Hate being right

Oh Lordy you guys.
Ok, so it’s after class, I’m putting my sneakers on, and Best Girl sez, “hey, how’s the ankle?” and I’m like, “it’s good! Not feeling it in class anymore, not even in the escappés, seems like a good sign! Gonna ask Smirnoff about coming back to pointe class!”
And she’s like, “Good! We need people.”
And I’m like, “Have you been having class lately?”
And she’s all, “No, that’s the thing! It keeps getting cancelled because there aren’t enough people! And I’ve been trying to get him to change to one of the smaller studios so then it will be cheaper to rent and he wouldn’t have to have so many people to cover the cost but he just won’t change. He’s just stubborn! And the small studios are available! I asked! But he won’t change. You ask him. If he says no to you…”
And I’m like, “Ok, well, ok. I really want to come back. I miss it.”
She says, “me too.”
So end of next class, we reverénce, I go up and say that I think I’m ready to come back to pointe, what does he think, may I join the pointe class on Friday?
And he says, “Well, but, My Dear, there is no class.”
And I’m like, “there isn’t?”
And he’s like, “No My Dear, we must cancel class Friday, there are not enough people.”
And I’m like, “oh, but, even if I come too? There’s still not enough?”
And he’s like, “My Dear, we must have five people. To cover the cost, and to have a good class.”
And this is when Best Girl joins in, pointing out that with me added we have four people, and if we used the smaller studio the rental fee is less expensive, so maybe we don’t have to have five people after all. But he says no, the small studio floors are wood on concrete, they were laid for tap, they are no good for pointe. No good! And she says what if the four of us pay $25 instead of $20? That would equal the same, right? And he’s insisting No, it cannot be.
Gentle Reader, at this juncture, I am outtie. I mean, I have seen people try to argue very legitimate things with Smirnoff, stuff like You Should Start Class On Time, stuff like, If You Collect The Money In The Lobby, We Can Start Right Away When We Enter The Classroom. Pointless arguments. I mean, the man is in his seventies, he is never ever going to change the way he collects the money, or the way he starts class with greetings and praise and asking after health and writing attendance and monies, by frikin hand, in his ledger. It’s just not gonna happen.
Anyway, so Smirnoff is insisting that it cannot be, Best Girl is upset, lé assistant jumps in and starts arguing, which is really bad because her arguing style is scarily similar to how Mr. Adult Beginner describes our neighbor’s tiny yappy dog: he barks, and then the bark startles him so he barks louder, and then that loud bark startles him more so he barks even louder, and then it is this ever building chain of barkBarkBarkBARKARKARKARKBAKAKABARKABARK!!!!
Smirnoff is repeating his (pretty darn legitimate) complaint that the other floor is bad, and that he doesn’t want us paying more unless we really are buying a private class, that one learns better in a class of five, if it’s a class it’s a class, if it’s a private, it must be intentional and cost more;
Best Girl grabs her bag and storms off;
Lé assistant is barking about how those other girls haven’t even been to regular class in weeks and you can’t just take pointe only, this is not some Drive-Thru type situation, (what?) and besides they make so very little money as it is, the studio charges them $40 for rental and there are people in New York who would pay $35 a piece for this type of class (uh, New York, is this true? ‘Cause at $20 a pop Smirnoff’s is the most expensive class I’ve taken, NYC or anywhere);
And I’m just standing there thinking, “Woah, what the fuck just happened?!”
So, uh, yeah. Everybody upset, bad scene, and Did I Call It Or What? Totally knew this would happen! Pointe class would totally fall apart while I was out with this stupid ankle!
Stupid ankle.
Stupid Fair-weather Ballerinas.
Ok, so I drive home, still kinda freaked out, (conflict, oh noes!) and find this in the mailbox.
The first issue of my brand new subscription.
Seriously, universe, why you gotta do me like that?!
Not cool!


About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
This entry was posted in Ballerina Class, and other pointe-y stuff, Bark! Bark! Bark! and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Hate being right

  1. William Ward says:

    Broadway Dance Center would charge $18 for a single class (discounts if you bought 5 or 10 classes at once,) but there were days when you could hardly find room at the barre on a Sunday, although weekdays were pretty good. I don’t know if $35 means a less crowded class, but I’d go for that on occasion if I could get more instruction.
    I should like to find a basic class in the evenings around the UWS, bonus if it was 5 people + teacher.

    What to do now?

    • Huh, you’re right, one could definitely make a class more appealing by raising the price a bit to give the impression of keeping out the riff-raff. But raise it too much and and you keep out everybody. Drop the price too much and you loose the perceived value of the class, run the risk of being seen as cheap, and not in the good way.
      Money is weird.
      The $35 comment struck as odd because ballet class prices really seem to hover around an average all across the country, $15, $18, $20…$12 with SAG or AFTRA, not that that benefits me thank you very much.
      Also, $40 seems really inexpensive for studio rental! Bet the studio owners are cutting Smirnoff a deal. Wonder if he’s aware of that.
      Also, it means that time I had my accidental private class, he actually had to pay the studio $20, as my class fee didn’t cover the rental fee. Or maybe he pays by the week, so the larger Saturday class has a chance to balance the smaller week night classes.
      Anyway, what to do now? Well, for you, I know of a good class on the Lower West Coast. Bit of a commute though.
      Hey Gentle Reader, know of a good basic Upper West Side evening class for Mr. Ward?
      As for me, time to start pestering my classmates about getting their behinds to pointe already.

      • William Ward says:

        :) You know what works for some of my friends? Pedicures night to get folks out of the house (not to dance, unfortuntely.) Perhaps that’s what’s in order. Pointe and Pedicures.

        Agreed on all other points!

