What It's Like To Be A Ballet Teacher

26/01/2015 13:30 | Updated 20 May 2015

"The time you had as a dancer is a gift, and there's always someone else to hand it to," says Darci Kistler, a visiting Ballet Master at the New York City Ballet.

Kistler, who joined the company at 15, is one of 12 teachers who are continuing this legacy at the company.

The Ballet Master's job? "They take care of the ballet, they oversee it, they teach it and they put it on the stage," Kistler explains in episode six of Sarah Jessica Parker's docu-series.

Of course, it's not quite as simple as that.

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The film also follows Kathleen Tracey, another Ballet Master who had five years in the Corps and 10 years as a soloist before taking on her position. For her, the toughest part is giving guidance without damaging the dancers' drive and energy.

"It's a lot of pep talks, encouragement - there's also a lot of criticism," she says. "You have to learn how to speak to people in a constructive way - tone of voice, delivery, content. Having had the experience of being a dancer, I know that if you hear anything negative, it can destroy your ego for the day."

"The range of ages is also so delicate," Tracey adds. "With the young ones you have to say this is what is expected of you, you are now in the professional world."

Hear from the Ballet Masters above and don't miss more from the series as SJP explores life at the NYCB each week.

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