1 comment / Posted on by Sonja Church

let's face it: criticism, whether from oneself or someone else, is pervasive in the world of ballet.

You stare at the mirror and see what you aren't doing right. Your teacher gives out corrections during all of class. Ballet technique requires you to perfect less than perfect movement. 

What if all those voices of outward and inward criticism become debilitating? 

In case you've experienced this: we've written out a few tips to help you deal with criticism and even turn it into a #weapon rather than a #foe.


#1 CELEBRATE YOUR VICTORIES

You might nail that single, double, or triple pirouette one day, and no one might see you. Or, your teacher may very well see it and give you a correction rather than a compliment. Your arms may not have been correct or your timing may have been off. Don't disregard the correction but do celebrate what you did WELL. Your small victories are worth celebrating because they are the stepping stones of your progress. So be proud of yourself!


THIS will cause you to feed on positive feedback, which encourages you, and makes you want to continue to strive for improvement. Celebrate when you correct a movement or successfully make a permanent adjustment you've been asked to make. Applying corrections takes time, and changing our daily classroom habits can be tedious. But when you succeed, TAKE NOTE of it. 
Remark on how much work it took to get you to this place and give yourself a pat on the back. 

#2 TURN CORRECTION INTO YOUR SECRET WEAPON

You can't get better without feedback. That's just the bottom line. You need consistent, regular feedback from supportive sources. Do not confuse a harsh correction as shaming or discouraging. Sometimes teachers can feel insensitive in their delivery, but this doesn't mean they don't have your best in mind. Some instructors are particularly hard on their students because they want them to succeed. Either way, you can choose to view it through your own lens. 

Choosing to see each and every correction as a stepping stone to better technique, better performance, and beautiful movements will truly help you be thankful and apply it. Remember, teachers are not there to pester you--they are there to help you evolve. Feedback and correction will get you to WHERE it is that you want to go--so take it and treat it as gold. Apply it, rather than stuffing it away.

Lastly, keeping a positive, thankful attitude will prevent you from getting bogged down in the steady stream of corrections every student receives. I once heard a ballerina say "ballet has made me grateful for the journey, the process of learning and hardwork, rather than the end result." 


#3 CONSIDER THE SOURCE

Who is the source of the criticism? Is it a well-informed, instructor? Is it a critic with no value? Is it a peer? Or is it your ever so harsh critic...yourself?

When receiving feedback it's important to consider the person giving it. What are their motives and are they trying to help you? Do their good motives offset the harsh delivery perhaps? And if it's yourself, do you need to change the way you "talk" to yourself? If it's an instrutor, are they motivated by knowledge, or bias? It helps to become objective sometimes and look at who is giving the feedback from an outsider's perspective, where you can think more analytically about its value. This will also help you sort through criticism and learn which ones to value, and prioritize, as well as which ones to forget :).

#4 TURN THAT SELF CRITICAL VOICE INTO A CHEERLEADER 

And lastly, it really will help you in general (in life!) to turn that self-critical voice that many people hear daily...into a loving, compassionate cheerleader. Dancers, in my opinion, can be some of the most self-critical people. We are often perfectionists, hard working and focused individuals. With this can come lots of self-judgment and feelings of not being "good enough." All of which only slows you down. So if you are feeling discouraged, bogged down in self-critcism, or simply not good enough, chances are you need a warm, compassionate inner voice who SEES your strengths and calls out your potential.

It may take time to change the voice inside you, but it is so worth the process. Get tactile with it: write a list of what you're good at. If you don't know, ask others who know you and love you. Start to meditate on what you like about yourself and what you have that no other dancers has. Embrace your individual strengths and unique stage assets, because these are the colors of your own, individual expression.
--
I hope you found some meaningful nuggets in this post. Have an incredible week filled with fall colors and pumpkin flavored goodies :)

Xx,
Sonja
Founder
Ballet Belle

1 comment

  • Posted on by Kenya

    I’m so glad I found a place where I can obtain advice specific to parenting a dancer! I value your focus on the emotional aspects of being a ballet dancer. Keep up the great work!

Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing

Sizing Guides

Measurements in U.S. INCHES

Belle Leggings

SIZE XS S M L XL 
WAIST 25 28 30 35 37
35 38 41 45 49
INSEAM LENGTH 26 1/4 26 3/4 27 1/8 27 1/2 27 7/8

Model wears size S and measures 5’3” tall / 115 lbs / 27 inch waist / 36 hips.

Belle Crewneck

SIZE S M L XL 2XL
ACROSS SHOULDER 20 22 24 26 28
BODY LENGTH 28 29 30 31 32
CHEST WIDTH 21 23 25 27 29
SLEEVE LENGTH 24 24 24 24 23 1/2

Model wears size S and measures 5’3” tall / 115 lbs / 27 inch waist / 33.75 bust.


