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MNDanceDad

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Since your dancers began, how many different studios have they gone to, and what was the reason for the change?

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MNDanceDad

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My son is currently in 2 different studios because this is his "transition" year into a studio that competes, from his original one that does not offer competition.  It's been difficult to this point as well.
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threedancingdaughters

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2 studios. Loved our first one but I took a job in a city a couple hours away so we had to find a new studio in our new city. DD has been dancing 5 years between the 2 studios.
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peppersmom67

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Reply with quote  #4 
We have been at the same studio since DD was 3 and she is now 10. We have no plans to change at this point.
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #5 
No snark intended, as many as it takes. More important to me is not the number, but that you not settle for something that isn't working if you have other options. Don't let numbers have anything to do with staying at a studio, more importantly, don't let other people's numbers influence you with anything. Bottom line, you are not alone in needing to switch and switching is not the big dramatic life altering thing many a SO or dance parent will try to make it out to be.
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amandafarris03

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Reply with quote  #6 
my dd13 started dance at her current studio when she was 4 (she danced for a year and a half at a local ymca in another state but I don't cound that as a "studio") she danced there until she was 8, military moved us - she danced at that texas studio for 3 years and THANKFULLY the army moved us back to the installation where our home studio was so we have been back at our favorite studio for 2 and a half years.
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #7 
Dd17 is on her 5th. First change was at 5 because we moved. Next was at 8 because her studio was upping the ante at that age and wanted more of a commitment than I wanted to give (I only wanted her dancing one night a week). Next move was at 14 when she went to serious ballet. And now this year to a new serious ballet program that better suits her needs right now.

All that said... I agree with Noel 100%. Far too many (parents, dancers, teachers, and studio owners) seem to want to paint it as a bad thing. It’s not. You do what you need to do... for you (your dancer).
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5678StarMom

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3 studios (plus 1 more for independent coaching), and lots and lot of outside training opportunities in the form of master classes, conventions, and SIs since DD15 was about 10.

Studio 1 : DD15 started at age 4. She joined competition team at 7. It was a lot of fun and has good friends, but the training focus is not ballet. We started to feel dissatisfied with the ballet program at around age 10 or 11 and started looking at what we could do for more. The impression I get at this studio is it’s much more about fun and friends and not as much about dancing. And at times when you don’t feel that you are even part of the “group...” it’s difficult to pay for that experience without good training to back it up. She left to give full attention to pre-professional training, which has been a difficult decision because at least one teacher that she has respected has piled on the guilt and several of her peers that she had danced with since age 4 are pretty rude to her and ignore her when she is present now. We never felt the appreciation for the time and attention we gave the studio when she was there, and they never put my daughter’s needs first, as far as ballet training. Plus they hired a new ballet teacher about 2 years ago for the upper levels that is far less qualified (if qualified at all...) than the one they just demoted...because most of the older girls didn’t like the original quality teacher, as she is slow and steady and doesn’t let them walk all over her. DD8 is still there for the time being, as her teachers this year are all good and qualified for her level, plus the competition atmosphere is very positive (on her team level! It’s night and day the way my girls have been treated) and her friends since birth are there. Seriously DD8 took her first steps at this studio! I’m not sure that I can keep her in the program forever though because I won’t pay for an unqualified teacher later on. It’s a bit like walking on eggshells at times having one kid there still and another who left for better training down the street....

Independent coach is the ousted upper level teacher from studio 1, who still teaches some lower level classes including DD8s for now. We go to her private coaching program that doesn’t include or have any other classes available.

