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Oreogal

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Reply with quote  #1 
My kids are both young and recreational dancers. We made the switch this year after 2 years at an extremely small, family run, everyone somehow "knows" the owner type studio, to the largest "top competition" studio in my area. We left our old studio after a crappy year and me thinking there has to better run studios then this. We went from a studio with 8 kids in the class, half who were in DDs class the year before, all us moms knew each other and each other kids on a first name basis (some are on my FB too), to this studio with 20 kids in my oldest DD's class and teachers who didn't know my kids name until about January. The waiting areas becomes an obstacle course just trying to get your kid outside bc it gets so packed.

I know there's pros and cons of every business.
On a whole, I LIKE how this studio is run. Staff is friendly, studio is well kept and clean, prices are great, communication is on point, no hidden fees and my little one goes for half off the tuition. What I still haven't gotten used to...the extremely impersonal feel, inclusive parents and really large class sizes (although that depends on the day.) I get that parent cliques are every where. And unfortunately, when we do after school activities, we do it alone bc I don't have friends with kids my kids age. At our old studio, there was an enormous amount of butt kissing and it worked well on the teachers lol. And this was a 4 year old class. Here, none of that goes on, from what I can see at least.

My DD, whose 6, loves the teacher (hated the teacher at old school) and I believe "likes" the dance aspect of it, but has complained here and there that she has no friends in the class. I don't even think the teacher introduces the kids. Although, this is probably more to do with her personality and maybe feeling more comfortable in a small group. If we would have stayed at our old studio, DD would be in a class with one of her good friends from her elementary school. I jokingly asked her if she wished she was at her old studio, her answer "Oh no, I like this place much better." Go figure. I sort of feel bad that she feels lonely in the class. Her younger sister adores her class, asks to go all week and is not bothered at all with it being larger. 

The parents? Lets just say older DD and I sit in the corner each week and I'm lucky if another parent even makes eye contact with us. And it's been like this the whole year. It's just well, odd in comparison to our old school where all us moms were on a group text list together. And while not all were my cup of tea and we didn't see each other outside the studio, there was a warmness there that is def. not here lol.

So I was just curious is this was just the norm of larger studios?
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #2 
I guess the most helpful response I can come up with is that there really is no "norm" for studios of any size. Large or small you will find pros and cons and you have to measure them all out.

I sympathize with you because you have two children to contend with.

At just 6 years old I think it's fair to ask your children how they feel about the studio, but in the end, you have to be the one to make the call. It may not be what they think is best, but as the parent it's up to you to figure out what truly is best.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #3 

Looking back over the years, my very outgoing child really did not make dance friends until she moved out of the recreational beginner type classes and into the competition team classes.  At the ballet school, those friendships bloomed when she started doing the Nutcracker and other ballets that required some time outside of class. That's the unifying factor. If it's a good school, with a good teacher who knows how to manage a class, large or small, they don't have any time in class to forge friendships. I think the friends will come with time. 

Large class sizes are OK if they are learning and the teachers are making sure that everyone is learning. Over many years, dd has been in small classes and large classes. A class of 20+ when she was about 12 or 13 was too large because the teacher did not take the time to correct everyone. A class of 30 at a summer program was an excellent experience because the teacher constantly moved around the room, correcting students. Granted, I am talking about ballet, but this applies to any genre. 

It sounds like this is a strong studio overall. I cannot say if large studios are always impersonal or not. It did not particularly feel that way at the very large studio were dd began her dance journey, but I also wasn't paying that much attention to that factor. I didn't get to know other parents much at all there, until around the time we were leaving, so if I had come from a place where everyone knows your name, I might have felt that way as well. Once again, it wasn't until dd was competing that I even began to learn the names of some of the other parents.

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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #4 
We have been at both a large mega studio and a small family studio.

At the mega (ages 2-9) we didn't really start being friendly with parents until DS joined the company at 4 and then it was mostly just with the parents of the kids in his class.  Once they were there multiple times a week it became easier to talk to the parents and get friendly.  We were never really friends because I had nothing in common with these women (stay at home moms with nannies and kids in private school) but they were at least friendly around dance stuff.

At the small studio we came in later and got a lot of anger from a couple of moms because DS was placed higher then their kids who had been there longer.  For quite a while I would try and make conversation and they would just stare right through me.  I eventually gave up on them and started talking to other moms when they came for drop off and pick up.  Those were real friendships that still last to this day even though DS hasn't been at the studio for almost 3 years now.

As far as the kids I found that DS didn't really have friends at the mega studio because the parents really taught their kids that everyone was their competition and they could be quite nasty.  At the smaller studio from the day he walked in the kids were very welcoming but it also helped that they were all spending 18+ hours together every week on top of comps and recitals.  Even now he is still friends with some of them.
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