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momofdanceobsessed

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Reply with quote  #1 
Since we know we are leaving our comp studio next year when should I tell the SO? I am hoping company auditions will be after recital but afraid that won't happen and we will have to tell her before recital. The SO has been very close to my daughter since she has started dance so I know this is not going to be easy. And she is not a well wisher...she will be very bitter and passive aggressive (she already is about other things). I of course don't want my child treated poorly or having to feel uncomfortable but we won't attend auditions either. How have you who have left handled this?
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #2 
Speaking from very unfortunate circumstances, wait absolutely as long as you can until she completes everything she hoped to do at the current studio. If gossip travels, indicate you are exploring some options but have not made any decisions. Do not tell them you are going to leave until you must pay or sign a contract for next year, or of course until you have done your last event. I tried to be reasonable and upfront when we left last year, but the studio behaved horribly.
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rdsmom

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Reply with quote  #3 
Since you already have a good idea that it will be handled poorly by the SO, wait until after the recital if at all possible. Otherwise I'd wait until auditions are announced. Is the SO bitter enough to where she would pull your DD from the recital if you told her you weren't returning? If you think that's a possibility, I might even consider going through the motions of the auditions so DD has a positive experience at recital, then declining the invite to company after the recital. 
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momofdanceobsessed

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Reply with quote  #4 
Prancer...I am sorry for you but sadly I am afraid that could happen to us too. Usually team auditions occur the beginning of May and you have to sign the contract and turn in before you audition (which I always found odd but never questioned). Our recital is not until June so that would put her there for a month if it happens this way this year.
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momofdanceobsessed

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Reply with quote  #5 
RDS...I don't think she would pull her from anything. I think the most that will happen is my daughter will have to deal with passive aggressive behavior from the SO during rehearsals and classes. That is stupid coming from an adult but my daughter already has had to deal with it from her in the past.
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #6 
I don't know - you might think they wouldn't pull a dancer (even out of self interest for not reblocking dances), but our last studio pulled my daughter from nationals because I was honest about leaving.  As far as their practice of auditioning before recital, I imagine it is a studio ploy to try to rope their dancers into coming back.  This was certainly the case at our last studio with regard to nationals.

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Noel

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Reply with quote  #7 
From our experience I would say prepare for the worst and be happy when it doesn't happen. And always remember that your child's emotional well being is more important than any one event, even if that event is a recital. Regardless of timing, be prepared for backlash you never could have imagined from the strangest of places and stick to your morals and your mom's gut and do what is best for your kid. You need to be strong and prepared to stay true to yourself and it will be difficult in the face of the desire to try to obtain a particular outcome (getting through recital). It's bizarre how consistent it seems to be that leaving studios creates bad situations no matter the child, the studio, the parent, the geography. You have my best wishes.
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #8 
Noel, I totally agree, and given that a large majority of dancers make a studio move at some point, you would think the studios would want to handle things positively so that other current and future customers don't hear bad press.  I felt strongly that I should be upfront, and in particular that I should not lie.  I thought they were nuts - they actually told me if I was willing to go back on my word and say I wasn't sure about leaving then she could go to nationals. So the parents who did lie and pretended that they might stay (even though websites from other studios posted their new teams with some of our kids on their lists) - those kids got to go to nationals.  In the end my dancer and I were both initially frustrated, but it passed quickly. The move has been excellent for both of us, and my dancer is dramatically improved.  She is happy.  And she feels sorry for her friends still at the old studio.  momofdanceobessed: I hope you move is excellent and drama free!
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momofdanceobsessed

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Reply with quote  #9 
Ugh...I know that it could happen and will be prepared but if she did that it would probably lead to a mass exodus because so many others are on the fence about staying. She hates confrontation, hence her passive aggressive behavior. So that would be bold and out of character for her if she kicked my daughter out! But if she does I think it will show the other parents a lot and help them make up their minds so she would be wise not to do that.
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cynmckee

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Reply with quote  #10 
Do you have to do the recital?  Do you have to do comp?  What if you said you wanted a year off of comp and just didn't audition?  Lots of families do that that I know because of the financial obligation or because they have family obligations that will make comp too hard.  Really it's no ones business why you aren't auditioning.  If anyone asks your dd just tell her to say, "I don't know....ask my mom."

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cynmckee

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by momofdanceobsessed
Ugh...I know that it could happen and will be prepared but if she did that it would probably lead to a mass exodus because so many others are on the fence about staying. She hates confrontation, hence her passive aggressive behavior. So that would be bold and out of character for her if she kicked my daughter out! But if she does I think it will show the other parents a lot and help them make up their minds so she would be wise not to do that.


