnOuT?!" is so obvious that is is unhelpful. Everyone knows we turnout in ballet unless you are at the most basic, basic level and don't know how to type "ballet" into a search engine. I'd stay away from this person because those kinds of comments can snowball and create a weird environment of dominance, permitting more dominating behavior. Some 70yos are sharp, able, self-aware and talented; some 70yos are completely fried. 

Link to comment

I still don't think this is a matter of age. I personally believe it is rude to correct a fellow dancer in class regardless of class level, age, or expirence. I don't care if you are the former principal of the Bolshoi Ballet, if you aren't the teacher of the class you have no business correcting other people, as that's disrespect to the actual teacher. Anyone with enough knowledge to give corrections should also have the knowledge that it is rude to do so unsoliciated.


The obvious exepction is mainly questions regarding the exercise or choreography.  

Link to comment


That's right!  As you said, I thought "you have to turnout more" was a very insensitive comment...  What embarrassed me is that she showed me her 'tendu - side' saying "you have to turnout totally (180-degree)" in the locker room.  I was very annoyed and just said "I tried to...(because I'm obviously not 180-degree-rotated)"  Then I added "I got injured when I was younger and had a break for a while."   Then I explained that I used to be much more flexible like no problem for splits etc.   The lady may have felt sorry, then said "I'm not so flexible" and then said "oh, you got injury, huh? .... It'll come back!"   

The next lesson day, she even didn't look at me.  

By the way, 'I got injury' part was not true, but I had a long break for reasons.  What if it was true story?  I think 'you have to turnout totally' could be an insult... which is difinately different from so-called 'correction'  I doubt if other people have noticed this.   As I said in the other reply, I do appreciate if the comment was simply a correction of a certain step we learned at classs.

Anyways, thank you very much for your reply.  I appreciate it, Coriander9.  I think I will close this topic.

Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...

A woman in my class does this all the time! I'm a teacher and professional musical theatre performer and taken open class several mornings a week. A young woman with lacking technique (I'm def the better trained dancer and I really know my limitations!) who calls herself a professional ballet dancer loves correcting others and it bugs me terribly...

One day after class I was doing some slow relevés on pointe (on very soft, nearly dead shoes) to strengthen my feet. I have severe arthrosis in my left foot and beginning arthrosis in the right and as such my feet have their limitations. I only do relevés at the barre for strengthening as the rolling through demi pointe to pointe really strengthens my feet where they need it. Suddenly said girl comes up to me and says: you really need to push over your shoes further... The unsolicited advice annoyed me so much. She had no idea what I was doing or why, what the situation with my feet is...

(Plus the fact that she shouts around that she's a pro when she's clearly not bugs me terribly!)

Link to comment

I was thinking of this topic in class last night. It's advertised as an "Open" class, but the standard at my studio for adult dancers is around the beginner level (except for me & one other student). There were two women trying out their first class, but because the rest of us were carrying on exercises & combinations from class the night before, they got a bit lost. When we came to the centre, they seemed very unsure (and our teacher was working with other people), so I was trying unobtrusively to work near them & help them just by going through the combinations slowly. But I stopped myself from actually saying to them, "Here, it's like this" in case they found that annoying. 

On reflection, I think that these things are another example of the way we humans sometimes have clear ideas about our "place" in any particular hierarchy - so in ballet class, we have an idea of our own experience and technical level & ability. Examples in this thread are about how we feel when someone else's view of our (and their) place in this "hierarchy" is different from ours. 

It's both a big deal (because our self-esteem & self-image is questioned), and not a big deal (because, really, why do we care about what others think of us?)  But we're social animals - "herd animals" - and so other people's opinions do matter to us - hence why we get a bit annoyed or a bit upset. WE should just be kind to ourselves - recognise we're a bit affronted, but that it really doesn't matter all that much. 

I find if I can work out why these sorts of little human exchanges affect me, I can laugh them off more easily.

Link to comment

Smile and nod!! Then ignore if you ever return to take another class. This happens with moms too-trying to correct other students who are not their own. I try to ignore it despite it boiling my blood. Smile & nod!!😉

Link to comment
  • 4 weeks later...

Strangely, I kind of enjoy having these "strong" personalities in class! Spice of life, perhaps? I agree with the above poster - "Just smile and nod!". In the long run, is it really that important? :)



Link to comment

This thread came to mind last week when I almost walked out of class - because of another student and the teacher chatting for up to 3 or 4 minutes between exercises. Then we don't get to do a full centre, because we've run out of time. Each 3 or 4 minutes lost is time in which we could do at least one more combination each time!

The teacher is lovely, hard working, an excellent technical teacher. She's just opened up a new studio (a really wonderful facility), and the workload has been excessive. Our adult classes are in the evening towards the end of the week, so I understand that she's tired & overloaded. The student who does most of the chatting is very much the "Queen Bee' of the studio - so she thinks. Her daughter is active in various classes (but disruptive in our adult PBT conditioning class), and the teacher & this student chat. And chat - about their children, their work, shopping - not about ballet technique. It's noticeable when this woman is not there that class flows far more professionally.

I get cold and my muscles get stiff - I'm almost 60 - this happens, and I get injured more easily now. I'm afraid I get rather passive-aggressive & sigh loudly, look at my watch, or start doing leg swings and jumping squats to keep limber. Then I feel bad for being so rude ... 

