One of the fresh graduated dancer in a company I am working with now is having trouble. Being a dance student is much different from being a professional dancer in a company. This is true not only in a dance career. In a school, you pay for people to look at you and teach you. In a company, you are paid for doing a good job and learning by yourself as fast as possible.
She doesn’t understand this. She has a student attitude and we have given her almost a year already. In an appraisal she still had a lot of invalid excuses. My director decided to give her one last chance until end of the year for her to climb up to the professional level of mind. However, at the end of the day she asked the director whether she could dyer her hair in red color. Absolutely wrong timing. Not surprising that the director was upset even more but she let her do whatever she wanted.
That night she texted me that she wanted to leave after this last probation period. She said,
‘Sometimes doing ones best isn’t enough to keep you going, not anymore’.
I knew that it was hard for her to continue here too as the director didn’t like her. But personally I didn’t like that idea. She thought she had done the best but I could see that she didn’t know what the best looked like. So I answered her,
‘Haha you never know that the word BEST has no ceiling.’
‘When the ceiling crashed there’s no point pursuing for the best.’
I could tell that she didn’t understand what I tried to say.
So I sent her all these messages. (Sorry for wrong typing and wrong grammar.)
(PS I wrote it from my experiences. All the ups and downs in my dance career. Please give me advice if you don’t agree or have any feedback. With much thanks.)
She didn’t say anything after that. I wondered she went to cry or blame someone else about her problem or blame herself for choosing me to talk with. I didn’t care. I went to bed after that not waiting for her reply.
We came back to the studio 2 days later. She was there already getting ready for the class and rehearsal. She talked less and worked hard. I was happy to see that. In this way, although she can’t pass this last probation, all the works she is working on will make her a better dancer, the best she can be. People need to be slapped on the face sometimes. I call it a wake up call.
Most surprisingly, I found my words have an effect on me too. I also work much harder. Thanks to her to provide a chance for myself to slap my own face. 🙂