Dear Katie: My Teacher's Playing Favorites—Should I Switch Studios?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
I'm so tired of my teacher playing favorites. I'm a strong dancer, but there's another talented girl in my class who's always the center of attention. I feel like the rest of us get fewer corrections because the teacher's focused on her. Should I switch studios?
Unfortunately, pretty much every dancer will have to deal with favoritism at some point during her training (not to mention her professional career). But remember that teachers are human, too, and often they don't even realize they're playing favorites.
Before you switch studios, set up a one-on-one meeting with your teacher. Do not mention the other student. Instead, tell your teacher that you really want to be pushed. Tell her you aren't afraid of being corrected, and that you'd love her to challenge you more. After the meeting, see how things progress. Are you receiving more attention? Or is everything the same? If nothing changes, then it might be time to move on.
For more of Katie's helpful tips and advice, click here.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers by clicking on their names here:
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James Whiteside (Jayme Thornton for Dance Magazine)
Say you're perpetually impeccable designer Thom Browne. Say you're planning your Spring 2020 Paris menswear show along a "Versailles country club" theme. Say you want a world-class danseur to open the show with some kind of appropriately fabulous choreography.
Who do you call? James Whiteside, of course. On Saturday, the American Ballet Theatre principal—wearing pointe shoes and a glorious pinstriped tutu—kicked off Browne's presentation at the École des Beaux-Arts with a 15-minute, show-stealing solo. Whiteside choreographed the piece himself, with the help of detailed notes from the designer.