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prancer

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Reply with quote  #1 
I feel like we need to have a sticky thread that simply reminds us that we are paying customers.  So many posts vent about how badly studios have treated them.  I think its worth a moment to note that if your studio consistently makes you mad, damages your child, treats you badly, or that studio is simply not meeting your needs...

Then it's time to find a new studio.  Dance is an elective activity. We pay a lot for the opportunity to dance.  We also send our kids to the studio for more hours than we are likely to see them at home.  I don't let my kids social with bad influences, so I certainly won't pay for them to spend time at a studio that damages them.

You can be mad, but take it from someone who has been there - angry parents don't have the power to change a bad studio, but paying customers can leave a bad studio for a better fit.  It's much easier to do than most posters think.
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rubydancemom

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Reply with quote  #2 
Prancer, you've helped my mindset tremendously over the past year. This is just the reminder I needed today. Thanks!
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #3 
For those who haven't read my posts, you should know I believe what prancer has stated fully. 

I will add this: if you've reached the point that you sought out this site, you looked for a thread that maybe shed some light on what you've been experiencing, you're getting ready to compose a post that includes what should I do? You probably already have your answer. Please, do go ahead and post your story, get it off your chest. You will feel better and you will receive support and guidance. But prancer is right. If it's gotten that bad, it's time to go.

I'll even play the other side of this issue. Business is business. Studio owners want your money more than anything else. Even those with wonderful intentions and who want to see your child grow and learn charge you because this is a business. As much as they want your money, if things have become that antagonistic they don't want you there either. They don't want to lose the money you pay them, but they wish you'd quit complaining and fall into the line they set for you and just keep paying. If that makes you uncomfortable, you should go. 

Other children's activities are not without their own dramas and struggles, but I can say for sure that compared to my other kid's activities (none of them dance), compared to my friend's kids' activities (none dance), compared to the parents I know from their academic schools, none of them, absolutely none of them, put up with the sort of nonsense we all have discussed here. Back to business again, dollar for dollar, kid for kid; there are simply more soccer clubs, more swim clubs, more baseball and softball leagues, you name it. They have to work harder to keep your kid and your business. There are less dance studios in comparison and they KNOW this. They know that you have less supply and they exploit that. 

Looking through the posts here, you see that the studios that are located near to other comparable studios have their fair share of issues, but the real threat that dancers (and their paying parents) will leave for the studio across the street helps to balance the scales quite a bit.

Look closely at your options and then ask yourself how motivated your SO is to be competitive from a business standpoint. How hard are they really working to earn your business? If the answer is that you're working hard to bend over backwards to accommodate your finicky SO and the product is not up to your standards, take your business elsewhere.
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MNDanceDad

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Reply with quote  #4 
Should a studio then be able to have the right to deny a "paying customer" if they find them particularly difficult to deal with?  Just trying to make sure I'm clearly understanding. 
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MNDanceDad
Should a studio then be able to have the right to deny a "paying customer" if they find them particularly difficult to deal with?  Just trying to make sure I'm clearly understanding. 


Understanding what? I honestly do not understand this question, nor how it relates. What are you trying to say exactly?
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MNDanceDad

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459
Understanding what? I honestly do not understand this question, nor how it relates. What are you trying to say exactly?


Do you always answer a question with a question?  What the heck is your problem?
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MNDanceDad

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Reply with quote  #7 
In my neck of the woods, studios seem to generally work hard to earn the business they have.  I haven't had a lot of direct exposure to internal workings, but up to this point, it seems that there is a general sense of cohesion.  Maybe it's just the "Minnesota Nice" that keeps things from getting too crazy.  [rofl]
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #8 

Or perhaps, there are things you are not privy to or just simply not aware of, especially as you have not had much exposure to the internal workings. The latter is actually a good place to be. [smile] 

I was once at studio that I would have said something similar about. And then, some things changed. I was someone who was involved in the affiliated non-profit, so there were things I would hear that I did not like. Eventually, there were things I saw that I did not like as well. Later, some of those things started to affect my dancer and her actual training. 

 

 

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meatball77

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MNDanceDad
Should a studio then be able to have the right to deny a "paying customer" if they find them particularly difficult to deal with?  Just trying to make sure I'm clearly understanding. 