Belle Off The Shoulder Long Sleeve

SIZE XS  S M L XL 2XL
CHEST 24 1/4 25 1/2 26 1/2 27 1/2 28 1/2  29 1/2
CENTER FRONT LENGTH 19 19 3/8 19 3/4 20 1/4  20 3/4 21 1/4

 

Model wears size M and measures 5’3” tall / 115 lbs / 27 inch waist / 33.75 bust.

 

Belle French Terry Long Sleeve

SIZE S M L XL 2XL
HPS 25 1/2 26 26 1/2 27 27 1/2
BUST 19 20 21 22 1/2  24

High Point Shoulder (HPS) is measured from the highest point of the shirt (usually top of the shoulder) to the bottom of its hem.

Bust measures across the bust 1" below the armhole, seam to seam.

Model wears size M and measures 5’3” tall / 115 lbs / 27 inch waist / 33.75 bust. 

Belle Muscle Tee

SIZE S M L XL 2XL
CENTER FRONT LENGTH 20 1/4 20 5/8 21 1/8 21 5/8  22 1/8
WIDTH 16 16 3/4 17 3/4 18 3/4 19 3/4

Width measured 1" below arm hole

Model wears size S and measures 5’3” tall / 115 lbs / 27 inch waist / 33.75 bust.

Belle Tee

SIZE XS S M L XL 2XL 3XL
HPS 25 3/4 26 1/4 26 3/4 27 1/4 27 3/4 28 1/4 28 3/4
BUST (14" from HPS) 17 1/2 18 1/2 19 1/2 20 1/2 22 23 1/2  25

High Point Shoulder (HPS) is measured from the highest point of the shirt (usually top of the shoulder) to the bottom of its hem.

Bust measures across the bust 1" below the armhole, seam to seam.

Model wears size S and measures 5’3” tall / 115 lbs / 27 inch waist / 33.75 bust.

Belle Tank

SIZE XS S M L XL 2XL
HPS 25 7/8 26 1/2 27 1/8 27 3/4 28 3/8 29
BUST 15 16 17 18 19 1/2 21 

High Point Shoulder (HPS) is measured from the highest point of the shirt (usually top of the shoulder) to the bottom of its hem.

Bust measures across the bust 1" below the armhole, seam to seam.

Model wears size S and measures 5’3” tall / 115 lbs / 27 inch waist / 33.75 bust. 

Measurements in U.S. INCHES

Belle Princess Tee

SIZE XS (3/4) S (6/6x) M (7/8) L (10/12) XL (14/16)
HPS 19 20 21 23 25
BUST 11 1/2 12 1/2 13 1/2 15 16 1/2 

High Point Shoulder (HPS) is measured from the highest point of the shirt (usually top of the shoulder) to the bottom of its hem.

Bust measures across the bust 1" below the armhole, seam to seam.

Model wears size M (7/8) and is 4’3” tall, age 8. This shirt is very fitted and long in the torso. For a looser fit, order one size up.

Model wears size M (7/8) and is 4’3” tall, age 8. This shirt is very fitted and long in the torso. For a looser fit, order one size up.


Belle Princess Crewneck

SIZE XS (3/4) S (6/6x) M (7/8) L (10/12) XL (14/16)
HPS 19.75 21.25 22.5 24 25.5
WIDTH 16 17 18 19 20 

High Point Shoulder (HPS) is measured from the highest point of the shirt (usually top of the shoulder) to the bottom of its hem.

Bust measures across the bust 1" below the armhole, seam to seam.

Model wears size S (6/6x) and is 4’3” tall, age 8. This crewneck runs slightly large and yields a roomier fit.

Belle Toddler Tee

SIZE 2T 3T 4T 5/6T 7T
AGE 1-2 2-3 3-4 5-6 6-7
HEIGHT (in) 33-35 36-38 39-41 42-45  46-49
WEIGHT (lbs) D28-30 30-33 34-39 39-49 50-55

M = months

Belle Baby Onesie

SIZE NEWBORN 6 MONTHS 12 MONTHS 18 MONTHS 24 MONTHS
AGE 0-3 M 3-6 M 6-12 M 12-18 M 18-24 M
HEIGHT (in) 18-21 22-24 25-28 29-31 32-34
WEIGHT (lbs) 5-9 10-16 17-20 21-24  25-27



Belle Baby Tee

SIZE NEWBORN 6 MONTHS 12 MONTHS 18 MONTHS 24 MONTHS
AGE 0-3 M 3-6 M 6-12 M 12-18 M 18-24 M
HEIGHT (in) 18-21 22-24 25-28 29-31 32-34
WEIGHT (lbs) 5-9 10-16 17-20 21-24  25-27

Measurements in U.S. INCHES

Men's Tee

SIZE XS S M L XL 2XL 3XL 4XL
HPS 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34
WIDTH 17 1/2 19 20 1/2 22 24 26 28 30 

High Point Shoulder (HPS) is measured from the highest point of the shirt (usually top of the shoulder) to the bottom of its hem.

Chest measures across the rib cage 1" below the armhole, seam to seam.

Close