Studio 2 : I was talking to the SO of studio 1, asking where the ballet program was going next year and trying to figure out if they could add separate pointe classes to help with DD12s (at the time) needs because I was growing tired of private lessons for supplementing everything ballet, and she got frustrated with me and asked me to call studio 2 if I wasn’t happy with the ballet they offered. I know it was a short and off the cuff quip to just to shut me up because she didn’t have any real answer to my issues, but I said OK, stomped off, and immediately called studio 2 from the waiting room of studio 1 and set up a placement class for DD12. I think SO if studio 1 very much regrets saying that to me now. Especially as DD15 was a well known dancer about town for her for years and now is representing studio in the press for nutcracker. She also made the ballet program look better than it was because we got so much outside instruction. After DD quit, they had one of thier decent ballet teacher leave right after because the class went so downhill and has no serious ballet students left. We has no idea that there was such a quality ballet program just down the street with students getting in to large SIs and BFA programs because I had been loyal to our first studio and never sought any additional training anywhere in town at competing studios. Also, we had assumed the program at studio 2 wasn’t as good, because they don’t have the most attractive competition program. It’s because comp dance is not the focus and they allow full participation on team without auditions. They also do mostly lines and super lines and they don’t look the most polished. Studio 1s comp program looks better from the surface. Nutcracker every other year is a bigger deal than competition. Conventions at competition are a bigger deal than adjudicated dances. Plus jazz is not the focus at this studio...it’s ballet first. DD15 is Clara en pointe for their Nutcracker this year, and we have so enjoyed getting to know other serious ballet dancers and families. Without all the baggage that came with being 2nd or 3rd best or whatever because that was what she was at age 8 or 9, she has risen to the top of the program and is appreciated for what she does dancing. No pressure to be the perfect ballerina but appreciated for what she is able to accomplish. Studio 1 students were making fun of her for going through multiple pairs of pointe shoes every year as they didn’t even understand anything about advanced ballet. We love this studio’s ballet program so much DD8 takes an extra ballet class as well, even though she’s not my ballet kid at this point. The initial expense looks higher than studio 1, but once dancers reach the unlimited rate they are much much cheaper. The reason we didn’t pick it at age 4 was the higher initial expense (I think about $10/month more for combo classes). You know what they say about hindsight! If I would have known then what I know now! Oh well! Also they have far more older dancers they retain than studio 1.

Studio 3 : It’s the only pre-pro studio within 2 hours of us! DD15 has attended thier SI since she was 12, and has always begged for year round classes there. They are a school attached to a small professional company as well. Right now we are taking her 2 days a week plus extra privates as we can, as a complement to studio 2. They are also coaching her classicals for YAGP and she is competing under thier name. Everyone on both ends of this agreement is so happy she’s representing them at YAGP. Studio 2 doesn’t allow solos under thier name for competitions because they can cause competition between classmates...so true. So this way she doesn’t have to be independent for YAGP this year. She would love to be full time with the pre-pro program, but I can’t justify driving 40 minutes each way 6 days a week, especially when studio 2 is good as well. She’s also hesitant to completely leave studio 2, as she SO is amazing and has been very good to her. We will reassess next year when she gets her license. Studio 2 and 3 share some teachers and they are very cooperative and supportive of her going to both places. It’s all out in the open and no sneaking around happens. Studio 3 also has tiny class sizes (4-7 students vs. 15-30), so she gets more attention and corrections than studio 2. DD8 doesn’t do anything at studio 3.
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rdsmom

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Reply with quote  #9 
Technically, 4. But only 2 for competition. DD 15 started dancing when she was 2, at the local mega-studio. The only reason I sent her there was because I had heard of it. She danced there for 2 years, then we switched to a smaller studio closer to home when she was in kindergarten, and she danced there 1 year. A friend of mine opened up a studio, so she danced there starting in first grade, and that was her first year competing and my youngest daughter's first year dancing. That was our studio for 7 years. That SO had become more distant, allowing a very young new teacher to run the place. Let's just say it began to get worse for both of my dancers in different ways. Their 2 favorite teachers split and opened a new studio this year, and here we are! It's been a little difficult with carpool and stuff, but the improvement in technique in both of my girls is amazing. The split was difficult and awkward At Jump last week, the former SO spun on her heel and ignored DD, when her other former teachers talked to her and hugged her. But, they are happy were they are now!
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momcrew

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Reply with quote  #10 
2 studios but her first year of dance was at the ripe old age of 2. I always knew she would dance at her current studio but they didn't start classes until age 3. She did 1 year at a studio that took kids starting at 18 months and then we moved to our current studio where she's still dancing today. She started her 9th year at her current studio this year. 
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nyklane

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Reply with quote  #11 
Our first year (2 y/o-3) we attended two studios at the same time. Both for Tap, we were looking for activities and those days of the week worked. 

