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Noel

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Here is a story that came up on my twitter feed that was re-posted by a competitive dance studio: http://cheerdaily.com/trust-the-process/

Now, anyone who has read my posts knows that our family made the decision to move away from a "studio" that had a long list of toxic qualities so I recognize that my perception is still affected by that.

That said, this article struck a nerve for me. On the one hand I know that plenty of parents are guilty of micromanaging their kids' activities and are in their coaches or teachers or owners faces an inappropriate amount.

However, I feel increasingly as though "Trust The Process" is being misused to mean, essentially, be seen and not heard, your presence here is to deliver your child on time, pay on time, and otherwise be invisible.

I've seen some parents are taking this to the extreme and simply accepting anything a teacher throws at their children without a question asked. Some parents seem so caught up in "behaving" that some teachers/ choreographers/ owners have essentially stopped treating parents as customers, someone to whom they do answer, someone who is worthy of respect and civility. 

Of course I'm not generalizing to all teachers/ owners/ etc. . But has anyone else noticed this?

Current studio has a great balance of respecting the parents role and respecting the customer/ provider relationship and parents appear to have great respect for the creative and educational environment. That said, it's made situations where that is not the case stick out more and more like the proverbial sore thumb.
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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #2 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noel
Here is a story that came up on my twitter feed that was re-posted by a competitive dance studio: http://cheerdaily.com/trust-the-process/

Now, anyone who has read my posts knows that our family made the decision to move away from a "studio" that had a long list of toxic qualities so I recognize that my perception is still affected by that.

That said, this article struck a nerve for me. On the one hand I know that plenty of parents are guilty of micromanaging their kids' activities and are in their coaches or teachers or owners faces an inappropriate amount.

However, I feel increasingly as though "Trust The Process" is being misused to mean, essentially, be seen and not heard, your presence here is to deliver your child on time, pay on time, and otherwise be invisible.

I've seen some parents are taking this to the extreme and simply accepting anything a teacher throws at their children without a question asked. Some parents seem so caught up in "behaving" that some teachers/ choreographers/ owners have essentially stopped treating parents as customers, someone to whom they do answer, someone who is worthy of respect and civility. 

Of course I'm not generalizing to all teachers/ owners/ etc. . But has anyone else noticed this?

Current studio has a great balance of respecting the parents role and respecting the customer/ provider relationship and parents appear to have great respect for the creative and educational environment. That said, it's made situations where that is not the case stick out more and more like the proverbial sore thumb.


On the one hand I get what they're saying, about accepting the level where your child is placed and being realistic about their level of skill.  However, just because they are PROFESSIONALS (as the article calls themselves, in all capitals) doesn't mean they always ACT like professionals and sometimes us parents are right.  Finding that fine line between being a good advocate for your child but not overstepping that line can be hard sometimes though.
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #3 
I agree, Joribelle, that bit about the professionals stood out to me as well.Too many times these professionals simply do not have the training, or the business manners, or the interpersonal skills that I believe comprise a professional.

I also agree that it is a difficulty line to walk as a parent between respecting them and trusting them completely and knowing when the time is appropriate to step in.
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #4 
Some parents do get far to involved in their children's activities.  I agree that you do have to trust the people you have chosen to teach them and if you don't then you need to find a new studio.  I was always one to sit back and watch everything but I never got involved in a big way unless it was detrimentally affecting my DS in some way.  At our 2nd studio I would go to the SO if I had questions about placements or castings but I trusted her and trusted her explanations.  I also was not wearing rose coloured glasses when it came to DS and his abilities.
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #5 
I can definitely see both sides of this and I would put out there that both sides are wrong when they paint broad strokes about the other...

Parents are not all micro managing buttinskies and professionals are not all inept and not worthy of our trust. Perhaps that is what stuck to me about this piece.

I disliked the bit about "earn your result"... plenty of hard working kids and well adjusted parents who may never see the desired results if winning and trophies and championships are your desired result.
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ggsmith

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Reply with quote  #6 
I find the tone condescending.

Yes, there are parents who get over involved with their children's activities.

I really hope to find a teacher who wants to do his/her "job and put your child’s best interest first."  I believe there are teachers (and coaches) out there who are making their best effort to do this.  There are also people who feel that their experience learning to dance (or cheer) at Podunk School of Dance and Cheer during the 90's makes them a "professional."  Even the most well meaning and well trained teacher is only human.  Sometimes, hard as it may seem, my kid might get on Ms. Martha's nerves.  Ms. Martha may look at my darling's teammate and be reminded of her younger self and unconsciously favor teammate with parts, encouragement, and extra attention.

