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dancermom0518

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Reply with quote  #1 
My DD has been dancing for 4 years now. She started late, at 7, but has caught on pretty quick. She tried out and made the competitive team at her studio last year and this is our second season of it. Last year my DD was given a duet with one of the owners of the studio choreographing it. I felt we were welcomed and part of the studio family. This year I feel like an outsider. A lot of my DD Jr company dancers got solos and my DD didn’t. I understand my DD may not be the best and I definitely feel like she could improve technically. This is where part of my problem comes into play. I feel like the studio focuses on their favorites and works more with them but dancers like my DD who need their extra attention/teaching don’t get it. The teacher who choreographed my DD trio this year has not been a good fit for my DD. She’s singled my child out and been very hateful to all 3 of the girls In our trio. We have had issues with some girls not showing up to practice due to illness and other reasons. We had a comp yesterday and the teacher made this really mean “hmmm” comment as the girls left the stage. One of the girls was in tears because she messed up. Her leap was very bad. But I feel like the teacher could have been more compassionate. The studio owner who worked with my DD last year was really hateful to her about her hair yesterday and said her pony tail wasn’t high and it needed to be fixed. My DD feels like the teachers don’t like her and I feel like she’s not getting the proper teaching for what I’m paying. Sorry to ramble but I’m so torn. Do I just cut my losses and leave or should I at least try and sit down with the studio owner. There are two. One who is really nice and then the one I’ve mentioned in my post. She’s very standofish and not very approachable. Should I explain to the nice owner how my DD and I feel and see if we can reach a solution before we pull her after this season? I know most people would say just leave if I’m not happy and my DD isn’t happy but this is the only competitive dance team/studio in my area the other studios are in another town 30 min away and it’s not convenient to drive that far because I have to rely on family to help pick up my DD and take her to dance. What would you do?
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cndb

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Reply with quote  #2 
Those examples you provided do not seem very personal or mean, particularly the pony tail comment.

Are there other instances that you are not including?

Is your daughter getting more sensitive with you, for example asking why you are yelling at her when you are just telling her to make her bed (for the 6th time that day)?

A lot of time around ages 10 to 13 kids see any less than positive interactions as "yelling" or "hating me".  

If the teachers were kind before this year, why would suddenly all of them become mean and hateful?  Is it possible that your daughter is just hitting that sensitive age and that she is the one who has changed, not just the teachers?  Also, if she is 11, that is around the age where the teachers stop interacting with them as little ones and start interacting with them more like older kids.  With older kids, especially at the competitive level, teachers tend to be more direct with their directions than they are with the younger elementary kids.

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dancermom0518

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cndb
Those examples you provided do not seem very personal or mean, particularly the pony tail comment.

Are there other instances that you are not including?

Is your daughter getting more sensitive with you, for example asking why you are yelling at her when you are just telling her to make her bed (for the 6th time that day)?

A lot of time around ages 10 to 13 kids see any less than positive interactions as "yelling" or "hating me".  

If the teachers were kind before this year, why would suddenly all of them become mean and hateful?  Is it possible that your daughter is just hitting that sensitive age and that she is the one who has changed, not just the teachers?  Also, if she is 11, that is around the age where the teachers stop interacting with them as little ones and start interacting with them more like older kids.  With older kids, especially at the competitive level, teachers tend to be more direct with their directions than they are with the younger elementary kids.



I do think she may be taking things a little too personal. To be honest, I think she may have been hurt by the fact she wasn’t chosen for a solo and she thinks because she wasn’t chosen they don’t like her. She will come home from dance and say well so and so was mean to me. I appreciate your response and it gives me something else to think about.
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thedancingdiva

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Reply with quote  #4 
I do not want to fuel the fire here but the comment about the hair isn't anything I haven't heard before and it's not coming from a mean and spiteful place. All artistic directors have a vision in mind of what they want to see on stage. If 11 girls all have their hair or headpiece in one spot but one girl does not, of course you would want them to match.
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dancermom0518

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thedancingdiva
I do not want to fuel the fire here but the comment about the hair isn't anything I haven't heard before and it's not coming from a mean and spiteful place. All artistic directors have a vision in mind of what they want to see on stage. If 11 girls all have their hair or headpiece in one spot but one girl does not, of course you would want them to match.


