I didn't quite know how to begin this blog but then I remembered the topic in hand....truth. So I'm going to tell it how it is.
I was working on a phrase for movement studies, as were a few other students, when someone from my year approached me with a problem. (I have never spoken to this student before, as we are in different classes for everything, but I was happy to help, and hoped I could).
They have recently transfered from a ballet school, straight in to second year here at NSCD. This must really hard and a bit of a shock to the system as ballet and contemporary are two very different things.
The problem for this person was they were questioning their choice to transfer and were unhappy with some elements of contemporary. And were having difficulty changing their habitual movement patterns.
My advise went something along the lines of this its hard, and it will take time, but don't think about if it was the 'right choice' yet as its too early, its probably just a lot to cope with right now because its so new. But if you want to be a rounded, adaptable dancer you have to try everything, even the stuff you don't want to do/don't like. Because you may have to do it on day.
They asked me about movement studies (we do a lot of improvisation) and I told what i saw, that for the last few classes this person had done pretty similar movement, and if they want to change they have to really think about changing their habitual movement patterns.
Unfortunately this upset them, which of course was not my intention in the slightest. So I made the next, important point, not to worry about it! Its not 'wrong' to do the same movement. We all struggle with changing our movement style. Its hard! By trying to break our habits its not to change our natural movement, its to make us stronger and broader in movement range.
I hoped my advice had helped, and thought how tough it must be for this person, especially having missed the first year of training here.
Sadly, I have since learnt that this person has said that I was particularly mean and cruel to them at their low point.
Of course, I was quite offended, and upset by this. And I decided to blog this because I think it highlights a couple of important points;
1. Dance students please please please don't act like this. A dance degree is hard enough without bitching and talking behind each other's back. Support each other.
2. Supporting each other requires an element of truth. Always always tell the truth to each other. Don't be afraid to tell someone your opinion, but of course be sensitive about how you say things.
3. As a dance student/dancer you HAVE to learn how to handle people telling you the truth, or things that are not necessarily pleasant or easy to hear. Develop a sense of objectiveness about your self.
4. If you don't like hearing the truth don't ask people.