They should and most do in one way or another.  Most studios have training requirements and rules for how kids need to act in class and around the studio.
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #10 
I think you really see the bad behavior more at a comp studio.  Maybe because it is more competitive by nature.  Maybe it is because at a rec studio kids tend to be there less hours.  I don't know but parents I know whose kids go to rec studios don't have half the drama that a comp studio sees.

MNDanceDad - Any studio has the right to refuse service to someone who is causing trouble for their business just like any business does.  I have seen families turned away in September because they caused drama the year before and I have seen families told mid year to shape up or ship out.
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MNDanceDad
In my neck of the woods, studios seem to generally work hard to earn the business they have.  I haven't had a lot of direct exposure to internal workings, but up to this point, it seems that there is a general sense of cohesion.  Maybe it's just the "Minnesota Nice" that keeps things from getting too crazy.  [rofl]


My observation is that different people have different experiences at the exact same studio for a variety of reasons.

Perhaps they are very new and simply haven't been around the block enough to see some of the harsh realities that happen behind the curtain so to speak. 

Perhaps the studio owner values their contributions to their studio more than some other families for whatever reason and they simply don't have to feel the sting of being on the neglected or forgotten or worst of all bullied side of the studio.

Perhaps their standards and values are just very different from your own and what is wonderful to you is unacceptable to them.

Perhaps others don't vent to you about their problems with the studio because you are so very happy and they know their complaints would fall on deaf ears.

Bottom line is that unless you have walked the walk and understand some of the experience someone is having, you would do well to recognize that your experience is certainly not indicative of anyone else's. Not even someone else right alongside you at the very same studio. 
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MNDanceDad


Do you always answer a question with a question?  What the heck is your problem?


Oooops ... I guess I can see how someone could have read some snark into that.... wasn’t my intent, I assure you. I honestly was confused by the question. Wondered about the possibility of a little bit of snark myself, to be honest. Biut thought it wise to ask for clarification just to be sure.

Are you doubting people? Or perhaps just believe strongly that dancers should remain ‘loyal’ to their studio? Thiy is the second thread now where you’v sounded... IDK, let’s call it less than supportive. Just trying to figure out where you’re coming from.
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #13 
Heidi is wise.
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MNDanceDad

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Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459
Oooops ... I guess I can see how someone could have read some snark into that.... wasn’t my intent, I assure you. I honestly was confused by the question. Wondered about the possibility of a little bit of snark myself, to be honest. Biut thought it wise to ask for clarification just to be sure. Are you doubting people? Or perhaps just believe strongly that dancers should remain ‘loyal’ to their studio? Thiy is the second thread now where you’v sounded... IDK, let’s call it less than supportive. Just trying to figure out where you’re coming from.


I generally try to look at things from multiple perspectives in order to facilitate a broader conversation on an issue.  I will tell you this though:  I am absolutely and without question struggling with the "loyalty" issue.  We are at a crossroads with my son, and I'm struggling mightily with the course we take.  Hopefully you read my "book" I wrote in the other thread and can provide me with some of YOUR feedback as well (I haven't opened it to see replies yet).

My limited experience with studios is very positive, so my reaction is one of defense when I saw how negative so many comments were.  Sorry.

...oh and for the record, I am absolutely a smart-alec.  I must apologize in advance, but please know that I'm not "trolling".  I just like to discuss things from multiple views.  [smile]
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ballerinamom13

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MNDanceDad
In my neck of the woods, studios seem to generally work hard to earn the business they have.  I haven't had a lot of direct exposure to internal workings, but up to this point, it seems that there is a general sense of cohesion.  Maybe it's just the "Minnesota Nice" that keeps things from getting too crazy.  [rofl]


Please don't take this wrong, but in reading all your posts, you do have a lot to learn about the dance world. You have an 11 year old male with some natural talent.  SO's and AD's will fill your head with lots and lots of words and you, as the adult, are going to have to figure out what is best for your 11 year old.  I can tell you right now - if you want him to be successful, move on.  He's outgrown the current studio.  Loyalty has no place in the dance world - BIG, FAT REALITY.  Especially in the pro world.