But you aren't trying to take a bunch of kids with you, are you?  If so, that seems wrong.
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #12 
Don't worry about what it might or might not show the other parents if the studio owner did or did not do anything. All of that is out of your hands. This is a time to be very singularly focused on what your child needs, what you need, and what your values dictate. Try hard not to step outside of that box right now. Not only is that stuff out of your control, when people do the strangest things, and in our experience they did, it will only make the experience worse.
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amandafarris03

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Reply with quote  #13 
I also would wait as long as possible and not tell anyone of your plans.  we are a military family and the studio we were at previously had a good amount of military kids (and the owner herself was a military spouse until her husband retired, so the treatment we got wasn't the treatment I expected at all).  I had told them after the season had started (like september ish) that we got orders and dd wouldn't be competing with them in the spring because we would be moving in January.  I found out a few weeks later that after I told her that, her daughter who was a teacher had been making dd sit out during class to "stretch".  I found all this information out at their team lock in when all the teams were showing what they had accomplished so far in the season with their dances (some were not finished but they showed what they had).  dd didn't stand up with her team, thinking she wasn't paying attention I motioned for her to get up and join her team.  she asked her teacher "can I dance too?" her teacher shook her head no.  I was confused, told my dd to come to me.  I asked her if she knew the dance and she said no she had been sitting in class stretching.  I was FUMING.  I waited until I got home that night before I texted the owner with how upset I was.  the owner and teacher BOTH knew I was taking 30 minutes of leave twice a week to get her to her company classes on time.  this class was one that I was leaving work early for.  she said he would look into it.  she texts back the next morning saying she spoke with mrs. teacher and said that my dd wasn't grasping the choreography and was running into other students because she didn't know where to go, for the safety of her and the other dancers she just had her stretch! I called BS on that because what would have happened if we WERE intending to stay that season? you would have had to TEACH her (now I totally get pulling her from formations, but still having her learn because I'm freaking paying for her to learn).  I told the owner that I wouldn't be taking her to that class anymore because I was paying for her to sit there when she could be at home doing something productive. (and she didn't discount my last months tuition to NOT include that class like I assumed she would)

then it comes to the Christmas parade a month later (and my dd's last performance with that company) dd was finally old enough to dance in the parade and not sit in the back of the truck with the little kids.  she was SO EXCITED!!!  well girls that weren't supposed to be showing up and dancing with our team showed up and there weren't enough props.  GUESS WHO was one of THREE girls that didn't get a prop?  YUP dd.  she was asked to hold the sign at the front of the "procession".  she was SO disappointed.  near the end of the parade I told her to just get in her spot in the line and do it without a prop.  so for a good 1/4 mile of the parade she did the dance without a prop.  I was SO ANGRY.

so long story short if she is going to be bitter and hateful don't say anything till you are walking out that door.
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hsealover

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Reply with quote  #14 
I agree with those above, wait as long as possible to mention it, don't mention it at all if you can help it. Have DD not tell her friends, as much as it sucks, kids can blabbermouths, lol!

My DD danced at a recreational studio in town for 5 years. She had a teacher who was extremely rude to her the entire time, she wanted to do competitive dance, she wanted legit ballet training, legit hip hop training, and honestly just more advanced training in general. So of course, we made the move to a newer competitive studio in town. We simply thanked them for their service and all they've taught her and left gracefully. We're all still on good terms. No big deal.

DD knew the studio director for a year before this, keep that in mind. They were on good terms and got along well. First year went pretty well, DD had an amazing season, she had really blossomed into a great dancer.

This season has not been so great. The teacher who taught all technical classes at the studio was no longer teaching there and now only teaches at another studio and her own company. DD had talked to me starting in September or October about possibly switching studios next year after she finished out the season, which I was fine with. Whatever makes her happy.

DD had developed a foot injury. We found out she had an extra bone in both of her feet and in her left foot, for some reason there was a lot of inflammation of the cartilage, which pushed her extra bone into a tendon. She wasn't able to dance or walk for a month and a half-two months(ish) due to the fact that if it continued to swell her foot could either lock up or her bone could pierce right through the tendon(or both). This would of course lead to surgery and other issues, so we laid off.

Prior to DD's diagnosis I asked her not to dance on it, neither of us were comfortable with it. She told all of her teachers that she wasn't able to dance. The studio director, who is also one of her teachers, made her dance on it anyways, stressing her foot even more. She told her other teachers that she was faking it, which she wasn't. DD still wanted to go to classes so she would not miss what was going on, which I agreed with since I was paying for it.