  2. Yvonne says:

    O no! I’m sorry to hear that. You were so happy to finally be on pointe and now there’s no class…I hope you’ll find one in another studio if there’s no possibility at yours.

    • Grr it is such a bummer!!!
      But, you know, maybe as people’s schedules stabilize they’ll start coming back. End of summer/beginning of fall is always a big mess, even for people who have nothing to do with school.
      Here’s hoping.

  3. Yvonne says:

    This may be true. Hoping is always good :)

  4. Hannah says:

    oh, i LOVE Pointe magazine…the class i just started is $13 for an hour and a half, which seemed like a ridiculously good deal to me and it’s even cheaper if you pay by the semester. and paying by the semester encourages people to actually so up, so that’s nice!

    anyways, i hate conflict/drama…and during that conversation, i would have probably curled up into a ball and pretended no one could see me…yeah real, productive behavior, right?

    i hope you get to take pointe again soon! it’s such a joy…

    • Yeah, I love Pointe magazine too. Was pretty excited to get it, aside from the Rediculous Timing!!! Not even sure why I like it so much, I mean, it’s totally geared towards young girls looking to go pro…but it’s just so pretty.

  5. mladen says:

    20 bucks per class. wow. now i’m ashamed i protest my 55 bucks per month (for two classes per week. and this is one of the highest rates for dance schools here. i guess i’m really getting a good deal.

    i hope you’re going to make them send you an intact copy of that pointe magazine.

  6. Lisa says:

    My classes are cheapety cheap, but my school is also non-profit. But I have to second the number of people thing. My class only ever has 3 people, and it’s hard because it’s possible to end up in places where you have no one to follow, and even then it woudl be nice to have a few more people to watch to see the differences.

    • Yeah, I agree, five really does seem like a good number. Plenty to follow, plus five all bourré-ing en pointe in a row looks really cool.
      My very first teacher, Sazerac, the one before Smirnoff, charged $10 per class, and there was actually a guy who complained about the price! Whut?! I think her class was being subsidized by the studio some way.

  7. My parents live just outside of LA, so sometimes I’m there hangin’ out. If you want to ever take a semi-private pointe class with another pointe beginner, let me know!

    • Totally! Where do you go? Or do you want to join mine? That’s cool, as long as you’re cool with taking the class blindfolded to protect my identity.

      • Haha (sorry this is a million years later) I don’t go anywhere in LA, as I live in Santa Barbara (if you’re ever up here I can point you to a ballet class any day of the week), but it was just an idea I threw out there. Wouldn’t that be weird if we actually took a class together? Who knows– maybe I’ll do some research and find my way into Smirnoff’s class and then I’ll try to figure out who you are and you won’t even know I’m one of your blog readers. Ha!

  8. odile53 says:

    At my school pointe class is $15 per month in addition to three classes per week at $85 per month, making it $100 per month just to get pointe. But that’s a pretty general requirement (three classes per week.)

    Suggestion—until Smirnoff decides to resuscitate the adult pointe, put the shoes on every day and at least go into the kitchen, grab the barre (er, make that counter,) and do some releves, some echappes, and bouree around a bit. You have to keep at it to keep your strength. You’ve done beginning pointe before, you should know how it feels, and should know if you’re sickling, winging, or bending your knees or are too far back. You could also ask him if you could take barre in technique class en pointe (I do all my technique classes en pointe, at least through barre.) If that’s too much, do the first part of barre en pointe and just go to demi for the rest of it (yes, you can do demi in shoes. Matter of fact, you should be able to do demi in shoes!) And if he’s teaching kids pointe, I’d start bugging him to be able to take the twelve year old class with the twelve year olds. No harm intended to felines, but as grandma used to say, there’s more than one way to skin a cat!

    As crummy as this situation is, it would be even crummier if he restarted the class and you were not ready for it.

    • candice says:

      +1 to all of this. The class with the twelve year olds is not intimidating at all, either.

      One tip from my teacher re: practicing at home, is avoid floors with a lot of wax, because you don’t want that stuff making your shoes slick..

    • I feel super encouraged that you are encouraging me to keep at it at home! Seriously, I’v been thinking about putting the shoes on on my own time, and your comment makes me feel more confident about it. Yay.
      As far as taking his barre in pointe shoes, I don’t think he’d go for that, mainly because his pointe barre is, like, not even in the same postal code as his regular barre. It is worlds apart. If I ever get to do his pointe class again I’ll be sure to memorize his bizarro pointe barre and describe it, but for now I’ll just say it is very very different. Not like any kinda barre I’ve ever done before.
      He might teach kids somewhere else. Definitely not at this particular studio. That’s a good idea too.
      Ok! Wooooooo!

  9. Polly says:

    Ouch. That sucks.
    Also, it’s always weird when you’re suddenly in the middle of this strange argument that kind of sprouted around you and you’re wondering, “Is this my fault? What just happened?”

  10. lalatina says:

    That really sucks. I hope you can go back to pointe class soon!
    May be is a stuid question but, is pointe class at another studio an option? (with another teacher?)

    • It’s not a stupid question, but here’s my stupid answer: I have this total paranoid vision of going to another studio and asking another teacher, and that teacher totally yelling, “You?!?! In pointe class?!?!!! Never! Who ever let you take pointe in the first place?!! Just look at you!” and then this imaginary teacher would totally, like, take my pointe shoes out of my hands and shred them in a shredder like you’d shred a maxed-out credit card.

      • lalatina says:

        I get it! I would have the same thoughts. I don’t know the man, but Smirnoff looks like the kind of teacher that knows very well what he does when it comes to ballet. If he says you can do pointe, then you can! I would definetly give it a try if your current lesson doesn’t go on! :)

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