Dance is expensive and time consuming, like elite cheer or other elite athletics.  In an ideal situation I've been able to locate Polly Professional Teacher whose only priority is my child's best interests.  In a less than ideal situation, I've got to do my homework and try to find the best situation for my kid at this point in time.  I want to occasionally have the opportunity to see what kind of training my kid is getting and whether the training is getting her where she wants to go.  I'd like to be able to communication with Miss Polly when there is a problem and get occasional feedback about my daughter's progress.  

Its a balance.  I am paying a lot and our family is giving up material things and time so that my kid can participate in this program.  I want to believe that your training is what you say it is.  (I've never actually seen the degrees DD's teacher's claim to have, and documentation of performing history and training isn't always eaty to verify.)  I will not be hovering at the window or monitor or trying to peek in the keyhole.  I won't ask for an update after ever class or contact you every time DD complains that something is unfair.  But sometimes I have concerns and questions about your methods and results.  "Trust me?"  Not completely.
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #7 
Well said, GGSmith. I very much agree with all you've said.
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jule425

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Oh this strikes a nerve. After last night, I'm 99% sure we are leaving our studio of 9 years because of this condescending type attitude. I'm been the mom to sit back, but last night sent me over the edge. I will give my SO a chance to make things right, but I've already began the process of looking. After all these years I do know quite a bit about the studios in our area. There are 2 I will not take her to out of respect for all the years we've been with her, but the rest are fair game. Even if we attend the local ballet studio and go independent for a year.
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #9 
I don't like the tone of the article, but I do appreciate the idea that directors and coaches make placements based on their expertise. Most parents do not accurately assess their own children"s weaknesses, or see the nuances in placements. When you have 20 dancers per age range, only 1 can be the best, and someone has to be the worst.

I am a college professor with all the credentials to prove I am a "professional," but students question their grades all the time. And they don't question based on an assessment that my grading was unfair, they literally say things like "I know I am a more than a percentage point short, but can you just round me up to the next grade?" Or "I think I should have a better grade because "I really like the class," or "I really tried hard." I've even had students whose assignments and tests in my course were only B and C grades tell me, "I am an A student. I deserve an A." Unfortunately these students have learned these approaches from their parents.

If you are attending a quality studio, the judgements of the instructors with regard to dance are more informed than opinions of parents. The message from parents (assuming a quality studio) should be to work harder if you want to advance. The message should not be, you are being treated unfairly. One of the great benefits of dance is to learn to work hard and to earn what you want. Parents can not change a studio, so if they don't respect a studio, the best option is to look for another.
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kmpmom

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Reply with quote  #10 
Micro-managing parents have created an environment that we all now have to live with - one in which those of us who occasionally have a question or concern to raise meet a large wall head on when we attempt to do so.  It's assumed we're about to rant and rave and demand like the micro-managers.  And by "occasionally" I mean once a season, not once a week.  

As someone said earlier in the stream, studio owners are often not business people and sometimes not even "people people".  The best run studios have someone up front who can talk with parents and have authority in what they say, but are not involved in the day to day in-studio training.  Its that distance/separation that gives them gravitas.
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #11 
Agree, Prancer to, "If you are attending a quality studio, the judgements of the instructors with regard to dance are more informed than opinions of parents. The message from parents (assuming a quality studio) should be to work harder if you want to advance. The message should not be, you are being treated unfairly. One of the great benefits of dance is to learn to work hard and to earn what you want. "

I think the nerve this struck with me are those studios that really are not quality, the judgement is suspect, the motives not sincerely centered about the growing up of a dancer. I see this attitude (that of the article) increasingly from many teachers from many levels of actual qualified teaching and that's what disturbs me.

I am a "digger" by nature, always digging to know more, to become more aware of the hows and the whys but I recognize that so many parents are not and are blindly accepting flawed, and in some cases downright dangerous, advice in the name of "trusting the process" and giving respect where it has truly not been earned.

