Dear Katie: My Dance Teachers Like My Sister Better Than Me!

June 15, 2016

In our “Dear Katie” series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email [email protected] for a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

My older sister is also a dancer, and we train at the same studio. Sometimes it’s great,
but it can also be awful. The teachers like her better than me, and she knows it. It feels like we’re competing with each other all the time. I don’t know how much longer I can deal with the pressure. What should I do?


Dear Maddy,

That kind of direct comparison can be difficult to handle—it feels so personal. But remember, you and your sister are not the same person. You have your own special qualities!

Clichéd as it sounds, the key here is to focus on what you need to do to get better and stronger. As a professional, you’ll constantly be up against many other dancers, so it’s actually good that you’re being forced to learn how to depend on yourself. Figuring out how to cope with sibling rivalry now will give you the tools you need to handle the pressures of competition throughout your career.

If you feel like your teachers’ focus on your sister is hurting your training, set up a formal meeting with them. Ask about specific things you can do to improve. And it might be worth getting your parents involved in the discussion. They know you and your sister inside and out, so they understand the dynamics of your relationship better than anyone.