Thinkstock

Ask Amy: Help! I'm Really Jealous of My Classmate.

There's a dancer in my class who is phenomenal, but instead of feeling inspired I just feel jealous. It's hurting my dancing, and I hate feeling this way. Help! —Rachel


We've all been there—it's easy to feel jealous of others, especially since ballet is so competitive. But it can chip away at your self-esteem and feed immature behavior. I remember growing very jealous of one of my classmates. She had extensions for days and amazing feet, won full scholarships to all the major summer programs—and was two years younger than me, to boot. When the local paper did a full-page story on her, I shut myself up in my bedroom and burst into tears.

There's an old saying that's always helped me in this situation: "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." Make an effort to socialize with your classmate to get to know her as a human being, as opposed to a rival. Once you know someone personally, it's easier to gain perspective and grow more supportive of each other. (Besides, I bet your colleague admires qualities in your dancing, too.) When I started offering my classmate rides home after ballet, we gradually opened up to each other. I learned she was not "perfect," but was struggling with a lot of insecurities. My jealousy softened. I stopped seeing her as a threat (and myself as chopped liver) and gained a wonderful new friend.

While it's probably not your gut reaction to want to learn from your competitors, there are advantages to being surrounded by phenomenal dancers. Observe—or simply ask—how she approaches steps you're having trouble with. Take note of her artistic nuances. Rather than feeling defeated in the presence of talented dancers, see this as an opportunity to push yourself to a higher level.

Have a question? Send it to Pointe editor and former dancer Amy Brandt at: askamy@dancemedia.com.

Latest Posts


Pacific Northwest Ballet's Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan, photographed by Jayme Thornton for Pointe

The Radiant Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan: Why She's One to Watch at Pacific Northwest Ballet

Hollywood could make a movie about Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan's big break at Pacific Northwest Ballet.

It was November 2017, and the company was performing Crystal Pite's film-noir–inspired Plot Point, set to music by Bernard Hermann from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Ryan, then a first-year corps member, originally was understudying the role of another dancer. But when principal Noelani Pantastico was injured in a car accident, Ryan was tapped to take over her role.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Maria Kochetkova. Darian Volkova, Courtesy Kochetkova

Maria Kochetkova on How COVID-19 Affected Her Freelance Career, and Her New Home at Finnish National Ballet

When international star Maria Kochetkova embarked on a freelance career three years ago, she never envisioned how a global pandemic would affect it. In 2018, the Russian-born ballerina left the security of San Francisco Ballet, a company she called home for more than a decade, for the globe-trotting life of a guest star. Before the pandemic, Kochetkova managed her own performing schedule and was busier than ever, enjoying artistic freedom and expanding her creative horizons. This all changed in March 2020, when she saw her booming career—and her jet-setting lifestyle—change almost overnight.

After months of uncertainty, Kochetkova landed at Finnish National Ballet, where she is a principal dancer for the 2020–21 season. Pointe spoke with her about her time during the quarantine and what helped her to get through it, her new life in Helsinki, and what keeps her busy and motivated these days.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
DTH's Alexandra Hutchinson and Derek Brockington work out with trainer Lily Overmyer at Studio IX. Photo by Joel Prouty, Courtesy Hutchinson.

Working Out With DTH’s Alexandra Hutchinson

Despite major pandemic shutdowns in New York City, Alexandra Hutchinson has been HIIT-ing her stride. Between company class with Dance Theater of Harlem and projects like the viral video "Dancing Through Harlem"—which she co-directed with roommate and fellow DTH dancer Derek Brockington—Hutchinson has still found time to cross-train. She shares her motivation behind her killer high-intensity interval training at Studio IX on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks