Jealousy in the ballet world is always an issue. I dealt with it as a student in ballet school and as a professional in a ballet company. So here are my tips on how to prevent drama, being jealous with casting and roles, and how to deal when your teachers play favorites.

2 thoughts on “Dealing with Jealousy

  1. Excellent advice. I would also add that if a student is not getting the corrections or roles that they desire, they should take a moment to really reflect on their behaviour in class and see where they might improve. Teachers give feedback and roles to people who listen and focus in class, apply corrections consistently, and work really hard. If you are constantly asking your teacher to repeat instructions or exercises, we are less likely to give you roles: students how don’t focus long enough to learn an exercise will have trouble with large amounts of choreography, and will endanger themselves and their fellow dancers by not knowing where they need to be onstage. If you come to class unprepared, chat all the time and aren’t ready for each exercise, you are showing us that you are not really invested in working hard or improving — good roles require maturity and professionalism. If we have to give you the same correction over and over, if you don’t apply corrections, or argue with us, we are less likely to give you feedback. Time is limited in a classes and rehearsals, and we need to give our time and expertise to where it is valued and applied. Good roles also require sound technique, and a student who does not apply corrections is at a higher risk for injuring themselves or others. A good student-teacher relationship is a partnership, and you need to fulfill your responsibilities to make it work. Lastly, as a teacher who also teaches her child, I will note that most teachers who have their child in their classes are twice as hard on their own children as other students, to avoid even the appearance of favouritism. I am a professional in class — not her mother — and I am extremely clear about not overlapping those roles. I almost never give a compliment or correction directly to my own child, but save it for after class. While I assign other students roles freely, any time she is involved I also vet the decision before the Artistic Director and other teachers, too. While I am not perfect at all, sometimes the teacher’s child gets a role because they have earned it.

  2. The word you need to be using is “envy”, not “jealousy”. Jealousy most often refers to sexual competitors & fear of loosing another person (also in a non-sexual relationship) , envy refers to other peoples possessions and achievements. They are quite different feelings and its envy you re talking about.

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