Two weeks later(December), DD comes in with her boot and watches class, not being allowed to dance. Not one apology from that teacher.

Fast forward to the end of January, DD has continued watching classes and rehearsals and has stood in formations when necessary. She finally gets her boot off, still not able to dace for ONE more week. I received an email stating that she is no longer welcome to compete. The first competition wasn't until April. However, DD was perfectly fine with this, she understood she hadn't been dancing with them since December and she didn't want to be there anymore anyways. She wasn't upset about it at all. We decided to drop her remaining two non comp classes because she just didn't want to be there.

The next day, DD started getting flooded with messages asking why she left and why she would do something like that. She was very confused, because as I said before, she was essentially kicked off the team. She tried to explain the circumstances the best she could, apparently ex SO wasn't happy about that. She called later that evening after their production practice and "straightened it out". She was being very passive and denied telling other people anything but the truth about what happened. However, that went against everything everyone else was saying. Not to mention that she kept trying to tell DD how she hadn't been kicked off the team, but instead just wasn't allowed to compete. Its a competition team, how did she not get kicked off the team? DD is just upset about how poorly this was handled. She lost many friends because of it.

A few weeks go by, I contact the SO to get a refund for the $900 of tuition that I had already paid for the remaining of the year plus payment for a costume that her dance teacher insisting on keeping. She said no, we argued a little about that, but I finally just let it go.

Finally, SO decided that she will pay us $85 for the costume not received so she can keep it and use it for the dance. She claims the formations were messed up with her absence. Some of the dancers had blue, red, and purple costumes. DD had blue. We go in to receive payment for the costume and we are informed that she has decided she no longer needs the costume. We received "our costume" and went home. Upon further inspection and being taken out of its bag, the costume is red and a size below DD's. Keep in mind, this is after she said that she no longer needed it. She basically stole her costume. Whatever.

Only a week after being kicked off the team, DD got in contact with the old teacher and she is now choreographing her two solos and even working her into two group dances. So now, DD is officially part of her company. DD was also supposed to have two solos at the old studio but they denied letting her do them, as punishment for participating in a local show and before she was very sick for a week. The whole situation was ridiculous.

I sincerely hope that your experience will be better than ours. I honestly just feel so bad for DD, but she's taken it like a champ. She has so much class. lease keep us updated! Even if there are some problems, try to take it gracefully. Good luck!
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Mamala

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Reply with quote  #15 
wait as long as possible. There is no reason to tell them early. You dont owe them anything, and if you think you and your DD will be treated poorly then there's just no benefit to telling them. It doesnt even help them to know early. I highly doubt they've already started choreographing next year's routines, so who cares? It's really a shame that so many SOs become so angry about kids leaving. It's a free world, and there's a lot of competition out there. If they have kids choosing to leave they'd better take a look at themselves and how they can improve their business rather than pointing the finger at the family who chooses to leave. There's a reason people leave. If you're still paying tuition for the remaining months then that is you're only obligation. You're a paying customer for now so leave it at that.
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momofdanceobsessed

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Reply with quote  #16 
Of course I am not trying to take others with me. I haven't told others we are leaving but there are tons unhappy so I was just saying her treating others poorly may not be a good move with so many unhappy already. I agree...we will wait as long as we can.
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ggsmith

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Reply with quote  #17 
I would go as far as filling out paperwork if necessary, or telling "alternate truths" such as "we are not sure we can commit to the team financially for the coming year" or "we have to work out some transportation issues before we commit" or something that would work in your situation.  We've seen some nasty situations and were in one.  Pay your tuition, keep your head down, and your plans to yourself.  This early commitment paperwork is designed to force you into committing to avoid a scene and lock down your tuition and fees for next fall.  Much as we'd all like a guarantee on our income 6 months from now, stuff happens.  I don't know exactly what kind of contract you are being pressed to sign, but I've seen some real crazy stuff that would never hold up in small claims court.    
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my2miracles

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Reply with quote  #18 
When dd left her last studio, she did auditions - thankfully no contracts were presented at that time although I would have challenged them to enforce them.  She did recital and then nationals but didn't return for the summer session.  It's sad but I know the studio (SO, teachers and kids) would have treated her badly.  Heck that's why we were leaving in the 1st place - they were already treating her badly.
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by momofdanceobsessed
Of course I am not trying to take others with me. I haven't told others we are leaving but there are tons unhappy so I was just saying her treating others poorly may not be a good move with so many unhappy already. I agree...we will wait as long as we can.


