Teachers Can Be Cruel

belly dance blog

TEACHERS CAN BE CRUEL

I danced since 5 years old, and used to be one of the best students in ballet class, usually standing in the first row which was a special acknowledgment assigned only by the teacher. At some point I had to miss almost an entire year of classes due to health issues. Typically in that case you go to the same grade again, but due to my past achievements the director let me transfer without passing all exams.

So here it comes, first week of dance classes. The teacher is very happy I’m back, and assigns me to the front row as before. Great encouragement, right? Unfortunately not the case... I spent a year without training, my body is weak, I don’t know any combinations that class is doing... But it didn’t end there. 🥵Five minutes later the teacher addresses me with a very cynical and judging voice: ‘What’s going on? Your legs don’t move higher?! Immediately go to the back row!’

Thinking about it now I wish I said: YES, f** b**, my legs don’t move higher. I don’t even know where they should move, since you put me right in the front and I have no one to follow, not even a mirror in this room! ...But back then I only swallowed it: my own frustration about weak body, humiliation from the teacher (why would she do it to a kid who was sick for a year?), and giggling from groupmates cos let’s say, not all kids in dance class are your best friends.

A few months later I actually dropped out of ballet school and didn’t dance for the next three years. No, it wasn’t because of that incident, but I can’t say it didn’t help. Also, I completely deleted it from my memory. Years later in another ballet class some exercises were a real struggle, but I justified it with a random thought: Iana, your legs just don’t go higher, it’s your body... Guess where it came from! But even then I didn’t connect it together. The realization came only a few days ago during my morning pages, a great tool to rediscover inner creativity.

Many of our creative blocks are unconscious, we don’t even remember the situations that caused them. But forgetting is not the same as releasing. Your creativity is like flowers, so water it with proper messages and believes!

Author: Iana Komarnytska
Photographer: Pedro Bonatto

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