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SlackerMom

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Reply with quote  #76 

"Here's a new thought related to this thread...How many people have teachers at their studios that aren't qualified, related to competition dance. Meaning...the teachers that agree to be involved and teach this stuff are just grown up comp dancers themselves with no additional training. "

This part of the thread is pretty old now, but I want to say that yes, this has been an issue at my kid's school. Half the staff are adults who majored in dance. The rest are simply current or former competition dancers who are high school or college students. Obviously, they are cheap labor.

I see a huge difference in what the MISSION is for competition studios versus pre-pro companies. The main objective for a comp studio owner is to make money. Not the ONLY objective, but the main one. The main objective for the director of a pre-pro company is fine artistry. Again, not the ONLY objective, but the main one.

Comp studio owners get a kickback for every registration. I figured out how much must have been earned at a comp last year- my conservative estimate is $4,000 for the studio owner from a single weekend. Multiply that times however many comps per year and you can see why comp studios are proliferating.


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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #77 

I agree with in general, Slackermom. My cousin did competition dance all the way back in the 1970s. I've watched it grow exponentially. It's grown from even when dd did competition and that was 10 years ago already! Even when she competed, you could do several weekends a year of local competitions, which is exactly what she did. We never traveled more than an hour to get to a competition. Today, you could go to a local competition pretty much every weekend and have a choice of competitions. DD did maybe 3-4 comps each year. It did not feel like the focus, but a side activity. I hear about far more than that now. Even more, I feel like the emphasis was originally on group numbers. It seems like some dancers have multiple solos these days plus duos, and trios and all the groups. The costs make my head spin (and make what I spent on pointe shoes seem relatively benign!)

There is definitely money to be made at the studio level (if done right) and at the competition level as we see so many new competitions every year!  I keep wondering if that bubble will burst. 

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negarkidman

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Reply with quote  #78 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tendumom

@negarkidman,

Your post is a little confusing. She has good ballet training, but it is not classical ballet? What is it then if not classical ballet? Even contemporary ballet dancers take a classical ballet class (speaking of professional dancers). As a former comp mom and a ballet mom, I don't understand what you are saying. 

Your comment about recreational classes being way to easy for her reminded me of this quote.

"Beginner dancer- knows nothing
Intermediate dancer- knows everything, too good to dance with beginners
Hotshot dancer- too good to dance with anyone
Advanced dancer-dances everything, especially with beginners." 

I do get that recreational classes may not be appropriate, but there can be alternatives. A truly advanced dancer will get something out of the most basic class. That's why you see professional dancers taking classes at all levels. 

Anyway, there are cliques and favoritism to a degree almost no matter where you go or what you do. Some places do seem to encourage the drama mamas to flourish, others have an atmosphere where those behaviors are minimized. 

 

 

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negarkidman

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Reply with quote  #79 
Thank you! Very good quote indeed. I did not mean to come across as if rec classes are beneath her. In fact, she takes every level ballet, even lower level ones, just because her level is taught once a week. And yes, it's classical ballet classes (I think) It's not Russian, I know that for sure. Either way, she needs more ballet. Could you talk to me a little more about mom cliques? Is that at every studio as well? And what is an example of a studio encouraging drama mammas more than others? I found that allot of my team moms did ALLOT of gossiping, and when I didn't participate or when I confronted the gossiping, I stopped getting invited for drinks, and dinners at comps. So now, I feel left out and wonder if I should have made friends for my daughters sake. 

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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #80 
Gossipy moms and drama mamas exist everywhere.  They tend to be the same people most places.  For your own sanity distance yourself from them and don't worry about being part or their clique.  It's not worth it.  If you get in with those moms the SO will look at you differently even if you don't participate in the drama and gossip.
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Lorax

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Reply with quote  #81 
I think it depends on the SO, tappinmom... SO we no longer take our DD to was knee deep in the gossip and clique. In my opinion she looked at those not in the cliques as blank checks and she would use the families and dancers in the cliques to lure them (and their money) into activities. Very shrewd businesswoman who absolutely lost her marbles whenever someone figured out what she was doing. 

A good SO behaves like you are saying, tappinmom, but there's a lot of unethical "professionals" in the dance world too.
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #82 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorax
I think it depends on the SO, tappinmom... SO we no longer take our DD to was knee deep in the gossip and clique. In my opinion she looked at those not in the cliques as blank checks and she would use the families and dancers in the cliques to lure them (and their money) into activities. Very shrewd businesswoman who absolutely lost her marbles whenever someone figured out what she was doing. 

A good SO behaves like you are saying, tappinmom, but there's a lot of unethical "professionals" in the dance world too.


You're right that the behaviour comes from the top - to a point.  Our first studio was a mega in a very rich neighbourhood.  The major clique was the stay at home moms who had live in staff, kids went to private school and drove expensive cars.  The SO catered to those moms.  Their kids got all the attention and all the extras.  They were allowed to bully other children.  The SO did nothing.  That was why we left.  A couple of years later the SO got a surprise when all of her besties left to go to another studio being opened by a former teacher.

Second studio the SO did not fraternize with the parents outside of the studio much.  She treated all the kids the same way as she did her own.  Sounds cliché but it is true.  Anything a dancer got was earned on merit and not how much money she thought she could get out of you.  She would not allow drama mamas to contaminate her studio and anytime they tried it was stopped immediately.
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negarkidman

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Reply with quote  #83 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tappinmom


You're right that the behaviour comes from the top - to a point.  Our first studio was a mega in a very rich neighbourhood.  The major clique was the stay at home moms who had live in staff, kids went to private school and drove expensive cars.  The SO catered to those moms.  Their kids got all the attention and all the extras.  They were allowed to bully other children.  The SO did nothing.  That was why we left.  A couple of years later the SO got a surprise when all of her besties left to go to another studio being opened by a former teacher.

