Registered: 1364404872 Posts: 60
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We're in the midst of changing studios. Unbelievably, we're going to be taking summer classes at three studios this summer to finalize what we're doing. Our current studio - it's fine as long as we don't care that the SO ignores everyone who isn't on the compeition team. Getting on competition team is through invitation only and it's holy grail as to how to get an invite. And from what I hear, even within the competition team, she has favorites and ignores everyone else. The competition team itself fares well at comps, but apparently they all register at really low levels so I don't know that is much of an achievement. Then, there's the "technique studio" we're considering... where they're above having a competition team... but offer fantastic opportunities, like taking their performance group to NYC for workshops with famous studios but odddly enough... even though they seem the most focused on technique - in the senior classes, the young teachers dance with the girls even at recital - which i think is downright weird and is all about the limelight for the teacher. Finally, there's another studio my DD learned about that offers technique and competition team through audition. This studio actually has a heart, saying they understand DDs want formal feedback through audition on what they neeed to do to get on competition team. They also say they try to accommodate everyone who wants to compete... so they are a lot nicer... yet they dodge my questions about their professional credentials. Help! I have a 10 year old DD who wants to take dance as far as she can go and every studio seems to have its own rules and inner cirlce. For a DD who want to go far beyond trophies and want to study it in college and maybe be a dance teacher herself some day - how do I pick the right studio? Is it unreasonable to expect teachers to want to mentor my child - be her role model and cheer leader? Or is that completely unrealistic? Do your DDs have close relationships with their teachers or is that unfair for me to expect that? As an example, my DD has been sidelined with a foot injury. She's been out of dance for weeks; we don't even know if she'll be able to do upcoming picture day at her studio. Yet the SO seems like she could care less. Is it wrong - when I'm spending this much money and my DD is spending this many hours a week at a studio - to expect her teacher to have an emotional investment in her?? I've been so burned on this first dance studio experience that I'm afraid I don't know what to look for at the next studio.
Registered: 1310398021 Posts: 5,784
Reply with quote #2
Your 1st question about studio choice- it sounds like studio 3 is a better fit for you. If the studio your dd is currently in saw her as a good fit for the comp team they would speak to you about that. As for an emotional connection with DT's and SO's, that is not something you buy. It s something that develops naturally over time. I'm not sure why a foot injury would keep your dd out of the pictures. That doesn't make any sense to me.
High Platinum Member
Registered: 1239676754 Posts: 3,721
Reply with quote #3
All studios do have their own rules and quirks -- that's capitalism for you! You've described 3 very different environments, and it sounds as if you favor one of them already. I'm glad you have the summer to experience them before making a decision. Our studio holds auditions for the team in June, but my niece's studio does it after their intensive in August. Interesting how each does it their own way.
Each DT is also different. Many of them teach at 4 or 5 different studios just to make a living. It can be hard to develop relationships this way. As long as she's getting the instruction she needs to succeed . . . There are places where the mentoring you speak of does take place. Are these 3 the only studios in your area? Is your dd in a cast? Would they refuse to allow her in the pictures because of something like that?
Registered: 1359300932 Posts: 1,155
Reply with quote #4
Originally Posted by
ksrmom We're in the midst of changing studios. Unbelievably, we're going to be taking .... Then, there's the "technique studio" we're considering... where they're above having a competition team... but offer fantastic opportunities, like taking their performance group to NYC for workshops with famous studios but odddly enough... even though they seem the most focused on technique - in the senior classes, the young teachers dance with the girls even at recital - which i think is downright weird and is all about the limelight for the teacher. It is a little quirky, but I think I like this studio the best, based on your descriptions.... How old are the young teachers?
Triple Diamond Member
Registered: 1124638146 Posts: 17,935
Reply with quote #5
I think it's a bit quirky that the young teachers dance with the students in recitals and such. I understand it as a rare contingency situation only, not as the standard operating procedure. About your questions, I think that dance teachers have quite enough to do providing a quality dance education in class time. Becoming a mentor is something that happens rarely and slowly over time. Yes, they should provide advice and help when needed. The emotional element is a rarity and can sometimes blur the line between friend and professional dance teacher, making it difficult for both student and teacher to operate really well in class. It can lead to favoritism of the worst variety in some situations. The best teachers are caring and concerned professionals who have the ability to provide guidance and corrections. There needs to be a balance between heart/caring and professional distance to maintain that balance.
I applaud you for searching for the best solution for your dd's dance goals. Do you absolutely have to go to a competition school or can you attend a school that provides great technique with multiple performance opportunities throughout the year? There are advantages to both sides of the dance coin. I would also be wary of the place that is not completely forthcoming about their credentials. There are times when absolute transparency is basic. They don't necessarily have to be college graduates with years and years of company dancing, but there should be some standard readily available. Are these the only three studios available to you in your area? If that's the case, then you might do best at the third choice. I wouldn't get anything too carved in stone just now. See how things go over the summer. There is a deal of drama and quirkiness in the dance world no matter where you go.
High Platinum Member
Registered: 1273927307 Posts: 4,747
Reply with quote #6
My daughter is at a pre pro where the dance classes are all about technique. We do an in studio demonstration and the girls just started learning their dances a week or two ago for June, compare that to studios where the kids start their recital pieces in november or Janurary. If the teachers are dancing with the kids because recital prep isn't what they spend their time on because they're interested in technique than that's not that odd. Now if the nine and ten year olds have teachers dancing with them. . . .
High Gold Member
Registered: 1351387225 Posts: 662
Reply with quote #7
Teachers are your dancers mentor. My oldest dd who is 28 had great dt that directed her in a way that she than became a dt herself. My other dd who is 10, is now changing studios this summer looming for better dt's and studio with more technical emphasis. We spent a long time investigating the right studio for my dd. Good luck and have fun at new studio.