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PointeMom

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Reply with quote  #1 
I guess this is maybe more of a vent. Actually a couple of things. My DD’s comp team has had the same dancers for a few years. Some have come and gone but there have been 4 of the same. One of the dancers has been a teacher’s daughter. My DD is besties with her for years. Unknown to us and others this girl has been given opportunities that no one else has been offered and other things have been held off because this girl hasn’t been old enough to participate. This girl is a year or two younger than some in the team too. She is a great dancer but obviously gets special treatment. She has taken advanced classes all along with older girls and now this year is en pointe at the age of 10. Of course it was all secret squirrel too. And once this year started she was not in any of the technique classes with her team yet is labeled as one of the team. Only takes the advanced classes with older girls and classes that are combined with her regular team. My DD’s team has a choreography class just for dance choreography. Although this other girl doesn’t take this teams technique classes she is in their choreography class and their comp dances. Why bother? If she’s an advanced dancer then she should stay with that team and let this hard working team have their moment without her being used as the trophy prop front and center. Ugh.

Also, some parents at the studio have recently become members of a separate scholarship/fundraising group completely separate from the studio. Other parents from other studios are also part of it. When it was offered to us as an option we were told that there would be voting to put new officers in place. I thought we would nominate people for these positions but at the next meeting they (i guess current officers and ?) said they discussed who they thought would be good for the positions and told us who they were. A teacher who is also a mom of two student is now the VP of of this nonprofit. Is this weird? Conflict of interest? She has two dancers bat the studio, doesn’t even have pay tuition but she’s now able to get hundreds of dollars from fundraising. Maybe I’m a little jealous but I think being an employee at the studio and the VP of the nonprofit is weird. I know she is a mom of dancers too but.... eh I don’t know. Anyway...thanks for letting me get it all out.
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5678StarMom

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Reply with quote  #2 
It's probably not a good thing or a privilege that she's up on pointe at 10. A vast majority of dancers should wait until 12.

I understand that it feels very secret squirrel, search my old posts and you will see I've talked about the exact same stuff. But I have learned over the years not to care what others are doing. And obviously a mother and daughter aren't entitled to tell you everything they do, even if it is about dance, even if you are besties. Even if it feels bad. Clearly they aren't as considerate as you had hoped.[frown]

**Don't wait for dance opportunities to be handed to your daughter if you want them for her. Go out and find them.

How on earth is something like that a non for profit? To pay for comp dance? The studios/programs I know that have managed to be non for profit have to show that they are using the funds all equally among members of the organization and doing a service to the community.

But on fundraising...I also do not wait for opportunities to be handed to me...I do it on my own. Ebay and local selling mostly. Also I look for odd jobs like babysitting and cleaning for my DD15. And she volunteers for her studio that is a non for profit.

As far as venting, vent away! But it does sound like there's some burn out on your end at this studio, possibly a toxic environment. Sorry for that.
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PointeMom

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Reply with quote  #3 

Thank you so much for your reply. I really feel like I’found a good place to vent or ask questions or opinions. As for finding Dance opportunities for my DD, I have to get permission before going to any convention or master class at any other studio. It’s beyond silly. For the secret squirrel stuff, for me, it’s not so much that I care what others are doing so much as feeling like the upper hand comes down upon anyone who dares to ask about who’s doing what. It’s almost like a “it’s none of your business” or “don’t speak unless spoken to” thing. And for what it’s worth, some things hidden make sense but transparency on some things is better than not having it. When people find out from gossip it’s worse than when it’s just presented as open information. It’s really toxic this year - at least from my seat. The younger comp team supposedly has serious issues with respect and behavior. The teacher kicked them out of one class once. The owner won’t address it and supposedly wants to bring some professional in to deal with it. I think that’s a mistake. If the studio owner doesn’t take charge and own her position and discuss what she expects from those parents and students, then she loses respect and faith from everyone. I’m a mom that 99% of the time drops off and picks up without even going into the building. For me to even know all of this is insane.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #4 
I hear you on the lack of transparency. DD was at a studio that was similar with secret opportunities offered only to certain dancers (albeit very talented dancers). It created a negative vibe, made it hard for the child who has to keep the secrets and made it uncomfortable for the others as the truth started to come out... And all the dang rumors as the kids were picking up on what was going on. Lots of hurt feelings when if it had been open from the start, it would have been far easier to mitigate. Definitely was something toxic that didn't need to be.