The next year we stayed with our studio that we are still at (6 th year) which I refer to as our "home" studio.  However, this year we now attend a second studio (ballet school) for ballet only for two classes.  So two studios again.  Last year we attended an SI that we hope to again this year at a pre-pro program attached to a university, we would have gone to this program year round, but it conflicted on one day with home studio.  We will see what the years bring, but I don't mind going where the best training is for what my daughter needs at the time.  (We also have done gymnastics and acro training separately too).

I'm in agreement with the other posters on not the number of studios, but the best situation. [smile] 
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dave9988

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Reply with quote  #12 
DD14 is at the same studio she started at when she was 4, and her younger sister is on the same track.
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DancingDawn2011

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Reply with quote  #13 
Technically we are on our 3rd studio in 9 years but the last switch was because the 2 owners had a falling out.  We were happy and not planning to leave before the falling out but their break up forced us to choose and we chose to follow the co owner who left.
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LilMama

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Reply with quote  #14 
1st studio - mini dance for the summer
2nd studio - mini dance for 2 years
3rd studio - 2 years rec then started to compete at 5
Current studio - came here for better technique
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dancedaughters

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Reply with quote  #15 
3

Chose the first because it was close to the house and had a convenient schedule.  Were there 5 years with DD1.

Left  studio 1 to follow a favorite teacher who opened her own studio.  Were at studio 2 for 11 years (DD1 graduated after 10 years, DD2 was there all 11).  

Left studio 2 because it was no longer a good fit.  Have been at studio 3 since July.  Very happy with the new place.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #16 

Studio 1- started at age 2.5 as they had a creative movement class for toddlers. We told dd it was ballet. [smile] Stayed there until a perfect storm occurred. It was a mega comp studio with multiple locations but they were closing the one nearest us. Around that time, dd's jazz teacher took me aside and recommended that we get dd to a ballet school. Said she would only benefit from the training and she could always come back if she chose to and would only be a stronger dancer for the time spent at the ballet school. Said she would not lose anything in the end. She was right BTW. 

Studio 2- started in 4th grade. Ballet school with jazz, modern, hip hop, tap etc. Left for her senior year for a multitude of reasons. The bottom line and most important reason is that dd felt that there was nothing more for her to gain there that would help her continue to develop as an artist. There were other issues, typical of what we see posted on this board as well, but the most important was the growth issue. It was a very last minute change that had really been coming for at least a year. I regret not acting earlier.  While she was there, she also sometimes danced at a hip hop studio with open classes and also took open classes at a variety of places when possible. 

Studio 3- Ballet school in NYC that provided an even higher level of training with far more professional contacts and career coaching. Also danced at Ailey,  Steps and BDC while she was in NYC daily. 

After that, she was a trainee in at a professional ballet company school before accepting a contract with the company where she is today. 

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MNDanceDad

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Reply with quote  #17 
Awesome variety of stories here!  I think I'll explain our situation better in a new thread for some feedback from y'all.
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hopefuldancer17

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Reply with quote  #18 
Just two. We left the first one after a few years when the ownership changed and there was an abundance of drama and dysfunction. Daughter has been at her current studio for over 10 years. 
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jwsqrdplus2

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Reply with quote  #19 
5 1/2 total.