First of all, technique is, BY FAR, all that matters, especially by 12.  The studio you were talking about is supposed to be good.  I have no personal knowledge of that studio, or of any competition studios really.  (DD was a professional ballerina.)  If he were my kid, these would be the things I'd be looking for, in order:

Ballet every day, with boys.
At least one male teacher.
Partnering.
Supportive faculty, but no BS - they better be telling him what he's NOT doing right.  Corrections are everything.
A busy, but not overwhelming schedule.  Does he go to regular school?  

You need to take him to master classes, intensives and experience as many other studios as possible.  Do not be taken in by one studio's promises, even if they are semi-"famous".  Many kids do better with smaller schools and more attention. And competition is NOT the end all, be all for all kids. 

Log on to Ballet Talk for Dancers and just read  - You will gain so much information about the dance world in general, even if your son doesn't want ballet.  That forum is picky, so read the rules if you are going to post or ask any questions.  You need to educate yourself sooner, rather than later.

DD and were on this ride for 20 years.  Hopefully, some of us can save you some time and you can get on the right track.  Good Luck and keep us posted!!

Edited to add:  If your current studio owner really, honestly cares about your son and also wants him to be successful, she should be pushing him out to better training.  DD had teachers from the age of 6 telling her to get out of competition and into a ballet studio.  I have no doubt she cares about him - that is not what I'm addressing. If she wants him to be successful, any studio owner in her position should see that she can't offer him what he needs.  Boys to dance with.  OK - I'm done now.
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Rushhourmom

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Reply with quote  #16 
I love the advice that if you need to write a long multi faceted vent about your studio you probably already have the answer. This is so true.

Can I also add that if you are on your third studio in as many years and your gripes are always the same and center around Suzy Snowflake always being overlooked and underutilized and never getting a fair shake then maybe it’s time to sit in honest reflection about your expectations of dance studios in general and of your child as a dancer. There are plenty of really junky studios and studio owners treating people badly and people just take it, sometimes for their dsncer’s entire “career”. But there are also plenty of dance parents who need to doing a little expectation adjustment and put things in perspective.
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MNDanceDad

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rushhourmom
I love the advice that if you need to write a long multi faceted vent about your studio you probably already have the answer. This is so true. Can I also add that if you are on your third studio in as many years and your gripes are always the same and center around Suzy Snowflake always being overlooked and underutilized and never getting a fair shake then maybe it’s time to sit in honest reflection about your expectations of dance studios in general and of your child as a dancer. There are plenty of really junky studios and studio owners treating people badly and people just take it, sometimes for their dsncer’s entire “career”. But there are also plenty of dance parents who need to doing a little expectation adjustment and put things in perspective.


I think about this a lot when I hear parents complaining about whatever it is their kids aren't getting.  It's a cold, hard truth...and something I think a lot of parents simply can't see or refuse to see.  Again, coming from very little exposure in the big picture.
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NCKDAD

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rushhourmom
I love the advice that if you need to write a long multi faceted vent about your studio you probably already have the answer. This is so true.

Can I also add that if you are on your third studio in as many years and your gripes are always the same and center around Suzy Snowflake always being overlooked and underutilized and never getting a fair shake then maybe it’s time to sit in honest reflection about your expectations of dance studios in general and of your child as a dancer. There are plenty of really junky studios and studio owners treating people badly and people just take it, sometimes for their dsncer’s entire “career”. But there are also plenty of dance parents who need to doing a little expectation adjustment and put things in perspective.


Yes... if everything always starts out rainbow and puppy dogs at your new studio and you’re constantly raving about them but then it’s ours and ends badly and you feel strongly wronged... every dang time, every few years... it may be worth looking in the mirror too.

Change when it’s time, but every upset isn’t time to jump ship or cry victim either (not directed to anyone here- just observations).

Edited: above should say but then *it sours*
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NCKDAD
Yes... if everything always starts out rainbow and puppy dogs at your new studio and you’re constantly raving about them but then it’s ours and ends badly and you feel strongly wronged... every dang time, every few years... it may be worth looking in the mirror too. Change when it’s time, but every upset isn’t time to jump ship or cry victim either (not directed to anyone here- just observations).