True! I didn’t hear her say it but my DD said she said it really mean but I am starting to think it’s all
I’m my DD head as far as everyone being mean to her. I think she is taking things to personal.
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hopefuldancer17

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Reply with quote  #6 
I was struck by your use of the word "hateful" to describe two different teachers and the way they interact with your dancer. It's a very strong word to choose. If that is the right descriptor, then I don't see how you would even question whether to stay or not. If you are reacting to your dancer's strong feelings, then it sounds like you have some more deciphering to do as you peel back the layers and the feelings being expressed.
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #7 
We had an issue with DS when he was about 7.  He was always coming out of ballet and telling me the ballet mistress was mean to him, that she yelled at him, etc.  He had been with this DT for 3 years at that point and used to love her.  One day he told me that she had said that he was going to fail his ballet exam because he just wasn't good enough.  I was livid and went to the SO.  The SO had known this woman since she was a child herself and knew that while she was a no nonsense kind of teacher she was never mean.  She suggested we get the DT and my DS together (with us there) and have DS repeat what he told me in front of the ballet teacher.  Once he was forced to repeat his claims in front of her he backed down and admitted that maybe she didn't necessarily say it that way and maybe she's not mean to me.  We had a good clearing of the air.  The DT was quite upset at the thought that DS was so bothered by her comments.  The lesson I learned was that sometimes kid perceive things in their own way and not in the way they actually happened.
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dancermom0518

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tappinmom
We had an issue with DS when he was about 7.  He was always coming out of ballet and telling me the ballet mistress was mean to him, that she yelled at him, etc.  He had been with this DT for 3 years at that point and used to love her.  One day he told me that she had said that he was going to fail his ballet exam because he just wasn't good enough.  I was livid and went to the SO.  The SO had known this woman since she was a child herself and knew that while she was a no nonsense kind of teacher she was never mean.  She suggested we get the DT and my DS together (with us there) and have DS repeat what he told me in front of the ballet teacher.  Once he was forced to repeat his claims in front of her he backed down and admitted that maybe she didn't necessarily say it that way and maybe she's not mean to me.  We had a good clearing of the air.  The DT was quite upset at the thought that DS was so bothered by her comments.  The lesson I learned was that sometimes kid perceive things in their own way and not in the way they actually happened.


This makes sense. I may need to do this!
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nyklane

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Reply with quote  #9 
I think you have gotten really good feedback already.  For your own personal knowledge and maybe if you want to share with your dancer - perhaps speak to the studio owners on your own about the solo selection.  If it's really something she wants for next season ask them what she needs to work on to be considered for a solo.  Are those things that she needs something that she would get more of in a few private lessons so that she's prepared for next season?

My dancer (much younger than yours) asked for and got turned down for a solo.  It hurt really bad for her, but we turned it in to a learning year and working really hard, so that next year, when we asked - she got the solo she wanted.  It did take a year, and growth.  But if it's something that she really wants, find out what she needs to do to make that happen.  What does she need to improve or learn, and see if she will put in the work to get there.
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Lorax

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Reply with quote  #10 
In my experience it is the rare studio owner who actually wants parents to bring these issues to their attention. Truly. Not that they don't exist, but few want to hear it. Most are well aware of how dancers are perceived and very aware of how their teachers or coaches are interacting and frankly the attention goes where the studio owner or the designated HTIC (head teacher in charge in the case of a largely hands off studio owner) wants the attention given.

My opinion strays from what you've been told. Is it possible, even likely, that your kid is overreacting. Absolutely. Will talking to the studio owner help that, nope. Will talking to the studio owner help if the problem really is that your view of the studio's treatment of your child is spot on, probably not. Any time you bring an issue to the studio owner or artistic director's attention you are telling them that they have not done a good job of supervising the studio, they have failed. No one wants to hear that, and if it is a profitable studio they don't care. There's always more to fill the void you will create. 

Bottom line, not every studio is a good fit for every dancer and if your dancer feels unwanted and picked on and you feel that your dancer isn't reasonably getting the attention they need in order to progress it's time to at least consider alternatives. You may find that your studio is as good as it gets, you may find a studio that is a better fit. In my experience, no one wins when a dancer and their parents are unhappy with the service provided. It's in everyone's best interest to move on if you can find a better fit. Business is business and the studio owner has to keep the majority happy, not every individual and they have to keep their product shiny and attractive. That means that the attention goes to the shiniest and most attractive (skills wise) dancers because they are the "product" that the new revenue stream will look at and say, "hey, I want my kid to dance like that, let's pay this studio not that studio". That's just the business end of things, and, in the end, to your studio owner this is a business. Never forget that.
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Mamala

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Reply with quote  #11 
I think you've already gotten a lot of good advice from above. I agree with what everyone has already said. What I've realized is that often times good teachers are very strict. They expect a lot and they can be harsh when they feel a dancer is not delivering or trying their hardest. This is very different from being "mean" and it does not always mean that the teacher doesnt like them. Why would an adult not like your child? I cannot imagine that unless your child is unkind to others or disruptive in class or lazy in class (and in that case she probably deserves the teacher's redirections).
In the case of not getting a solo...if a child is not given a solo it's because the teacher does not feel that they are ready for a solo. Think about it..if your DD was skilled and ready for a solo then what purpose would it serve for them not to give her one? Because they dont want to win competitions?? Doesnt make sense. Obviously for whatever reason they dont feel like your DD is ready. Maybe at another studio she'd get a solo. Maybe at different studios they give everyone solos or maybe their level of talent is lower and your DD would be at the top of the class. Who knows. If having a solo is very important to her then that would be a reason to look elsewhere.
I dont doubt what you said about the best dancers getting the most attention. Unfortunately, I think it's that way everywhere. It's just the way it is. They see talent and they nurture that. The kids who dont have as much maybe get put on the back burner. Maybe if you feel your DD needs some more specific training she can do some privates?
 I dont think talking to the SO is going to help you. I think if anything it will hurt you in the long run because you'll look like a complainer. If there was something blatently awful that the teacher did then of course I'd say something, but the examples that you've given honestly dont sound that bad to me.

