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rosefairy

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I am new to this forum, and actually signed up so I could vent without offending anyone else around me.  I apologise how long winded this is, but I truly need to vent to a 3rd party...

I used to be a very good dancer (back in the day... way back), my sister has her own dance studio, and now my son & daughter dance.  My DD is 9 years old, and is fortunate to have dancing in her blood and natural talent. As a mother I try not to be biased, but as a former dancer, I believe I know what I am talking about, and try to be very objective.

I moved to this region 3 years ago, and found this fabulous dancing/performing arts school.  I met this mother who pretty much took me under her wing, and I actually ended up living a block away from her (not intentially - just how it turned out). We became pretty much best friends, and our kids danced together all the time. They are very dedicated, and so are we.  After about one year, it became very apparent that she was copying any decisions that I made for my daughter regarding dance.  It didn't bother me, because I was happy to guide her - she had never danced before.  I thorougly enjoyed our lengthy passionate chats about dancing. My DD was quickly asked to move into higher levels, skip levels, because she was doing so well. My friend went to another ballet school, and told them that her daughter was in a higher level so that she too could skip a level. The other ballet school was a little corner store kind of studio, and so they took anyone.  So she managed to also skip a grade to get to the same level as my DD, and then brought her back to our studio at a higher level.

3 years down the track, my DD has been put up into levels with girls 4 -5 years older for a couple of her classes, and scoring better exam results than them. In ballet, where they are in the same class now, my friend's DD has been secretly taking ballet privates with another dance studio to cover the exam work, and to cover any other class work that she managed to video. Even after this, more than 50 hours of privates than any other kid, although her DD had a good result, it wasn't as good as my daughter's, nor the rest of the class. The directors found out and were furious because not only is it bad etiquette, but it gives the teacher a false impression of the student's true ability, and the way they learn.  They thought she improved a lot this year, which surprised them... now they know why. 1 and a 1/2 hour privates each week is of course going to benefit. 

As show time approached this year, the claws really started to come out. My daughter was given a number of special roles, and was selected to be in the company's signature number where she was the youngest student. The studio has more than 450 students, so this was a real honour to dance with the seniors and semi-pros.

One day, another 'friend' of mine, went crazy on me, with a raving jealousy attack, and screamed at me in front all of my daughter's class mates. Saying how my it was my "DD's Show" and that that she got parts she didn't audition for, (not true, she auditioned for one part, and got it, and the other parts/roles she got, was because the teachers selected her, along with others who also never audtitioned, but were just selected based on their talent). She said that everything was fine before we came, and they can't wait until we leave. I felt like I was ambushed - such a horrible, quite traumatic event for me, and all of the other mothers and kids were dumbstruck.  She then yelled at another kid, and made her cry, and then the director was notified. I had disappeared out the back and burst into tears. I didn't know that she also screamed at this kid, and then the director came out and kicked her out of the studio.  (She has been causing trouble for a while - so this was the last straw for the director).  I was walking back into the studio, when she came out and she started swearing, badly, at me, and I won't repeat it here - but basically saying how horrible I was and  asked if I was happy that she was now gone....

Just after that, my so-called 'best-friend' arrived, and was angry to have 'missed the show'. But she was all lovey dovey with me, getting me a coffee, giving me a hug etc. But I woke up that day, because all of the things this other lady said to me, had nothing to do with the class that her own daughter was in. These words, I knew then, had all come from my 'best friend'. In fact, I found out later, that while she went to get me coffee, she was texting other people and saying how much I was playing victim, and milking it.

Anyway... I knew now that things were wrong.  It is such a long story, but she had also more or less run all of the chaperoning for the previous shows.  With 450 kids, it's quite a task. But the directors had called her in this year, because many parents did not wish to chaperone if she was involved  So they would not let her do it.  She is a control freak, so this was unimaginable for her that the show would go on without her. She turned into a nasty, vicious, conniving, cunning woman who was bad mouthing the new chaperone organisers (teaching staff), harassing them on weekend nights, and made them cry on a number of occassions. She was pouncing on any parent that entered the front door to spread a negative vibe, bringing the chaperone team down.  I was asked by the directors to head the chaperone team for my DD's group, (which was traditionally my friend's role).  We even had to have a 'top secret meeting' so that it would not be ruined by this lady.

At the same time, she was questioning the way the teachers were teaching, literally walking into the studio and asking the students questions - like where does turnout come from, and then fighting the teacher on her answer - in front of her students.  The teacher was correct of course...  Remember, she has never danced in her life. She was grilling other teachers why my DD had a certain part and not her daughter. She does this ALL of the time.

