I’m tired

So I was going to complain about how much I hated the angels part, but instead I’m going to complain about my studio director.

Today, during angels rehearsal, he told me, in so many words, that my body language offends him. He said I looked frustrated and annoyed.

Yes. Yes I am frustrated and annoyed. Why?? Because YOU cast me in a part with a bunch of 5th graders who don’t know their right from their left and can’t make a circle. Because YOU consistently cast me in these parts. And because YOU treat me like one of these 5th graders.

I’m so sorry that my slouchy back offends you. I’m sorry that I find it more comfortable to stand that way. I’m sorry my crossed arms offend you. I’m sorry that I cross my arms to keep me from fidgeting with my hands. I’m sorry my straight face annoys you. I’m sorry that I don’t smile constantly and act like a freaking cheerleader. Oh, and I’m sorry my big yawn offends you because I went to a football game last night and I’m tired.

I’m just so sick and tired of everything. Everybody at that studio seems to like me and/or have no problem with me. Why doesn’t he?? I’m sick and tired of feeling undervalued, underappreciated, and left out at that studio.

I feel like, because I started dancing late, he assumes that I suck. I love how he’s seen me dance like only 3 times (and most of these times are doing 5 year old dances that don’t require any skill) and proclaims that he knows how well I can dance.

He acts all pompous and what not. He says that he only has the performance’s best interest at heart. He makes himself sound so perfect. But he plays favorites. I know he does. And I’m not one of them.

When I do something he says “oh that’s not right” but when somebody else does the exact same thing, he says “oh that’s good.” (which happened in rehearsal today as well).

The only reason I get to be a candy cane (a dance that’s closer to/on my ability level) is because the person who was supposed to play it, dropped out of the company. He has a (not very good petite 1) “5th grader” doing polichinelles. Why can’t I do polichinelles?? What makes it so hard that its above me??

I’m just so tired.
I’ve been putting all this work into ballet and improving and I feel like I’m not being rewarded at all. I’m always on time and I do what I’m told. I try my best in class and what do I have to show for it??

Yes, I understand I’m not a great and fabulous ballet dancer. I understand that there’s still a lot I need to learn. But I’m still pretty decent and I can pull my weight in harder dances.

I’m not saying that the other more advanced dancers don’t deserve their part. I’m just saying that I feel like I should be dancing with them as well.

I feel like ever since I had that “talk” with him about being a professional, he’s been treating me worse. I feel like he thinks “Oh the audacity she must have to think she could actually be a professional ballet dancer.”

He’s making me tired of ballet. He makes me want to quit.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Denise
    Oct 24, 2010 @ 15:14:13

    Hi there! I just found your blog and am intrigued by your story as it greatly mirrors my own. I too started out as a “belated” ballerina, not starting class until I was 12 yrs old. Thanks to some very dedicated, albeit very strict/demanding, teachers I was able to progress to the pre-professional level, and was accepted into prestigious dance schools such as The Royal Ballet of London and Pacific Northwest Ballet. My youngest daughter (10 yrs old) is following in my footsteps and is now attending class at PNB.

    I wanted to encourage you to not give up. If you recently had a talk with the Director about your desires to become professional, he may be “testing you” to see if you truly have the chops for it. He may be deliberately harsh, knowing that this treatment is what often separates the “wannabees” from the true dancers. I’ve had many teachers cut me down and overlook me for roles, too. It hurts and it sucks, I know. :) But if you stick with–if you keep practicing at home (really, ever spare moment you can) and keep a positive “can-do” attitude in class, you’ll make it.

    If by some chance, he’s truly just a jerk–and not simply testing you–then that’s fine. Let him be a jerk. Just don’t let his harsh treatment hold you back from your dreams, ever! If every budding dancer quit due to a rude, overbearing teacher, director or ballet master, there would hardly be any ballerinas in the world–trust me! :)

    Stick with it, hang in there, and keep striving for excellence. Just because you started later than most, does not exempt you from a professional career.

    Blessings to you,
    Mrs. Denise Opper (Media Liaison for Vala Dancewear/Class Act Tutu)


  2. classicalballetteacher
    Oct 26, 2010 @ 00:54:46

    I don’t like being touch on you EJ, but getting a role that is at the bottom of the casting list and being expected to be or at least act grateful for it is part of paying your ballet dues. I don’t want to disappoint you, but should you work hard enough and be fortunate enough to reach a professional level, you will in all likelihood have to go through very similar dues-paying for quite a few years. (That’s years, plural.)

    You will find that life is set in cyclical stages. Directors and teachers are often in a position to decide what stage you need to be in. Often we think you need to be right on level with your class, sometimes we think you need to be at the bottom and strive to just keep up – give you something to work for or a kick in the pants, and sometimes you need to be held back in a group where you are at the top – that’s when its your time to step up and show that you can be a leader for your peers to model.

    I don’t know your director, but I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that he expected you to step up to the plate and be a senior role model for the others. If I were your director, I’d be very disappointed that instead you are choosing to exhibit a blatant and visible poor attitude – which in dance is just plain disrespectful.

    EJ, you are wasting a valuable opportunity to show the studio director that this role is a piece of cake and that you are so ready for it that you can also act as a leader for your group. Make his life easier and show him you are ready for more responsibility – all you are probably doing now is making him wish he had cast a more willing participant.


    • emilleejoyce
      Oct 26, 2010 @ 15:02:51

      I know my attitude sucks right now. I’m just having a hard time being grateful for this part when im absolutely miserable in it. Like I said in a post a while back, I’m still not used to not being the best.

      And I’m sure I’m probably exaggerating that he doesn’t like me. That’s just what it feels like. It just feels like I’m being treated differently from everybody else.

      I don’t know.


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