Bullies sometimes excuse their own behavior by saying they're just strict. But there's a difference. Photo by Thinkstock
A few months ago, your teacher snapped at you for smiling too much. Today, you're keeping your expression neutral when your teacher abruptly cuts the music and walks over to you, pretending to knock on your forehead. "Hello? Is anyone in there? Your face is always blank." Your classmates look just as frozen as you feel, their eyes darting back and forth between you and your teacher until the music resumes and class goes on.
Being bullied by a dance teacher can be painful—and confusing. You may have more questions than answers. What's happening?Am I just too sensitive? Is this really bullying?
Remember: The bully is the weaker person. Photo by Francisco Gonzalez/Unsplash
Being bullied, unfortunately, is still a common experience among dance students, particularly male dance students. But there are a variety of strategies that you can use to help deal with difficult emotions and restore self-confidence.
Name calling, physical intimidation and cyberbullying are all-too-common experiences among male dancers. Photo by Goh Rhy Yan/Unsplash
Growing up in a family-owned dance studio in Missouri had its perks for tap dancer Anthony Russo. But it also earned him constant taunting, especially in high school.
"There was a junior in my sophomore year health class who was absolutely relentless," he says. "I'd get tripped on my way to the front of the classroom and he'd say, 'Watch out, twinkle toes.' If I raised my hand and answered a question incorrectly, I'd hear a patronizing 'Nice one, Bojangles.' "