Anyway, basically her jealousy and control issues were self-destructing.  At one point when it was made official that I was heading our group, she simply stopped talking to me, and gave me the filthiest look ever.  Well at least I think this is why she stopped taking to me because until today, from 3 months ago, she still has not talked to me. To understand her 'mental' level, she even said to another mother that the chaperones were going to 'work' for me. That's how she perceived herself- that she was the boss, and that everyone worked for her!!

On the week of the show, the director called me in tears. Yet more issues with this lady, and the director knows we were very close and she needed to talk. She, and the other director, and all of the teachers, wanted her to leave the studio. Their most experienced teacher threatened to leave because of her. I begged her to let the week ride out so the daughter could do the show, which she did.  In fact, on quite a number of occasions, I actually stuck up for my 'friend' because I knew she had a dificult character, but I saw her passion and she appeared to be sincere and actually a very geneorus person. But I couldn't save her any more. The directors told me that if it hadn't of been for me, she would have been gone a long time ago.

After the show, ON THE STAGE in front of everyone, she started again, and with that, the directors told her goodbye. When she left, ALL of the mothers were so relieved and said 'about time'.

So....after this, the other mothers saw that I was no longer buddies with her, and one by one, they all started opening up and telling me of all the nasty, rotten things she had said to them about me and my children. Some of the comments date back to over 2 years ago.....  I was shocked, because for me, this was my best friend, for whom I had defended on a number of occassions.

It appears that her jealousy of my daughter, was very deep stemmed, and started the day we arrived.  I was involved in a calculated relationship to use my knowledge to assist her daughter, having my daughter rehearse with her daughter time and time again to help her out,  whilst backstabbing me, and my children, the entire time.  I never thought jealousy could be so self distructing and so painful for the victim.

I could not understand how a grown woman, could simply stop talking to one of her best friends without any form of discussion. However, one lady who has since spoken to her on a number of occassions, aptly put it... 'keep your friends close, and your enemies closer'.  She simply did not care about me, and that's why she could walk away so easily.  I am such a fool....
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My2DanceLoves

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Reply with quote  #2 
Wow!   From the sounds of your story you are much better off! 
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rosefairy

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thank you for your suport [smile] Yes, I guess I am....
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Dancemomjus

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Reply with quote  #4 
omg, crazy moms at your studio....how sad. It's truly disgusting how some grown people act. We have a pair at our studio, but they are no where near as bad as your mom.... [frown] I'm glad she's gone for your sake.
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classydance

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Reply with quote  #5 
I guess you and your DD landed on top. I would extract myself from studio activities. Sounds like a problematic dynamic.

One of the things that I established early on is that I am not at the studio for friends and personal relationships. That might sound harsh but I am there for DD and her training. We are friendly and never gossip or complain about parts or placements but I am a girl who likes my work and personal life separate.

Women our age do engage in what I call the ice withdrawal. ...I drop you and cease communication with no indication of what the problem is. I have been on the receiving end of that.

I am sorry that someone used their personal relationship with you to hurt you and your DD.
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gymmommy71

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Reply with quote  #6 
Sounds like you are at a very competitive studio - you would be wise to not really trust any of the other moms if you ask me.

There are some moms (and kids) who really aren't happy unless they have a specific other kid for their kid to compete with - one that they are always trying to do the same thing as and one-up in the process. When their efforts to one-up the specific other child are unsuccessful, they can get very frustrated. Sounds like your friend picked your child for hers to compete with a while ago, but it didn't work out how she wanted it to (with her child doing all the same things as yours, but her being slightly "better"). It will be a much better for both of you that your kids aren't in the same school anymore. Eventually her kid will find another school though, and she'll likely find another "friend" for her kid to compete with there - if her daughter can keep up with this kid, then it may only end up as an annoyance for the new parent, but if her daughter can't compete, the result will likely end up the same as it did at your studio.

I know a couple moms just like this. They are very annoying and cause a lot of drama.
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Elsmom

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Reply with quote  #7 
"We became pretty much best friends". That is where I see so many friendships go so wrong! In my experience, it is never a good idea to be best friends with a parent of your child's friend. So many women do this and I have never seen it go well for the long haul. I hope it gets better from here on out!
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Mitzy

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Reply with quote  #8 
Isn't it sad? It doesn't surprise me, though. Blood is thicker than water. There are people that will stop at nothing to get their kids ahead. But talent and hard work will always rise to the top.
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gymmommy71

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elsmom
"We became pretty much best friends". That is where I see so many friendships go so wrong! In my experience, it is never a good idea to be best friends with a parent of your child's friend. So many women do this and I have never seen it go well for the long haul. I hope it gets better from here on out!