Studio 1: 2 yrs, rec only.  Left due to an out of state move

Studio 2: 4 yrs, 1 year rec, 3 years comp.  Didn't actually leave

Studio 2.5: Studio 2's owners sold, changed the name and rebranded.  We stayed 1 year.  Ended up leaving due not agreeing with how the new management was doing things

Studio 3: 1 year, pre-pro ballet, so only did conventions and an independent solo.  Left due to out of state move

Studio 4: 4 years, all comp.  Left due to needing more consistent and stronger training.  Coincided with studio split where 3 teachers left to form their own studio which coincidentally  had much stronger technique based training.

Studio 5: 3 years, all comp.  Left because she graduated.

Studio 6: Point Park University where she is getting her BA in dance

OK, maybe it is 6 1/2 total!!  [biggrin]

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meatball77

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Reply with quote  #20 
4 all due to moves

Comp school 5 years

Small Ballet School 3 years

Russian Ballet School 1 year

Tiny ballet school with strong modern program two years
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #21 
2 studios.

Started at the mega studio at 2 and danced there until 8.  Highly competitive between the kids and lots of bullying going on for DS made the environment very toxic.  Not sad to see the back end of that place.

Second studio from 9-19.  Smaller studio.  Family run.  Better technique training then the mega.  The SO didn't put up with any garbage from the parents or the kids unlike studio 1. 
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NCKDAD

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Reply with quote  #22 
Small ballet school from 3-6: it was sold. We went to try two ballet schools at the recommendation of the SO. DD chose the smaller school that is prepro because it felt “right”. She spent 3 years there and loved every minute. During those 3 years she also joined our current studio for other styles and began competing (completely open communication about what she was doing this entire time). Finally at 9- the commitment required from both was too much and too conflicted. She chose the competition school. I would have chose otherwise. She still is in touch with girls she danced with at the second ballet school and actually has taken classes at the school. To the school’s surprise her ballet training has been up to par that she places right back into the classes with her original peer group during this time frame- although I would say you notice some differences in the little nuances. That being said, there are definite things you notice in her that shine as well. There’s always a buzz about where that girl came from with people who weren’t there when she originally was.

The SOs of all 3 studios have stated and still state that she has something special that can’t be taught and expect she will be able to dance as long as she wants to and professionally. The bun head teachers truly understand and support her desire and almost “need” to train and express herself in various styles and see how for her that is the right choice. We just ran into her first SO at a performance and she came to me after the performance (I didn’t even know she was there but she is now in charge of the youth program at the ballet school we did not choose when leaving her school)... she said she spotted her immediately and as usual couldn’t look away even when she was trying to watch a few other girls she knew. Her eyes were drawn back.

Personally I love that we’ve been able to make these changes open and honestly and keep good relationships.

As for current studio, we’ll be here as long as she wants all styles and competition. There’s just no comparison.
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MNDanceDad

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Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tappinmom
2 studios.

Started at the mega studio at 2 and danced there until 8.  Highly competitive between the kids and lots of bullying going on for DS made the environment very toxic.  Not sad to see the back end of that place.

Second studio from 9-19.  Smaller studio.  Family run.  Better technique training then the mega.  The SO didn't put up with any garbage from the parents or the kids unlike studio 1. 


This is a very interesting take.  It's like a flip flop of our situation.  Admittedly, I'm nervous about the "mega" aspect being negative.
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Mama2aHappyDancer

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Reply with quote  #24 

1st Studio- medium comp studio. 

Moved out of state.

2nd studio- ballet studio in new state. She missed comp 

3rd studio- big comp studio 

(moved again, across town, but far enough to make a new studio easier)

4th studio, medium comp studio

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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MNDanceDad


This is a very interesting take.  It's like a flip flop of our situation.  Admittedly, I'm nervous about the "mega" aspect being negative.


The atmosphere at a studio all comes from the top.  If you have an SO who is approachable, strict but kind and doesn't put up with negativity the dancers and parents will act the same way.  Unfortunately at our first studio the SO encouraged the kids who were her favorites to treat the other kids horrible and my DS took the brunt of it for many reasons.
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