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How to Respond to Nonsense Competition/Bullying in Dance Class?


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Old 19th January 2018, 10:22 AM   #1
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How to Respond to Nonsense Competition/Bullying in Dance Class?

Hey all,

I'm a male dancer with an annoying problem.

There is this guy in my class and team who, for whatever reason, has been acting as if he is in competition with me pretty much from when we met.

He has made clear his need to be alpha and dominant. He says he wants to "take over the class," finds ways to interrupt me and put his hands on me when I'm not addressing him, bump into me, and he makes it a point to position himself next to me in classes and at rehearsals and tries desperately to outdo me. When I have a mishap of some kind (e.g. losing my coat at practice), he laughs at me and says "I don't know why I'm laughing."

I don't understand it at all. We are not in a competition. We are part of a team. There is literally no need to do this. I am a good dancer, but not the best in class. But I am shorter than average and so is he, and I wonder if that has something to do with it. I literally have no problem with this guy. He is annoying, but I don't feel like I'm supposed to compete with him or one-up him. I have no idea what his deal is.

I do not feel threatened or intimidated by him. He wreaks of insecurity and a desperation to be liked. He tries too hard. His social skills are weak. He is not a very good dancer and is always trying to get ahead of himself and show off moves he cannot execute well.

I've just tried to ignore him, but it's getting to the point where I can't focus in class and do my job as well because he's always RIGHT there beside me and is acting annoying. I take dance very seriously and am there to be a team player. It is getting to the point where I'm considering dropping, and I really don't want to do that.

How should I address this? The last thing I want to do is create drama or feed into what he's doing. At the same time, if I do nothing, I don't think I'll be able to focus properly.

Last edited by TunaInTheBrine; 19th January 2018 at 10:27 AM..
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Old 19th January 2018, 11:53 AM   #2
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He's probably like this in every area of his life and is just an annoying person. Are you two the only men in the class? What kind of dance is it?
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Old 19th January 2018, 12:06 PM   #3
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He's probably like this in every area of his life and is just an annoying person. Are you two the only men in the class? What kind of dance is it?
No, there are plenty of other men in the class.

Yes, I get the impression he acts annoying in other areas of his life too. But I haven't seen him get all competitive and up-close with other guys besides me.
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Old 19th January 2018, 12:32 PM   #4
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No, there are plenty of other men in the class.

Yes, I get the impression he acts annoying in other areas of his life too. But I haven't seen him get all competitive and up-close with other guys besides me.
Is he gay? Maybe he likes you and is behaving like the proverbial little boy dunking the girl's braids in the inkwell?
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Old 19th January 2018, 3:52 PM   #5
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Is he gay? Maybe he likes you and is behaving like the proverbial little boy dunking the girl's braids in the inkwell?
I don't think so. He likes to talk about how he "is a seducer" and is always putting his arm around and getting too close to some of the women at our team parties. He flashed a bag of pot at me once too and said, "what do you think of this?" Very unprofessional and self-involved guy.

I think he sees me as someone who he can engage his competitive side with, for whatever reason. I have no clue what his issue is with me.
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Old 19th January 2018, 4:08 PM   #6
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I don't think so. He likes to talk about how he "is a seducer" and is always putting his arm around and getting too close to some of the women at our team parties. He flashed a bag of pot at me once too and said, "what do you think of this?" Very unprofessional and self-involved guy.

I think he sees me as someone who he can engage his competitive side with, for whatever reason. I have no clue what his issue is with me.
He probably admires you and wants to be like you. He sounds like one of my son's classmates who has driven him nuts for years. The kid has some social issues. So I'll tell you what I tell my son. "You don't have to be his best friend, but you do have to be kind."
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Old 19th January 2018, 5:28 PM   #7
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Ask your instructor to separate you. Not sure she/he will, but it's worth asking. Ask to be far behind him. If I were you, I'd just change positions if he came up next to me. If he said anything, I'd say, Man, I need to be able to concentrate.
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Old 19th January 2018, 5:32 PM   #8
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He probably admires you and wants to be like you. He sounds like one of my son's classmates who has driven him nuts for years. The kid has some social issues. So I'll tell you what I tell my son. "You don't have to be his best friend, but you do have to be kind."
If he does, and this is his way of trying to win a friend, I'm certainly not feeling like I'm being treated like a normal respectful person. His behavior strikes me as odd and I don't feel comfortable near him.

