Dancer to Dancer

Dear Katie: I'm Being Bullied at My Dance Studio!

Photo by Travis Kelley, courtesy Kathryn Morgan

In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.comfor a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

I'm being bullied by one of the girls at my studio, and it's awful. I've talked to my dance teacher and confronted the bully directly, but it hasn't made a difference. What should I do?

Faith


Dear Faith,

I'm sorry you're having such a terrible time in class. There are two ways to approach this situation. One is to do your best to ignore the bully. A bully's goal is to get under your skin. If you can, put her actions out of your mind, and focus solely on your dancing. If you don't give in to her, she may eventually stop.

But that doesn't always happen. If the bullying is bad enough that you can no longer concentrate in class, it might be time to look at other studios. Usually, I'd say to ask a teacher to intervene first—but you already have, to no avail. And I'd hate for you to slide backwards in your training because of a determined bully.

Neither solution is easy. But at the end of the day, remember that you're in dance class because you love to dance. Don't lose that joy. Do what you have to do to find it again. And if you need outside help, don't hesitate to look for it. I'd suggest starting with websites like stopbullying.gov and prevnet.ca, which offer resources and information about bullying for kids, teens, and adults.


For more of Katie's helpful tips and advice, click here.

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