My DH is an adjunct and he too experiences what you describe. I see it in my children's classmates as well. But the key difference is that in academia it is extremely rare to have an educator who is not truly well versed in their subject, who is not truly capably of instructing and evaluating. Challenging a professor, or even a sixth grade teacher, is (in my opinion) apples and oranges as there are exponentially more unqualified or questionably qualified dance "professionals" out there. Hoping my tone does not come across as antagonistic (but I suspect it does, just not sure how else to say that)
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #12 
Agree, KMPMom, particularly involving the wall. And as you later said, if issues are arising once a week, that is a sure sign that regardless of the qualifications of the studio, it's just not a good fit for you as a parent.
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jule425

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1tinydancer


I wouldn't count out any studios out of respect. We switched to the studio that the old SO hated and bad mouthed. That's the studio we switched to and my dd LOVES it!


Her sister owns one of the studios, and a former employee the other. The sister relationship is not the best, and the former employee would hurt her and my husband would never allow us at that studio.
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #14 
jule425 simple based on "guilt by association" I'd steer clear of those two studios... particularly if you have some other good options. I agree on not doing your current SO any favors out of loyalty, but sounds like you've got good reason to stay away anyway.

Best of luck with your decision. BTDT and it wasn't easy, but in hindsight, best decision all around.
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ballerinamom13

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Reply with quote  #15 
I'm pretty sure I haven't "trust[ed] the process" since my dd was 4.  The most important thing any parent can do is educate yourself on what quality training really is.  Believing any one person is a gigantic mistake, even if they are good at their job.  The dance world is comprised of hundreds of different personalities and temperaments.  If your child is never subject to different methods of coaching when they are young, how are they going to handle all the diversity in styles of coaching and expectations out there when they are older? That article is a joke.  

I have seen many, many parents get way too involved (which makes me crazy), but not getting involved is way worse IMO. As others have mentioned, we pay thousands of dollars for our kids to dance (and for other sports).  If anyone thinks I'm going to "trust the process", without asking questions (respectfully) and having my kid get as much exposure as possible without upsetting the day to day training, they are nuts and I don't want them coaching my kid.  WE are the customer - so many SO's forget that.  The bottom line is, dance is a business to these people.  We are the customer and we get to make decisions, with help from them, but ultimately our kid's training is up to the us. Period.
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classydance

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Reply with quote  #16 
If you're going to trust the process, you need to know what the process is. . . (and that's frequently missing).  And if I am going to trust the process I need to know what the process results in.  . . Where does it lead? What do other people who have "trusted the process get? " (and EVERYONE).  (Frequently dance studio processes and our goals have not aligned.)
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4boysmom

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ballerinamom13
I'm pretty sure I haven't "trust[ed] the process" since my dd was 4.  The most important thing any parent can do is educate yourself on what quality training really is.  Believing any one person is a gigantic mistake, even if they are good at their job.  The dance world is comprised of hundreds of different personalities and temperaments.  If your child is never subject to different methods of coaching when they are young, how are they going to handle all the diversity in styles of coaching and expectations out there when they are older? That article is a joke.  

I have seen many, many parents get way too involved (which makes me crazy), but not getting involved is way worse IMO. As others have mentioned, we pay thousands of dollars for our kids to dance (and for other sports).  If anyone thinks I'm going to "trust the process", without asking questions (respectfully) and having my kid get as much exposure as possible without upsetting the day to day training, they are nuts and I don't want them coaching my kid.  WE are the customer - so many SO's forget that.  The bottom line is, dance is a business to these people.  We are the customer and we get to make decisions, with help from them, but ultimately our kid's training is up to the us. Period.

This is so true. I too have taken great pains to educate myself in dance education, and dance technique etc. I have been lucky in that I have been able to put together a personalized program for my son. He takes ballet with a fantastic teacher, takes tape with a master tap teacher, and competes with a studio that is excellent at teaching performance. His competition studio does not necessarily have the very best technique teachers, but DS enjoys the creative choreography and emphasis on performance. His SO has been gracious enough to allow DS to tap in to other programs, and has even come to see performances he has done with other groups. I would not do well with a studio that told me to basically take a back seat and believe in the process. I want to know what the process is, and know that it is best for my child.
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Taar0309

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Reply with quote  #18 
This article is great when you can TRUST the teacher! We left a studio because what my dd's goals were did not match up with the owners. We tried to meet and get on the same page and finally realized that we weren't in the same book much less on the same page. I did not trust them, I did not feel like they had my child's best interest at heart. We moved on and I went in with an open mind to our new studio with no expectations. I TRUST her teachers there and feel they have my dd's best interest at heart and want to see her succeed. There lies the difference. You can trust the process if you TRUST your studio owner / teacher. My dd has excelled this year and has a completely different mindset. There is no better feeling!!
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Mamala