Second studio the SO did not fraternize with the parents outside of the studio much.  She treated all the kids the same way as she did her own.  Sounds cliché but it is true.  Anything a dancer got was earned on merit and not how much money she thought she could get out of you.  She would not allow drama mamas to contaminate her studio and anytime they tried it was stopped immediately.
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negarkidman

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Reply with quote  #84 
would you be willing to share with me how the new SO did not allow drama mamas to contaminate her studio? And how did she stop it? 
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negarkidman

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Reply with quote  #85 
Quote:
Originally Posted by irishdear
My daughter has been at the same studio since she was two and she is now 8, on two teams, and dancing nine hours a week - six of which are classical ballet.  Our school is really into YAGP and putting on productions, but the emphasis is on building a good foundation and then letting each dancer evolve.  I have been happy there as a mother, and I have seen my daughter succeed both skill wise as well as emotionally.  

However, the more time my daughter spends at the studio, the more I become aware of the social dramas with the mothers.  They are there.  What I have noticed though, is that most of the most dramatic and gossipy mothers are the ones who eventually come to light as seeming really insecure and unhappy.  The mothers whose daughters and sons are doing well are NOT the ones gossiping at our studio.  It's the ones who have dancers that are not where they as parents feel they should be.  In the end I think it comes down to trust.  If the families trust that their dancer children are in good hands, then the decisions that are being made regarding placement, opportunities, lateral movement, etc. are not questioned and gossip is low.  It is when the parents lack trust in those calling the shots, the people teaching, the SO, etc. that I have seen turn to gossip and drama as a means of expressing their doubts, fears and insecurities.  The solution is to stay as far away from that as you possibly can.  Seriously, far, far away.  It is not only not helpful, but it can suck you in and create a thought pattern that truly denigrates both your experience as well as that of your dancer child.
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negarkidman

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Reply with quote  #86 
Amen!!!! I agree with you 100%  
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negarkidman

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Reply with quote  #87 
Quote:
Originally Posted by irishdear
Negakidman,

At our studio the SO does not mingle with the parents.  There is a social hierarchy that is not crossed.  The teachers are also not chummy with the mothers.  Boundaries are firm and not crossed.  Trust is high.  It helps that the SO is a very well known former prima and her decisions are made with expertise.  However, she has a reputation for being very interested in her students, recognizing those who are on time, not missing classes, and genuinely passionate about dance as an art.  She is invested in creating skilled dancers, not just ballerinas, and her dedication to this mission is more important than her ego.  She isn't particularly invested in how many competitions our studio wins, but rather, how solid the dancers coming out of our studio are in regards to technique and professionalism.  With that in mind the families that are attracted to our studio tend to value dance as an art over and above competition.  I think that helps keep the drama and petty jealousy to a minimum.  If you want that there are plenty other schools in the Chicago land area that foster competition and getting ahead.  Our SO is not interested in seeing 10 year olds that wow her with tricks, she wants to spend her time laying down foundations and then watching how her students evolve.  Hope that makes sense.  It does start from the top...
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negarkidman

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Reply with quote  #88 
You're at my dream studio!!! I wish we were there. Ugh! 
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negarkidman

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Reply with quote  #89 
Quote:
Originally Posted by irishdear
also in general, and especially on the jazz side of things, parents are NOT able to push, pull or suggest placements decisions for their dancer children.  There is no sense of favoritism going on because so and so knows so and so.  There is favoritism mind you, but it is based on merits and intangibles that a child possesses - not because a parent has sucked up, knows the SO sister, or has contributed the most money to the studio.   There is a sense that those who are truly skilled, committed, and tenacious will be the ones that rise, and the others who aren't won't.  It is truly hard to argue with a system like that.  It's like picking a battle with someone over whether or not oranges are the color orange.  When you have an objective hierarchy and not a subjective one I think it makes for a more stable and trusting environment.
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negarkidman

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Reply with quote  #90 
Your feedback rang so true for me! I appreciate it so much! 
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #91 
Quote:
Originally Posted by negarkidman
would you be willing to share with me how the new SO did not allow drama mamas to contaminate her studio? And how did she stop it? 


She was a very tough no nonsense lady.  She had a front desk staff and anytime a parent started complaining she would hear about it and have a word with them.  If it was severe enough they were put on probation.  It's all about having a firm hand and not being "friends" with your customers.
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negarkidman

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Reply with quote  #92 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tappinmom


She was a very tough no nonsense lady.  She had a front desk staff and anytime a parent started complaining she would hear about it and have a word with them.  If it was severe enough they were put on probation.  It's all about having a firm hand and not being "friends" with your customers.
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negarkidman

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Reply with quote  #93 
The SO runs the recreational classes part of the studio. There are 3 artistic directors who run the company. And they are pretty enmeshed with some parents. Go have drinks, go to concerts, etc... One of the parents babysits for the AD's kids. And then, these directors have to place the kids at the end of each year after auditions! After reading all these posts, I'm understanding the amount of disfunction that happens at our studio. Also, one of the dance teachers at our studio, her kid is on the team, and this teacher has a serious case of diarrhea of the mouth. She shares information about that studio that parents do not need to know. I can't wait to get out of this studio! 
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