I agree w/ this. It can all seem great at first, but one minor falling out between the kids (or moms) is all it takes for things to turn really ugly fast.

When the parents are neutral, they can usually give good level-headed advice to their child, but when the moms are all emotionally invested themselves cause they are BFF's with the other mom too, boy can things get out of hand.
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dancedaughters

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Reply with quote  #10 
That's really a shame.  Some of the moms at our studio are people I'm friendly with, and a few are very close friends.  We have known each other a long time.  I love their daughters like they are my own, and they love my children just as much.

Over the years we have had a couple of moms (just a couple) who seemed very crazy and also unkind.  But their kids weren't in the same groups with my kids for the most part, so I had very minimal dealings with them.  Our SO runs a pretty tight ship, though, when it comes to how people treat each other.  One of the crazy moms made another girl cry at a competition two years ago.  I heard about it from my daughter - happened at a weekend comp.  On Monday I happened to be at the studio when the girl who cried and her mom came in for a face-to-face with the SO.  I'm pretty sure a meeting with the crazy mom happened shortly after that.  There were no problems with the crazy mom after that - I think she was on notice that if anything like that happened again, her daughter would be out.

But mostly, the moms at our studio are people I feel I can count on, and people whose company I really enjoy.  Probably part of why I enjoy going to competitions - I just like hanging out with them.
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Phx115

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gymmommy71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elsmom
"We became pretty much best friends". That is where I see so many friendships go so wrong! In my experience, it is never a good idea to be best friends with a parent of your child's friend. So many women do this and I have never seen it go well for the long haul. I hope it gets better from here on out!


I agree w/ this. It can all seem great at first, but one minor falling out between the kids (or moms) is all it takes for things to turn really ugly fast.

When the parents are neutral, they can usually give good level-headed advice to their child, but when the moms are all emotionally invested themselves cause they are BFF's with the other mom too, boy can things get out of hand.


Exactly this! I learned last year how this can happen. The status quo changes, others chime in and the mom friendship is ruined. In my case, the other mom doesn't like conflict and won't discuss her issues with me. Luckily, we are no longer at the same studio but my DDs best friend is the daughter of the mom, and the two former besties have spoken once in almost two months. Breaks my heart b/c DD misses her friend but I'm not going to push this mom for an explanation if she isn't comfortable giving it to me. Just sad all the way around!

I sit in the car or run errands while DD is at her new, non-comp studio. It is a very relaxed atmosphere there but I prefer, like another poster said, to focus on DDs training, not make new friends.
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #12 
Unfortunately, friendships can go wrong... no matter where they're cultivated.  IMO there is nothing inherently less stable about the relationships you make at the dance studio than the ones you  make around the water cooler at work.  I wouldn't let this experience keep you from reaching out to others. Some we win, some we lose.  But truth is, we learn from them all.  Sorry you had such a bad experience.  Chin up.  And better luck next time [smile]
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rosefairy

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Reply with quote  #13 
Ladies, thank you all so much for your replies.  I hear what you are all saying about friendships, and I have to agree. However, I find it incredibly sad that we have to be so on our guard that we can't just relax and enjoy our children's passions while having fun doing it.  I spend endless hours at ths studio, mainly because I live further away and so to go back and forth is a little insane, so it would be a very lonely time for me to just sit in my car and wait day in and day out.  Some mothers were indeed doing that though to avoid this lady!!  I also take dinner in for the kids, do homework during their breaks, and this is the only way we can manage such a hefty schedule.

Yesterday, about 40 of our kids were audtioning for an upcoming Christmas show.  There were about 10 mothers who all stayed together and had coffee.  They were mums of all different age groups, but essentially all of the kids are competing for a part in the show - regardless of their age.  At midday, a number of kids were dropped, but the mothers who left wished everyone else good luck and went on their way in good spirits. The rest of us stayed and had lunch together. During that day, we all had a blast! Laughter all around, and not one single time did anyone have anything negative to say about anyone or anything. It was soooooooooo nice!

On one hand, I was thrilled to be in such a wonderful environment, but on the other hand, I am so nervous about getting too close to anyone else now so my guard is way up.  I hate that [frown]
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Halo

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Reply with quote  #14 
I agree that in this environment you do have to somewhat always keep your guard up. However, I think you can still have fun and be involved. Enjoy it at face value and know these are not the friends you will want to confide in. Don't get involved in any gossip or talk about dance and placements. We are at the studio so often and we see these people A Lot. Anything you say, can and will be used against you, lol! I just say have fun and keep it light!