I'll add that if you as a parent find yourself in that position, more specifically, that look in the mirror should (at the least) include questioning why you don't seem to be learning how to make a better switch. Why did you find yourself in the same position again? Learn to ask the questions before you switch and learn to make a wise switch, not simply a grass is greener switch.
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #20 

I don’t disagree w/the comments directed towards the out of touch with reality crowd but I don't think we can assume that all those who can’t seem to be satisfied all belong in the same box.

Just thinking of some of the moms at dd’s old studio who never seemed to be satisfied w/their dd’s opportunities. Always complaining about favoritism. Those parents though?  They didn't think their kids were all that & a bag of chips. In fact, they knew very well they weren’t. Their attitude was simply "we all pay the same amount, our kids should all have the same opportunities".  To them, dance is just a fun extra curricular... for EVERYONE. Even the very talented & dedicated.  These were the ones who snickered when they heard your kid was interested in a professional performance career & that you actually supported it.  In their minds, no one was going to be a professional. So why couldn’t everyone just. have. an equal. opportunity. to shine.

So studio switching for those folks? Not so much about thinking their dancers are better than they are. Just about that four letter word that makes so many of us shudder... "fair".  They just think their kids deserve their fair share.  And are sometimes willing to keep looking until they find it.  Me?  Not so sure that that's so wrong.  Not sure how successful they'll be in their search but, if that's what they're looking for, I suppose there's no harm in trying to find it.

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jwsqrdplus2

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MNDanceDad
Should a studio then be able to have the right to deny a "paying customer" if they find them particularly difficult to deal with?  Just trying to make sure I'm clearly understanding. 


The short answer to your question is yes!  Last year, our studio dismissed 4 families because they were growing increasingly difficult to deal with as well as talking badly about the studio while wearing studio gear at a competition.  They planned to leave the studio at the end of the season, but the SOs decided their departure needed to be earlier than the end of the season because we did not need that kind of poison in the studio.  All 4 families are at different studios (2 at one and 2 at another) this season.

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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #22 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MNDanceDad
Should a studio then be able to have the right to deny a "paying customer" if they find them particularly difficult to deal with?  Just trying to make sure I'm clearly understanding. 


A number of people have addressed your question.. and we seemed to have cleared the air... but I still find myself wondering about this post and I'm hoping you'll indulge me.  This post really does (imo) make it sound as if you are somewhat surprised at the suggestion that dancers should leave a studio if they aren't completely happy w/the relationship.  And as if you thought this question... "should a studio have the  right to deny a paying customer if they find them particularly difficult to deal with?".... would perhaps stop and make people rethink their position.  Am I completely off base with that?  

 

And you'll have to forgive me.  I'm always fascinated by the whys.  I don't think you can really answer someone's question properly unless you understand why they are asking it in the first place.   

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MNDanceDad

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Reply with quote  #23 
I don't even follow what you're asking me here.
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rdsmom

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MNDanceDad
I don't even follow what you're asking me here.


No offense Heidi, but it's possible Heidi is reading too much into your question. Coming from a non-competitive studio (also called recreational), it seems reasonable to be baffled by the idea that a paying customer would be asked to leave a studio. Maybe MNDD just hasn't been exposed to dance drama yet? [biggrin] 
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heidi459

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdsmom


No offense Heidi, but it's possible Heidi is reading too much into your question. Coming from a non-competitive studio (also called recreational), it seems reasonable to be baffled by the idea that a paying customer would be asked to leave a studio. Maybe MNDD just hasn't been exposed to dance drama yet? [biggrin] 



Oh... no offense taken at all!  It's a very straightforward question though, actually.  So I'm not really sure why it (the question) is causing a fuss.  MNDD specifically stated that he was asking his question (does a studio have the right to deny a crappy paying customer) in order to better understand the initial statement (as paying customers, we shouldn't have to put up with crap).  On the heels of a comment on a previous thread where he "seemed" to take a wee bit of a pot shot at unhappy dance moms.  So I guess I'm just trying to get the thought process behind that.  There's no snark here... I'm not trying to prove something.  If anything, I think perhaps he's read too much into "my" question  [biggrin]

 

eta:  it was the "have the right" that threw me.  And it's true, I may have misinterpreted what he was getting at.  Which is exactly why I asked. 

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