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dancermom0518

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamala
I think you've already gotten a lot of good advice from above. I agree with what everyone has already said. What I've realized is that often times good teachers are very strict. They expect a lot and they can be harsh when they feel a dancer is not delivering or trying their hardest. This is very different from being "mean" and it does not always mean that the teacher doesnt like them. Why would an adult not like your child? I cannot imagine that unless your child is unkind to others or disruptive in class or lazy in class (and in that case she probably deserves the teacher's redirections).
In the case of not getting a solo...if a child is not given a solo it's because the teacher does not feel that they are ready for a solo. Think about it..if your DD was skilled and ready for a solo then what purpose would it serve for them not to give her one? Because they dont want to win competitions?? Doesnt make sense. Obviously for whatever reason they dont feel like your DD is ready. Maybe at another studio she'd get a solo. Maybe at different studios they give everyone solos or maybe their level of talent is lower and your DD would be at the top of the class. Who knows. If having a solo is very important to her then that would be a reason to look elsewhere.
I dont doubt what you said about the best dancers getting the most attention. Unfortunately, I think it's that way everywhere. It's just the way it is. They see talent and they nurture that. The kids who dont have as much maybe get put on the back burner. Maybe if you feel your DD needs some more specific training she can do some privates?
 I dont think talking to the SO is going to help you. I think if anything it will hurt you in the long run because you'll look like a complainer. If there was something blatently awful that the teacher did then of course I'd say something, but the examples that you've given honestly dont sound that bad to me.

[/QUOT

Thank you for your honest response. You made some really valid points. It gives me something to think about. I definitely think I’ll hold off going to the SO.
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dancermom0518

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorax
In my experience it is the rare studio owner who actually wants parents to bring these issues to their attention. Truly. Not that they don't exist, but few want to hear it. Most are well aware of how dancers are perceived and very aware of how their teachers or coaches are interacting and frankly the attention goes where the studio owner or the designated HTIC (head teacher in charge in the case of a largely hands off studio owner) wants the attention given.

My opinion strays from what you've been told. Is it possible, even likely, that your kid is overreacting. Absolutely. Will talking to the studio owner help that, nope. Will talking to the studio owner help if the problem really is that your view of the studio's treatment of your child is spot on, probably not. Any time you bring an issue to the studio owner or artistic director's attention you are telling them that they have not done a good job of supervising the studio, they have failed. No one wants to hear that, and if it is a profitable studio they don't care. There's always more to fill the void you will create. 

Bottom line, not every studio is a good fit for every dancer and if your dancer feels unwanted and picked on and you feel that your dancer isn't reasonably getting the attention they need in order to progress it's time to at least consider alternatives. You may find that your studio is as good as it gets, you may find a studio that is a better fit. In my experience, no one wins when a dancer and their parents are unhappy with the service provided. It's in everyone's best interest to move on if you can find a better fit. Business is business and the studio owner has to keep the majority happy, not every individual and they have to keep their product shiny and attractive. That means that the attention goes to the shiniest and most attractive (skills wise) dancers because they are the "product" that the new revenue stream will look at and say, "hey, I want my kid to dance like that, let's pay this studio not that studio". That's just the business end of things, and, in the end, to your studio owner this is a business. Never forget that.


Thank you for your response. You made a lot of really good points.
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dancermom0518

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nyklane
I think you have gotten really good feedback already.  For your own personal knowledge and maybe if you want to share with your dancer - perhaps speak to the studio owners on your own about the solo selection.  If it's really something she wants for next season ask them what she needs to work on to be considered for a solo.  Are those things that she needs something that she would get more of in a few private lessons so that she's prepared for next season?

My dancer (much younger than yours) asked for and got turned down for a solo.  It hurt really bad for her, but we turned it in to a learning year and working really hard, so that next year, when we asked - she got the solo she wanted.  It did take a year, and growth.  But if it's something that she really wants, find out what she needs to do to make that happen.  What does she need to improve or learn, and see if she will put in the work to get there.


Thank you for your response!!
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stpierremom

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Reply with quote  #15 
Are you able to watch class or be within earshot of your dd and the teachers when this alleged behavior is occurring?  Sometimes we need to hear for ourselves if possible.

I have to agree with cndb -- it's a tough age with hormonal and social changes going on.  Good luck.
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mlove

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Reply with quote  #16 
This can be a great opportunity to teach her how to stand up for herself, resilance and determination. I am afraid going to another studio might teach her if is ok to quit when you are challenged. If the circumstances were serious like about her weight or something that would be different but these things are pretty normal and can be a great teaching tool. Also your attitude towards it will likely influence hers.
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