Hope things get better for you [smile]
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #15 
Just wondering where people meet new friends if they refuse to allow themselves to get close to the parents of their children's peers.  For the last 12 yrs those are the only adults I have had contact w/locally.  Old friends don't live nearby.  I don't work.  At this point in time, my life revolves around my kids. So what's an adult woman to do?

Fortunately, I haven't had these experiences many speak of so I can't say that I really agree with the sentiments expressed here but, w/so many offering this advice as if it is just the standard, I do find myself wondering what their suggestions might be.  Seems a sad way to go through life, being afraid of opening yourself up to people for fear that things may go wrong sometime in the future.  Just because we've seen it happen before [frown]
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summer03

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Reply with quote  #16 
"those who talk to you about others, will talk about you to others"
A quote that I truly believe, and have had a few discussions with dd about. I personally only go inside the studio a few times a year, but I only live 8 minutes from the place.
Perhaps there is a nonprofit nearby that could use a volunteer if you find yourself needing some space from the other moms. It's a wonderful way to meet new people, and I have met some really wonderful people that way!  
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Psmom

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459
Just wondering where people meet new friends if they refuse to allow themselves to get close to the parents of their children's peers.  For the last 12 yrs those are the only adults I have had contact w/locally.  Old friends don't live nearby.  I don't work.  At this point in time, my life revolves around my kids. So what's an adult woman to do?

Fortunately, I haven't had these experiences many speak of so I can't say that I really agree with the sentiments expressed here but, w/so many offering this advice as if it is just the standard, I do find myself wondering what their suggestions might be.  Seems a sad way to go through life, being afraid of opening yourself up to people for fear that things may go wrong sometime in the future.  Just because we've seen it happen before [frown]


Same here. I have really great friends I met at the studio. Several who's kids have already graduated and gone to college and even graduated college and have careers. One friend is now a grandmother. Her dd26 was in classes with my dd23 when they were in high school. DD17's closest dance friends grew up in my house through elementary school, middle school and high school. Their moms are the best people. I couldn't ask for better friends.
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2girls

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Reply with quote  #18 

It sounds like the mother you dealt with has a personality disorder. People like this seem to have a radar to find those kind, helpful, mentally stable people, like you, who are so happy to help! You would never dream of using people, where that is their way of being. This isn't a dance thing, this is a mentally ill thing. The other mothers steered clear of this crazy lady. 

I am so happy to hear you had a good time with the other moms in the studio. You will probably be cautious for a while, but she was extreme, much more than petty jealousy. I bet you won't encounter that level of crazy again. I believe you can make friends in the dance world. I am happy to say I have many long time DM friends. Not everyone is like that! Best wishes for you and your DD.
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greenhorn

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Reply with quote  #19 
Been threre, done that.  People like that are more common than you think.  Eventually the spiral out and leave.
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dancedaughters

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459
Just wondering where people meet new friends if they refuse to allow themselves to get close to the parents of their children's peers.  For the last 12 yrs those are the only adults I have had contact w/locally.  Old friends don't live nearby.  I don't work.  At this point in time, my life revolves around my kids. So what's an adult woman to do?

Fortunately, I haven't had these experiences many speak of so I can't say that I really agree with the sentiments expressed here but, w/so many offering this advice as if it is just the standard, I do find myself wondering what their suggestions might be.  Seems a sad way to go through life, being afraid of opening yourself up to people for fear that things may go wrong sometime in the future.  Just because we've seen it happen before [frown]


I agree.  I spend most of my free time doing things related to my kids' activities.  If I avoided being friends with the other parents, I wouldn't have any friends.  

And I disagree that it is problematic because issues with the kids become issues with the parents.  Maybe that is true if there's a major problem with between the kids.  But my experience is that most kids friendships either persist or fade away - very few go down in flames.  I became very friendly with a couple of moms when our girls were good friends and were doing activities together.  The girls are no longer friends but there is no ill will between them.  They have just gone their separate ways.  The moms and I are still friends.
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rosefairy

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2girls

It sounds like the mother you dealt with has a personality disorder. People like this seem to have a radar to find those kind, helpful, mentally stable people, like you, who are so happy to help! You would never dream of using people, where that is their way of being. This isn't a dance thing, this is a mentally ill thing. The other mothers steered clear of this crazy lady. 