Sometimes I wonder if there's some SO handbook that recommends this secret squirrel behavior. If there is, it needs an update because it does create a certain level of negativity.

DD eventually left that studio for another that was actually far more transparent. They were also very supportive of their dancers. If there was something they thought a dancer would benefit from such as a class elsewhere, they would recommend it. There was none of this asking permission to take a class elsewhere unless it interfered with class or rehearsal at the studio.
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MNDanceDad

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tendumom
I hear you on the lack of transparency. DD was at a studio that was similar with secret opportunities offered only to certain dancers (albeit very talented dancers). It created a negative vibe, made it hard for the child who has to keep the secrets and made it uncomfortable for the others as the truth started to come out... And all the dang rumors as the kids were picking up on what was going on. Lots of hurt feelings when if it had been open from the start, it would have been far easier to mitigate. Definitely was something toxic that didn't need to be. Sometimes I wonder if there's some SO handbook that recommends this secret squirrel behavior. If there is, it needs an update because it does create a certain level of negativity. DD eventually left that studio for another that was actually far more transparent. They were also very supportive of their dancers. If there was something they thought a dancer would benefit from such as a class elsewhere, they would recommend it. There was none of this asking permission to take a class elsewhere unless it interfered with class or rehearsal at the studio.



It's one thing to say...and quite another to do.  That's the only challenge.

Our studio owner encouraged us to seek additional classes elsewhere to help my son's development.  However, when I told her we actually signed him up for a couple classes, she was extremely upset.  That has now turned into passive/aggressive comments from not only her, but her assistant as well.  It breaks my son's heart because he's so close to her.  I wish she'd do a better job supporting, but now all it seems she wants to do is dissuade him from eventually leaving for better overall training.
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Phx115

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Reply with quote  #6 
It seems to me - and I've been through it too - that if a venting post is lengthy, it is time to look at other studios. Every studio has its good and negative points. You just have to decide what you and your DD can stand.

The one thing I want to address is finding outside opportunities. A couple of comp studios ago, the SO was against DD - age 8 at the time - taking an extra ballet class at a ballet-only studio. SO also didn't want her taking a 1-week ballet intensive in Chicago. Unfortunately, I listened to her about the extra ballet class to which I still regret, but I did take her and a couple of friends to the Chicago intensive. These studios, bottom line, are a business. They don't always want you to see what else is out there, perhaps better training?!

Seriously, no SO - short of a few big-name pre-pro programs - is going to dictate whether my child can seek out other opportunities. Even for comps/conventions, I've registered my DD on my own but still listed her studio. There are still quite a few conventions that allow independent entries.

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ggsmith

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phx115
It seems to me - and I've been through it too - that if a venting post is lengthy, it is time to look at other studios. Every studio has its good and negative points. You just have to decide what you and your DD can stand.


This, exactly.  Business owners can run their business however they wish to, playing games with secret opportunities, "forbidding" their clients from shopping elsewhere, etc.  As the person footing the bill and responsible for raising my kid, I get to decide what we as a family are willing to pay for and what inconveniences we are willing to put up with.
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Rushhourmom

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Reply with quote  #8 
The situation you describe is something I’ve seen more or less at every studio we’ve been part of.

From my standpoint, there’s no reason a child who is ready for advanced technique should be held back just because her age or size make her a better fit for a junior group. Technique instruction should be provided by ability, by age. Even going en pointe at 10, while not advisable for most, is something some bodies are ready for. Choreography is really uninventive when it has a strong single dancer featured over and over. I would have issues with that even if it was my kid who was featured. But her actual training really IS none of your business and not up to you to question. Is your own dancer being challenged enough? That’s all you need to worry about as far as technique training goes.

The fundraising stuff sounds concerning. That’s something I would bring up. But I would let the stuff with the dancer go.
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PointeMom

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Reply with quote  #9 
You are correct. Her training IS none of my business. My frustration was more with the non transparency and having people being told to keep secrets. Also with the taking advanced classes yet dancing down for being featured. I agree that even if it were my child I wouldn’t like it. I’ve been asked to keep things secret before and sure there are times it should be kept but other times I think it just causes more drama.
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