Ballet Dancers - Unfocused Classmates

by Niamh
(Oxfordshire)

Ballet Dancers - Unfocused Classmates






My name is Niamh. I am 14 years old. I go to a very good ballet school in my area which puts on a big show every three years. We focus more on exams than on performances so that the students have the chance to get into a world-class ballet school when they are older. Some girls from my normal school who are the 'popular' girls are planning on joining our ballet class in September. The only reason that they want to join is because a) they have heard about our big show and have seen our costumes and want to be a part of it (they don't know that we only do the shows once every 3 years) and b) because they think that if they do ballet for about 1 year it will mean that they can go en pointe and be really skinny and flexible. They have absolutely no dance experience whatsoever - I have seen them dancing in gym class at school and they are terrible. They are very loud and can be quite mean at times and they like to be the center of attention. I worry that when they join the class, they will annoy everyone and get in everyone’s way because they will undoubtedly be chatting constantly. They think that they are amazing but they are not. they will not enjoy the exam work that we will be doing and I think that they will get on everyone’s nerves. They don't seem to understand that it takes a lot of hard work, dedication, training and years of practice to become a professional.

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Reply by Odette
To:- Ballet Dancers - Unfocused Classmates

Hi Niamh,
Thanks for contacting me, it is always great to



hear from you. I completely understand everything you are saying and how you are slightly anxious about these new girls joining your class. In fact, when I was 17 and a young training dancer I had a similar situation. I went to a new vocational dance school and noticed a complete change in the attitudes of my class mates. They were a lot more unfocused to what I was used to and they didn’t practice, they talked too much and it definitely seemed like they didn’t even care.

I got so frustrated that these girls were in a top vocational dance school and completely just taking advantage of it! At first, it really annoyed me but I soon got used to it and actually I think it went to my advantage. Whilst these girls did not seem to care, or were not even the best in the class, it actually propelled my confidence in my own ability and made me work even harder. At times, I was so worried I wouldn’t improve with these girls in my class that I made myself work even harder and stayed completely focused on myself.

It really worked for me and I want to pass this advice on to you too. If the girls do join your class and become a distraction in your class, then don’t let it affect you. Each person in the class is individual and you can still work for yourself whilst controlling your own body and mind to think about your corrections and what you want to work on.

Sooner or later, these girls will drop out and the lack of dedication or hard work will get the better of them. Keep focused on yourself and know what you want to achieve.

Best wishes,
Odette

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