Hello from Eureka Springs!
A few days ago, my most recent Pointe magazine article went live. The working title was "Big Fish, Small Pond," but it got changed before publication to something more direct (and also because Pointe's used it in the past.) New title: "How to Find Motivation When You Realize You Need More Advanced Training," which translates to, well, how to deal with the shock of discovering that the "big ocean" of the dance world is way bigger, deeper, and choppier than you knew.
I interviewed one pro dancer who went through this, plus three teachers who see it all the time (and probably felt it to some degree early in their own dance lives.) Claire Solis, a dancer with Syracuse City Ballet, is passionate about the topic. After getting into a prestigious school, much larger and more intense than the studio where she'd gotten all her previous training, she was placed in a class with kids three years younger than her. Despite being talented and promising, her training had big gaps and she had to race to catch up. She credits the situation with showing her how to overcome the instinct to hide or let insecurity and despair rule in an overwhelming setting, and carried that with her all the way through her professional life.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the sources, and a link to the full article on Pointe+. Enjoy, and as Claire said, even when you feel embarrassed about being behind the curve, 'Put yourself in the front of the room every day."