Why ballet isn’t the best activity for young girls

Drawing a parallel between the merciless corporate world and the even more merciless world of prima ballerinas

They say “A leopard can’t change its spots” and in most cases they are right. I came to realize this when I watched a video of my Dance school from 10 years ago. It had nothing to do with the #10yearchallenge, but with pure luck. One of my friends, which I met in the Dance school, showed me the video as something cute and funny from our teenage years. Instead of making me laugh, the video made me extremely mad.

The video contained mostly pictures of different groups and different dance styles. The first thing I noticed was that 1/3 of the pictures was of only one girl – the favorite of our teacher. I started thinking about my experience and realized that my memories were mostly bittersweet. At one point I was dancing in two different groups, going twice as much to classes as the rest of the girls and studied twice as many routines. There was a routine made especially for us by an American choreographer and this was our best dance, the diamond in our crown. The routine needed only 4 girls and so we had to audition for it. After we all learned it, we had to perform it for a month, before any decision was made. They chose 4 girls that would perform it for competitions and festivals and 8 girls for our internal concert, organized for our parents. I didn’t make the cut.

Now I find it stupid that this little thing mattered so much to me and that I cried for months about it. But the thing is – the dance was purely ballet and the girls who auditioned were everything else from hip hop to contemporary. The 4 chosen ones were all girls that were in the Dance school 3-4 years longer than me and I had accepted it. But the other girls were in no way better than me. They were simply part of the “advanced” group and I was new to this group because I had danced ballet for the last 8 years.
10 years later, nothing has changed. At least not in the concept. I’m not going to dance class, but I’m going to work. Instead of a routine, I auditioned for a manager position. Again the guy who got the job was just a sleazebag, who was BFFs with one of the 3 people who were interviewing us. As an excuse, I got the feedback that I had never done something similar to the manager’s tasks. As a “bonus” I got the opportunity to help my manager with her tasks so that next time I’ll be more familiar with them. Joke’s on me because now I’m my manager’s assistant (don’t get me wrong, I like these tasks) and I’m doing my regular tasks like everyone else in my team. Basically, it’s twice as much work with the same salary. I’m pouring my heart and soul into both types of tasks because I’m a perfectionist and I simply like doing them.

I saw a pattern here and I need to change something. The fact that I like working hard and not slacking like most of my colleagues is usually the reason why people are taking advantage of me. Learn a lesson from my experience – don’t let your boss make a fool out of you, just because you’re a good person.


PS: I’ll keep you posted if I ever break the circle.


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