I do try to be kind to him. I greet him and say "hey man, what's up?," hoping it somehow lessens the perceived competition he seems to have with me, but I admit that I do not make efforts to engage him in any way and snub his attempts to engage me socially when they are competitive-like or alpha male-ish in hopes that he can take the hint that it's not cool to do that.
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Old 19th January 2018, 5:34 PM   #9
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Ask your instructor to separate you. Not sure she/he will, but it's worth asking. Ask to be far behind him. If I were you, I'd just change positions if he came up next to me. If he said anything, I'd say, Man, I need to be able to concentrate.
I do reposition myself. Somehow, he follows me, either right beside me or behind me. We rotate lines every few minutes and he'll make his way toward me somehow.

I have thought about naming what's happening in class as it's happening (like you said, "man, I need to concentrate" or simply "can we just focus and act professional?") but I don't want to seem like a trouble-maker and now suddenly I'm viewed at as the problem. I don't think he does this with anyone else, and if anyone besides me has similar feelings about him then I am not aware of it.

He's not acting outright mean, but his behavior is quite passive-aggressive and irritating.

I'm considering quitting the team (not solely because of him, but I would say he is the #1 irritation I have since it interferes with my learning and performance ability).

Last edited by TunaInTheBrine; 19th January 2018 at 5:45 PM..
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Old 20th January 2018, 1:02 AM   #10
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I'm considering quitting the team (not solely because of him, but I would say he is the #1 irritation I have since it interferes with my learning and performance ability).
Don't do that. No one should convince you to quit something you like. And if the other reasons are "you're not the best" like you've said, well, you can only get better when the distractions are gone.

You have the right to personal space, to receive instruction in class, and to be able to enjoy a team hobby without someone making it out to be some inner competition.

Stop being nice. Overbearing people love those who take their crap. Next time you move away say, "I need more room" so he knows that your purpose is to get away. When he talks during instruction tell him, "Hey can you not? I'm actually trying to learn."
You really think the instructor is going to think you're the problem when you're making every effort to be better? No!
It's not being mean because you're not taking jabs at his personality and tearing him apart. You're only deflecting him away from you and self preserving.
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Old 20th January 2018, 3:51 AM   #11
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Yeah, don't quit the team. You're going to run into a lot of annoying people in your life and you can't just remove yourself from the situation every time it happens.

This guy sounds like he's trying to be your friend. He's just one of those people who always tries to one-up others, show off, or get attention. They're pretty common. You can't take it personally; those personality types behave that way with everyone.

Even if he really is trying to directly compete with you, the best thing you can do is to not play into it and not let it bother you.
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Old 28th January 2018, 2:08 PM   #12
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I do reposition myself. Somehow, he follows me, either right beside me or behind me. We rotate lines every few minutes and he'll make his way toward me somehow.

I have thought about naming what's happening in class as it's happening (like you said, "man, I need to concentrate" or simply "can we just focus and act professional?") but I don't want to seem like a trouble-maker and now suddenly I'm viewed at as the problem. I don't think he does this with anyone else, and if anyone besides me has similar feelings about him then I am not aware of it.

He's not acting outright mean, but his behavior is quite passive-aggressive and irritating.

I'm considering quitting the team (not solely because of him, but I would say he is the #1 irritation I have since it interferes with my learning and performance ability).
Look, you need to bust him out loud if he continually repositions himself to be near you. Loudly say "Stop following me around! I'm trying to work here!" I'd report it for sure. The instructor may be spineless though, so you should embarrass him out loud for doing it.
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Old 7th February 2018, 3:22 AM   #13
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At what level are you dancing? Is it just training or you have rehearsals, shows, etc.?
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