But the disruption to the flow of class by this chatting has got to the point that other students & I have mentioned this amongst ourselves in comparison with the other ballet teacher of adult classes at the studio - who is also lovely but more old school. Her class not overly formal, but we're all there to work on our technique. We do chat - about the exercise & technique (or about the teacher's time at the RBS and dancing with the Royal Ballet - she's great on passing on the 'older' English style of ballet a la Frederick Ashton, with whom she worked), but not in a way that stops us getting on with the next exercise.

When I discussed this briefly with a couple of other students, we all agreed that the chatting was disruptive, but that our teacher/studio director was under so much pressure that maybe now wasn't the right time to - respectfully - ask that we get on with class.

I wondered whether I could have a word in the new year - after a Christmas vacation for us all - that I get really cold standing about between exercises and could she try to close down the chatter. But it sounds as though I"m criticising her, and I really don't want to. She's a very good teacher, trying to run a very open & friendly, non-competitive studio accessible to anyone who wants to dance.

Any ideas? I'm a bit stumped, other than taking my own advice about "Smile and nod" just continuing to do my own thing to look after my body in between exercises when this Queen Bee starts chatting (and to acknowledge to myself I don't like this woman and find her daughter particularly annoying). Not very nice of me ...

Link to comment


What if you spoke privately to the teacher and asked her for suggestions on how to stay warm during downtime in the class?  It's not an issue for most people, and it wasn't even for you until you started pushing 60, but it's a real thing for you now.  What does she think is the best way to work through this so you don't have to leave class early?

Link to comment


I would think that your situation is a very different animal all together. Not being properly warmed up, as you well know I am sure, is a great way to get injured. The trouble is is how do you bring it up without sounding petulant. I think I would probably approach it similar to BalletFamily’s suggestion. Try to ask her in all honestly what she thinks you should do in between combinations in order to stay warm when the pauses get a bit out of hand. I’m not sure what your dress code is, if there even is one, but you could mention that your hips and knees don’t feel fully prepared when there are long pauses and ask if maybe wearing more layers would be appropriate. Or you could just try the direct approach and tell her that after all you are no longer a teen and that extended conversation between combinations is effecting your ability to safely dance. I probably wouldn’t be brave enough for the direct approach, and would also find it hard not to be snarky or passive aggressive in my comment. I wish you luck in dealing with it. Not sure how much hinting would be required here 🤔 

Link to comment


I just would do things on my own at the place you are. When they chat during barre, just repeat things from the excercise before, work at stretching, just do something (beside talking, too).

When it's during center - you always wanted to train that pirouette from the second more? Or at least do a bit stretching. Just don't do anything moving to avoid creating more chaos.

So they perhaps get it, and you stay warm + get at least some training.



Link to comment
  • 8 months later...

I know I'm really late to this, but. 

In theater (I've done a lot of community/regional theater) one of the hallmarks is, there is one director. Not five directors. Not 110 directors. One. If the director has a problem or a correction or a comment, then s/he will talk to you. No one else is supposed to do it. 

So while I'd probably just smile and nod at this person, I also completely understand being a bit put out--because I would be! If it continued, then I 'd probably say, "OK thanks" and that's all. If it really keeps up (like, say more than five or six times), I'd mention it to the teacher, because that would just drive me bonkers. 

Edited by GiselleJuliet
Link to comment
  • 2 months later...

Hi, I understand frustration and annoyance with another adult classmate, I have been attending classes at our studio for 4 years now and there used to be this women who had been there before me, she decided that I must need her years of wisdom as she decided to help guide me in my ballet/dance journey. She started just offering me words of encouragement, which I thought ok whatever, but then she started bringing in pictures of heavy male professional dancers (I’m a heavy guy) to show me saying, “See there is hope for you.” I was somewhat confused/insulted by this, as I have no plans/desire to be a professional dancer but figured she was just a weird person. Anyway last year our studio offered a Discovering Repertoire class, as I was advanced enough by that point I was encouraged to take the class, so I did I found it difficult and at first I was in way over my head, but I kept at it and loved it, so about 5 weeks into the class this women heard I was taking it and decided to take it as well. When she showed up her first time she said to me, “I heard you were taking this class, and if you’re taking this class it can’t be very difficult, so I thought I’d do it to.” I was pretty insulted but didn’t bother saying anything much, I just told her it was harder then she imagined and let it go at that, I didn’t see the value in arguing with her. Now about 6 weeks later she ‘hurt’ herself and stopped coming to any class altogether, I can’t say I was sorry to see her not come back. 

Link to comment

I’ve already responded to this post but another event happened in class yesterday that just baffled me.

I’ve been taking a class at my collage in addition to the ones I take at my studio. The collage class was really inexpensive and is labeled as “intermediate/beginner”, even though they already have a “beginner” class. I took it, knowing it would be easy, as a chance to refine my technique. I didn’t have great training as a child and my technique suffers as a result. Anyways the teacher for this class is great and gives me lots of corrections so it’s been worth while.

Anyways, yesterday we were doing an exercise across the floor, I do something different en pointe as per the teachers instructions, so I usually go last. The girl in front of me was having trouble with her hair all class. She starts dancing, gets about halfway down, at which point I start doing my combo too. Then her hair falls out, so she stops dead in her tracks trying to fix it in the middle of the floor. For like 20 seconds at least. And I’m just standing there behind her. And then she realizes she doesn’t know the step, so she still waits, in the middle of the floor, for the teacher to come and personally show her how it’s done.

I am not here to judge anyone on there ballet training or lack there of, everyone was a beginner at some point! But isn’t it common sense that if you stop, and that someone is dancing behind you and coming towards you, you should move out of the way? Isn’t it common sense that if you are dancing, and then you stop dancing, you should also get out of the way?

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...