Blanking In Ballet Class: 5 Ways You Deal

Don’t lie. You’ve done it before. You’re in ballet class and you’re totally paying attention to the combination being given, and then somehow, it’s a minute later, the teacher is asking “any questions?,” and your only recollection of what just happened is “I think it probably had some tendus in it.”

You have a couple seconds to figure out the right question that will get you the info you need without admitting total failure. Fortunately, you know these question strategies to get you out of your (maybe too frequent) times of desperation. (You know you’ve used at least one of them.)


At this point, it’s already too late.

  • The Ambiguous: “What’s the transition after the pas de bourre?” There were at least twelve pas de bourres in that combo. After a couple “This one?” “Sorry, I meant the other one” exchanges, you’ll be able to piece the whole thing together.
  • The Nitpick: “Can you go over the por de bras/ head/ timing on this section?” You want to sound like you’re being extra detailed and sophisticated, but really you have no idea what just happened and you just need an excuse to see it again.
  • The Communal Effort: Clueless person 1 asks a question about the beginning of the combination. After that gets sorted out, clueless person 2 asks a question about the very next section, and so on. Warning: this requires a certain amount of group telepathy and faith that a critical mass of the class is as lost as you are. It can also be thwarted if too many people are relying on the next strategy:
  • The Non-Question (aka the Free Rider Method): Say you know the combination. Hope that at least one other person is honest enough to ask the question you need. When this doesn’t happen you’ll have to resort to the highly obvious side-eyes-delayed-mirroring strategy.
  • The Candid: “Sorry, I blanked. Can you say it again?” Woah. Props to you for telling it like it is. This might not go over too well in certain settings, or if you use it too many times, but everyone else in class is secretly grateful for your honesty. And let’s be real, we all can see right through all those other fakes, anyway.

3 thoughts on “Blanking In Ballet Class: 5 Ways You Deal

  1. I definitely do a version of the “side-eyes-delayed-mirroring strategy”. I like to think I am fairly good at it, until the person I am copying makes a mistake and it’s fairly obvious that the chances of us making the exact same mistake a millisecond after one another is pretty slim.


  2. Pingback: The Pretend Knowledge Trap | Nadia In Her Own World

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