This post may be a little rant-y. Consider yourself warned.
On most Fridays I take a wonderful ballet class and Ballet Nouveau Colorado. It’s wonderful because it’s just down the street from my work, it’s over the lunch hour, it’s taught by the school director Julia, who is one of the nicest humans I’ve ever met and the regular students are me and Alan, a slightly older fellow.
The class is called Ballet Fundamentals, it’s meant for people who literally have no experience. I “took ballet” as a child but the only fundamentals I learned from age 3 -13 were the 5 positions (executed very poorly) and lots of arm flailing that I thought, at the time, was dancing. Not all who show up to class are total novices. We get ladies who took dance long ago and want to get back into it and a rotating cast of much more talented (than me) ballerinas making up a different missed classes. On one special day there was even the ex-fiance of my current fiance (luckily I beat her up in the parking lot after class and she hasn’t shown herself again).
Today as I was corrected for my posture (yet again, someday I might not walk like the Hunchback of Notre Dame) I had a thought. As a child if I was given a correction or constructive criticism it made me very sad. I don’t know where I got the idea that I should just be instantly good at everything but it took me until sometime in my mid-twenties (perhaps it was today) to get over it. My thought was to teach my children (all 7 brothers for 7 brides (or brothers) of them) that when you are given a correction or constructive criticism that you should be proud because it means that the teacher/coach/mom thinks you can do even better than you are already doing.
I felt happy with that thought all through out class, almost. Towards the end of class we all get sent to the corner (naughty ballerinas) and have to walk in a pattern that will one day become turns (if I had balance). One of the rotating cast of students today was a woman, let’s call her 37 (her hair made her look young, her flabby upper arms made her look old), who is now my nemesis. This woman, proceeded to tell us all how we needed to face the mirror more because blah blah blah I’m wearing leg-warmers and take Pure Barre so I must know.
I’m sure her correction was indeed correct but I’m not paying for a stranger wearing leg warmers advice, so that lady can keep it to herself. It drives me crazy when I’m taking an adult class and past-their prime mothers dish out unsolicited instructions. I would NEVER correct someone whom I’m not teaching or whom has not asked. I left class formulating all the nasty things that I’d never actually say to her (I pwnd her in my head).
So now I have three things I will teach my children (and hopefully one day learn myself):
- Take constructive criticism proudly
- Don’t dish out unsolicited advice in a classroom setting, unless you prefer not to be liked
- Keep all your nasty thoughts about others to yourself (while smiling slyly)
Cross your fingers that my sly smile worked and I can have my nice class full of nice people back next week.