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Reply with quote  #19 
I think the annoying overinvolved parent who is always questioning the teachers and thinks their child can do no wrong has made it harder for everyone else. Because of parents like those, other parents are all perceived that way automatically if they question something or want to be somewhat involved. I don't blame studio owners for wanting to tell those types of parents to sit down and shut up, but unfortunately they've also ruined it for everyone else.
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dancingpeanut

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Reply with quote  #20 
DD was working on her solo during studio registration times last year, so I was sitting in the lobby. The number of parents who came up to the desk and said, "I have a question..." and proceeded to question their child's placement was astounding. Almost every single case was a child who was moved up a level like most of their classmates, but the parents didn't think that was enough, and wanted them bumped up two or even more levels. Every teacher evaluates every student at the end of each year and gives a placememt recommendation, so it's not like the students were just blindly placed in classes. Some parents gave excuses about scheduling, but not a single one asked to take a lower level class or to have their child stay in the same level for another year, without exception, every single request to change the recommended class was for their child to be in a higher level. This wasn't one or two parents, it was a steady stream of people who clearly see their child through rose colored glasses and think they are a step ahead of their peers. Working at a high school, I see the same thing there every single day, parents who think their C math student belongs in AP Calculus, or who are furious because their child wrote a paper without complete sentences, turned it in a week late, and didn't get an A. I wish I were exaggerating and I wish more parents trusted the process a whole lot more.
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #21 
dancingpeanut... I agree with you, presuming you feel that the instructors at your school are qualified and have earned their valuable opinions. I think that is the crux of what this premise rests upon; you can only trust a process as far as the quality of the people running the process.
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dancingpeanut

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Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noel
dancingpeanut... I agree with you, presuming you feel that the instructors at your school are qualified and have earned their valuable opinions. I think that is the crux of what this premise rests upon; you can only trust a process as far as the quality of the people running the process.


I guess I don't understand why someone would pay someone to instruct their child who they don't feel are qualified. And you should certainly educate yourself on what "qualified" means for whatever field you are hiring someone to instruct your child in. And of course, teachers, even the most qualified, aren't infallible and every child has unique needs. But the incessant push of overeager parents to have kids pushed up higher than what they have earned has reached a point of ridiculous, which is what I think prompted this article.
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #23 
I ask myself the same question (why are you paying someone if you don't trust them?) many many times. There are only a few people from the former "studio" that I still speak with and the complaints and questioning are non stop. I don't know why they don't just walk away and find a place where the complaints are few and far between.

With regards to incessant pushing of overeager parents. Yes, I see it. It's sad. They lose the forest for the trees and the day to day of raising up their dancer (or cheerleader per the article) with all of its joy and celebrations gets lost in the pursuit of "the goal" whatever that may be.
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noel
I ask myself the same question (why are you paying someone if you don't trust them?) many many times. There are only a few people from the former "studio" that I still speak with and the complaints and questioning are non stop. I don't know why they don't just walk away and find a place where the complaints are few and far between.

With regards to incessant pushing of overeager parents. Yes, I see it. It's sad. They lose the forest for the trees and the day to day of raising up their dancer (or cheerleader per the article) with all of its joy and celebrations gets lost in the pursuit of "the goal" whatever that may be.


Most likely because the devil they know is better than the devil they don't know.  Change is hard for the majority of people it seems. So it's just easier to convince themselves that the grass is probably not going to be greener anyway.  I remember the months before dd left her comp studio... the conversations I'd have with other moms.  They had many of the same complaints that we did but they had every excuse under the sun as to why they wouldn't leave (and snickered in disbelief when we insisted that we were).  So now it's 3 yrs later and from what I hear?  They're still there.  And still complaining.
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #25 
heidi459 all good points. It's hard for me to understand staying in a situation you are continually unsatisfied with, but I suppose leaving and taking that risk is hard for them to understand, too. Thank you for giving me that response, though, because it's still really helpful for me to surround myself with others who chose to move on. I have far too much "choose to stay" surrounding me and it's hard to quiet those voices that doubt our decision all alone sometimes. It's really good to hear "back up" from others who took the leap.
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