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Ballet Talk for Dancers
balanchine_ballerina

Feeling stuck, lost in the crowd

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balanchine_ballerina

Hi everyone,

As of right now, I dance in a level right below the professional program (two levels), and would be considered an intermediate/advanced level. I'm feeling really stressed right now, as my teacher planned on moving me and two other girls up to the next level (rare to happen mid-year). I was so excited considering I had to take almost a year off prior to this. I found out last week that my two friends were moved up and I wasn't. This was a blow to my confidence, my teacher always placed me in the front during center, gave me a pas de trois part in the winter showcase, and always praised me.

My ballet program is in partnership with a performing arts school (for academics) so we receive a grade in our ballet studies. My teacher gave me high B's/A's for musicality,  presence, epaulement, and petit allegro. I'm just frustrated because there were other grades on things like adagio and grand allegro that were lower than I expected, but no explanation why. I feel so "average" for being in a pre-professional program. I'm afraid not getting moved up right now is a bad sign for summer intensives and placement for the professional program. 

I've planned on starting the adult/teen open classes the school offers, that way I'll get to take class from teachers I normally don't have. Will this possibly help my technique? I want to receive different corrections and a different perspective on my technique, I just crave so much more than what's offered at my current level. 

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Victoria Leigh

Balanchine_ballerina, I would suggest that the first thing that you do is discuss this situation with your teacher(s).  You need to know the reasons why you were not moved up, and receive advice on what needs improving and how to best achieve the results they are looking for. Open classes might or might not be the answer, so you need to find out. Ask for a meeting and go in with your questions prepared. Ask for their honest opinions on your progress, and also on your potential to continue towards your goals.  It is very possible that one of the main reasons is the length of time that you were without training. As a teenager, that is important time lost, and could take more time to catch up. Try to remain positive and do not become defensive. Showing a thoughtful and willing attitude to learn from the meeting, with intelligent questions, and not showing negative emotions, will be very helpful. You want them to show the respect for you that you have for them. 

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