I am so happy to hear you had a good time with the other moms in the studio. You will probably be cautious for a while, but she was extreme, much more than petty jealousy. I bet you won't encounter that level of crazy again. I believe you can make friends in the dance world. I am happy to say I have many long time DM friends. Not everyone is like that! Best wishes for you and your DD.


I think you have hit the nail on the head!  I can only imagine that she must have some type of personality disorder to treat people in such a way, and to evolve her whole life around it in such a calcuated manner. I must admit psychopathe has escaped my mouth more than a few times!!

Although I understand all this, I just can't seem to shake it off though.  It eats and me day and night. Maybe I am just weak? But I have not had any closure on this because she just ignored me and I haven't had my chance to say what I feel. I have the feeing that no matter what I say, and no matter how right I am, it won't make any difference to her anyway because she feels as if she is the one that has been hard done by. I live so close to her, and I dread the day I run into her.  Not sure how to reaact [frown]  I don't want to sink to her level, but I fear I might crack!

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rosefairy

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Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by summer03
"those who talk to you about others, will talk about you to others"
 


Ain't that the truth!!!  She used to show me very, extremely, personal emails from others and I told her I didn't want to read it. And the stories.... how one mother is an alcoholic, how the other's husband was beating her., how the other has fleed the UK from tax evasion.... Never did I think she would do the same to me...

I don't like to have a bad name/image, and so I do worry what lies she has said about me to others.... I'd like to think that if anyone has something personal or confidential that they tell me, that I keep it just like that! I told one mother how concerend I was about this and she replied, "I believe we are all adults here and can form our own judgements of what is fiction and fantasy".  Love her!!!
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rosefairy

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Reply with quote  #23 
This was the latest comment I heard last night from this wicked witch about the Owner of the Studio... Just to give you some perspective about how low she went during the annual show... this studio has 11 staff to help out btw...

“Stupid cow has had 3 kids – how does she expect ME to run the show just cos she couldn’t keep her legs closed”!!!!!

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Nettie

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459
Unfortunately, friendships can go wrong... no matter where they're cultivated.  IMO there is nothing inherently less stable about the relationships you make at the dance studio than the ones you  make around the water cooler at work.  I wouldn't let this experience keep you from reaching out to others. Some we win, some we lose.  But truth is, we learn from them all.  Sorry you had such a bad experience.  Chin up.  And better luck next time [smile]


I just LOVE your comments!! So truthful.
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My2DanceLoves

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Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dancedaughters
That's really a shame.  Some of the moms at our studio are people I'm friendly with, and a few are very close friends.  We have known each other a long time.  I love their daughters like they are my own, and they love my children just as much.

Over the years we have had a couple of moms (just a couple) who seemed very crazy and also unkind.  But their kids weren't in the same groups with my kids for the most part, so I had very minimal dealings with them.  Our SO runs a pretty tight ship, though, when it comes to how people treat each other.  One of the crazy moms made another girl cry at a competition two years ago.  I heard about it from my daughter - happened at a weekend comp.  On Monday I happened to be at the studio when the girl who cried and her mom came in for a face-to-face with the SO.  I'm pretty sure a meeting with the crazy mom happened shortly after that.  There were no problems with the crazy mom after that - I think she was on notice that if anything like that happened again, her daughter would be out.

But mostly, the moms at our studio are people I feel I can count on, and people whose company I really enjoy.  Probably part of why I enjoy going to competitions - I just like hanging out with them.


I think there is a mom or 2 at the studio that I had the potential of becoming very good friends with.  There was a group of us who were very involved in fundraising , all competition moms and we spent a lot of time in the same places.  We had started coming up with reasons to have "meetings"  just to hang out casually with each other going for dinner or a drink.   Unfortunately most of us kind of got burned by a mom that just lost her marbles a tad.  Since then myself and one mom who I just adore both have kind of just become scarce compared to how it used to be.  We still gravitate toward each other at competitions , especially those when we travel. But I think we both are just wary of drama.  There is also another mom I love to bits and she is just the nicest person ever.  Other than that I am still very friendly with the others , but most have kind of broke off in little bestie pairs [smile] 

Like dancedaughters our SO's run a tight ship with strict policies on respect and good behavior for dancers AND their families.  I think this makes all the difference.  I think the tone in a studio comes down to what SO's are allowing or not.  If a mom is allowed to treat people badly , to me that says much about the SO.  Also, I think sometimes some moms are given too much responsibility , that in some cases goes to their head , and causes friction and tension.  


I also relate to what Heidi said.  Most of the adult women I come in to contact with any regularity are the parents of dnacers at our studio.  We immediately have something in common.  The fact that I have felt the need to be more cautious kind of makes me sad. 
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