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  1. #1
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    Default Other Students Making Feel So Uncomfortable- Should I Leave the Class?

    I have been taking the same class with the same teacher for about seven years now. I love it but now going there is painful because of the treatment I get from two people that used to be "my best friends." My teacher brought me in to dance at the restaurant she dances in after doing an audition and I started getting many dance opportunities. One of the friends distanced herself a bit and the other one straight up said to my face that the restaurant seemed to lowering their standards by hiring dancers just for being younger or thinner and to please men. She said other dancers that had more years weren't considered. She also said I appeared desperate to dance for accepting to sub every time I was asked. This is all on an older thread I have here. Anyway, I defended myself and said "our" teacher, who she respected, brought me there and therefore it was because she believed I had the talent and not only looked "young and skinny." From then on, she deleted me from Fb, ignored my texts and stopped going to class along with the other friend. The other friend continued to say hi when she saw me, didn't delete me from fb and acted polite every time she saw me, until the day the both returned to class.

    They are back to the class and don't even look at me or say hi. The one that used to say hi doesn't even do that now when she is next to the one that made the rude comments. Last time they even stood at the place I always dance at in class (in the back), when one of them is always, always up front next to the teacher. So I just moved since spots aren't designated of course, but I just feel the tension. I get looks when the teacher makes us go in front to dance for others, and I feel singled out. They stand with the group I used to stand with, chatting and laughing and I have to go far from the people in class I used to do that with.

    I am happy with my life. I have a wonderful family, a very good job, and more and more opportunities with dance. I go to class and now get stressed out when it used to make me happy. If I quit they'll win, but if I don't, I will continue to stress out during class.

    What would you do?

  2. #2
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Nils illegitimus non carbarundum.

    It's only the two who are ostrisizing you, right?

    In that case, take a deep breath, gather your good manners in front of you like a shield and go stand and laugh with the group you have always stood and laughed with. I know, I know. It'll be hard and you have my deepest sympathy, you really do. Be polite to the detractors and pretend like you don't notice any hostility they may direct your way. If it gets too bad to be ignored, try a puzzled look and a question along the lines of "Why on earth would you say something like that?"

    The sooner you learn to deal with stress the better off you will be. Try a small pep talk to yourself before you go to class combined with some breathing exercises so you can go into class feeling calm instead of actively dreading what MAY (not what WILL) come. Develop a calming cue for yourself to use before you get too wound up during class; my cue to me is squeeze my hands briefly together, just as I would squeeze the hand of a friend who needs reassurance. Combine the comfort clue with a deep breath and exhale, a mental "you're okay, you can do this," and a conscious putting aside of any thoughts not directly related to your lesson that day.

    Hang in there, Lily. Conduct yourself with dignity, fake serenity if necessary until you actually achieve it, and tell yourself in all honesty that this exercise in patience and self-control in the face of bullying will teach you things that will be invaluable as you advance as a dancer and as a person.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  3. #3
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    What about what their attitudes say about their teacher?! Yes, yes, I know she's yours too, but what a horrible attitude to have towards one's teacher, that she would happily "put a student of hers into a less than savory situation" - which is what they are accusing her of by saying that the owner only hires eyecandy to get male bums on seats in the restaurant.

    It is quite plainly obvious that they are jealous, and frankly Shan's advice is better than anything I have seen or heard of for dealing with them. However, if I were the teacher involved, I would definitely want to know that students were unhappy with the performance opportunities I was providing, and moreso about any hostility in my classroom. The former can be sorted out with a chat, but the latter is never welcome in my classroom.

  4. #4
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    Shan, I hope it's okay to add something to your wonderful advice.

    Lily, when you squeeze your hands together, imagine one of those hands being our collective hand here on the forum. We can't be there physically for you, but we are there in your heart, right with you. We love you, Lily, you are such a sweet person. Do as Shan says, and remember, we have your back. <3
    Last edited by Farasha Hanem; 09-30-2012 at 11:09 PM.