Just another "food for thought"... you'd be surprised how many of the hoards of gossipy complainers stay right where they are. For so many different reasons. Just try to stay focused on yourself and I might suggest, don't look back. Remember that you are moving on for good reasons and with good intentions when people try to paint you in a light that suggests anything otherwise.

I would have an easier time trying to number the parents at DDs prior "studio" who had no frequent complaints than those that did, yet year after year they remain. It seems to me that a lot of it is "all talk and no show" and when someone actually does take action some take it personally, as if your decision to leave somehow makes their decision to stay look like a bad call. And they will respond defensively because of that.

Just in general, look within and keep your eyes on the promise of the new adventures ahead.
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Dancingemu

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Reply with quote  #20 
I wouldn't tell until they are asking to pay or sign for the next season. We would go through the motions of tryouts and what not until recital was over.
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BalletMom62567

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Reply with quote  #21 
We are in a similar situation, but we had to commit early this month for next year. Our studio is toxic (favoritism runs rampant and SOs are very passive aggressive). We gave our notice and things have gotten worse. They make comments to the girls who are leaving knowing our girls will tell us. They are trying to provoke a reaction so they have a reason ask us to leave before the year is out. This way when asked why these girls left they can say they asked us to leave rather than admit we left them. They've done this every time someone leaves (I know bc they have told me this person was asked to leave because of negativity etc). So, we are going to be sugary sweet for the rest of the year! I told DD to ignore the negative comments bc she knows they aren't true. Give 110% and be kind to everyone. We have multiple studios recruiting us so she knows the cruelly comments are just bitterness about us leaving. Unfortunately, we still have the rest of comp season and recital to get through. What I've learned from all of this is that her current studio is not even close to the caliber of other studios even though they claim to be the best in the area (always bad mouthing other SOs and Dance companies). I've also learned that I want more control over DD's dancing. I will not sign a contract ever again that says I have to get permission for my child to audition for performances outside the studio, take master classes, or take extra classes elsewhere. If the new SO can't agree to that, then we will not be dancing there. I may not be a dancer, but I know what's best for my kid in the end. I should add this is the only studio she has ever danced with, so the past several years have kept us incredibly isolated and I am just now learning of all of the great opportunities out there!
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #22 
Don't know where you are with this issue but on the off chance that you're still mulling over your options... have you considered just telling the SO that your dd will no longer be competing? Perhaps due to financial reasons... or other family commitments that make the schedule an impossibility. Who could argue/get angry with that? That might get you past the auditions and through recital and then after that you can send her a polite email saying that as it turns out you wont be coming back. No further explanation needed, really. Keep it simple. BTDT  It's not fun.  And although I wouldn't do it much differently if I could go back and do it again (for my own reasons), I don't advise others to make it any more difficult than it has to be. Good luck.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #23 
Sorry to hear this, @Balletmom62567, and hope you will find a place that is a good match! Practically any place is going to feel better I bet. 

DD's first studio never had any sort of restrictions. Her ballet school did, but only for the conservatory students. They were not supposed to take ballet classes within a certain radius during the year (while classes were in session) without asking permission. There was no contract to sign or anything of that nature. It was just in the handbook. There was a lot of "don't ask, don't tell" going on. When classes were not in session, during breaks and the like, it was not an issue. Dd was very much a rule follower and permission was always granted. You could take classes further away without needing to ask permission. The restriction was really quite small and I suspect in part was to keep them from the other ballet school in town.
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ggsmith

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Reply with quote  #24 
Ironically DD received an unexpected trainee offer a few weeks ago.  (She did not audition, and in fact was not eligible to audition given the restrictions announced.)

I followed my own advice and put off an answer due to the many uncertainties in the upcoming year and financial issues we need to work out.  I explained that I understood the offer might not be available later but did not feel it would be fair to commit to the program and take a slot from another dancer who might be able to commit.

I got another email a week ago asking when I could give a solid answer.  I explained I'd have a more solid answer at about the same time I expect to see the fall schedule published (not in those words) and explained that I was looking into programs that offer financial assistance.  I even mentioned the programs we are checking into.  

Dd doesn't plan to return, but if she were offered a scholarship she might consider it.  Currently we are spending a lot of money on this program and shelling out big for outside resources.  It is not a sustainable situation.  I don't expect any repercussions between now and the last obligation for the year, but I'm not putting any more energy into sugar coating the situation either.
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judie

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Reply with quote  #25 
It depends on whether you have a "contract"
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