  5. #5
    V.I.P. Ariadne's Avatar
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    I love Shanazel's advice and think she is spot on. However...

    Quote Originally Posted by lily_raks View Post
    If I quit they'll win, but if I don't, I will continue to stress out during class.

    What would you do?
    As someone who has been through something similar I just want to say that it is important to remember that it does not actually matter if "they win" only if you lose and you only lose if you make decisions based on them and not on what is best for you and what YOU want to accomplish in your life.

    What would I do? First I would follow Shanazel's advice and then if the stress is still to much to bear I would consider supplementing my classes with private lessons from the same teacher if possible so I could continue to grow but still come to class when I feel up to the challenge, BUT, that is what I would do and I am not you. Do what is best for you and then no matter what you will "win".
    Last edited by Ariadne; 10-01-2012 at 03:12 AM. Reason: rewrote last sentance.

  6. #6
    Senior Member walladah's Avatar
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    Default Typical for immature sisters, to stick with the

    teacher they think that behaved in a non-collegial manner and to treat co-dancers as the perpetrators of the injustice.

    Forget about them! at the end, it is your teacher's decisions and issue what to do with the shows. It is also another thing if you see that your teacher tries to divide the students into high and low status students (then you should think about your position).

    But from the info you give us, it is just the problem of those two students. If they were seriously frustrated, they should have stopped coming to the lessons of that teacher. But given that they do not want to break up with her, they just express their anger and their disappointment of not being able to be real rebels, onto the weakest part of the story, you!

    So, keep up the good work, take care that you do not get exploited by being honoured to participate in all those shows all the time, and enjoy being a good dancer!

  7. #7
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farasha Hanem View Post

    Lily, when you squeeze your hands together, imagine one of those hands being our collective hand here on the forum. We can't be there physically for you, but we are there in your heart, right with you.
    Brilliant!
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    Brilliant!
    Yes. That is very sweet thank you so so much for the kind words and advice. I will definitely imagine that

    In regards to my teacher, she is a very ethical person and is always fair with her students. She doesn't know about the comments this student made to me but she does notice we are no longer friends. It is obvious because we went to events together all the time and now they go together without me. They also invite our teacher out a lot ever since they stopped talking to me. And they are now also hanging out with another student I get along with very well when they never did that before. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I just feel they make an effort to push me away from the circle of people in the class. Maybe I'm thinking too much into it. The one that made the comment even invited everyone in class to a party in front of me excluding only me.

    I do have another class I take in the area from a very famous teacher but I don't attend as often because I take this class instead. As much as I love my teacher and owe her a lot of who I am today as a dancer, I may end up switching because of this. The environment at the other class is completely different. Everyone there is welcoming. Outside my current class and aside from these two people, there are so many nice and supportive ladies out there like you ladies from this forum

  9. #9
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    Before you change classes, take the time (preferably over coffee) to tell your teacher what is going on and why you are considering leaving. At least give her the opportunity to do something about it. If she says it's for the best, thank her for the opportunities & education she has given you and part on the best terms possible.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Sophia Maria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darshiva View Post
    Before you change classes, take the time (preferably over coffee) to tell your teacher what is going on and why you are considering leaving. At least give her the opportunity to do something about it. If she says it's for the best, thank her for the opportunities & education she has given you and part on the best terms possible.
    Agreed. You can stick it out, but if you do want to switch, I would suggest talking to your teacher first. See if she can moderate some sort of solution. Honestly, in all the conflicts I've ever been in, the ones that were best resolved had a moderator. And if she's a good teacher and person, it's only fair to have a full face-to-face discussion about any issues you are having. The first class I was a part of at my teacher's studio was an unpleasant atmosphere. The ladies would always pick on themselves instead of working hard, and although it was never ever nasty, it just wasn't a positive vibe. I worked it out with my teacher, and I moved to a slightly different more intermediate level with different people. It was more of a challenge, but worth it. I love the people in my class.

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