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momofdanceobsessed

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Reply with quote  #1 
I know that the writing is on the wall and we need to make a move next year from our current competition studio. In her heart my daughter knows it too but the thing that is holding her back is her group of friends and having to start over at another studio. I know many of you have done it. Advice? I am not even sure we need to go to another competition team. I love the idea of not being under contract with a studio and having the freedom to take classes where she chooses and compete as she pleases. She is already at an excellent ballet school.
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rubydancemom

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Reply with quote  #2 
Ultimately, I feel like DD gets to make the call. It is her life, her passion, her friends. She loves competing. What does your DD say? Is she wanting more freedom? Does she want to try to work it out where you are? Will she love what she's doing as much if she's not with her friends? There are so many things that make us stay where we are. Ultimately, the only reason we would leave is if we felt like she was no longer getting the instruction needed for continued growth. Sometimes the grass isn't greener, so I would have to be absolutely sure if we were going to make a change.
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momofdanceobsessed

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Reply with quote  #3 
Ruby unfortunately there is a long list of reasons and many are related to her training. If she was receiving excellent training some things could be tolerated. Of course she will have much input into this. I am not taking it lightly.
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judie

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Reply with quote  #4 
Take your time to investigate.  If I were to do anything differently, I would have pulled her DDs sooner than waiting until the end of the season.  They were miserable, and their "friends" were not really friends.  

Really get a perspective of what you expect in terms of outcomes.  I was very up front with people I interviewed(SOs).  I wnated to know what they suggested for fixing technique (ultimately, more ballet).  I wanted to know what kind of control I had in decision making.  I wanted a philosophy that trusted my dancers to look to others for training rather than limit their perspectives.

Should have done it sooner.ALso, though, the grass isn't always greener and nothing is perfect.  You will always need to remain vigilant.
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CushKIn1

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Reply with quote  #5 
I would say go with your gut on this. It seems like you have considered the pros and cons of staying vs going the independent route. The good thing is she  can always change her mind at the end of next season. If the independent route doesn't go the way she thought it would and she missed being part of a team, she could find another studio to dance at. We've had dancers at our current studio leave and come back after a year or so. I would think as long as you explain to the current SO in a nice way the reasons behind the change, you would be keeping the door open there. 
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jwsqrdplus2

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Reply with quote  #6 
I'm going to disagree with ruby somewhat.  How much input your dancer has really depends on age.

For example, we removed our dancer from what I defined as a very toxic environment.  My daughter was 10 at the time.  Had we left the decision up to her, she would have stayed with her friends.  She also would have been completely shattered, with no self-confidence in dance.  And quite frankly, I'm not sure she would still be dancing.  We moved her into a ballet focused school for a year, then ended up moving out of state.  During the year with the ballet focused studio, she reignited her passion for dance and rebuilt her self-confidence that the toxic environment destroyed as well as working on and grounding her technique.  Nor did she really lose contact with her friends as most of them went to the same school as her, and we made an effort to keep those friendships alive at least until we moved!  In our new state, she wanted to go back to competition, so I very carefully investigated studios before selecting one.

Flash forward several years to when our dancer was 15.  It was time to move again.  No real reason other than she had maxed what the studio had to offer, and she needed more, more consistent and better training.  One of the DTs who happened to be my daughter's mentor was also making noises about leaving.  My daughter stated that she wanted to go wherever the DT went.  At 15, it was a training issue, not a safety issue.  So my dancer had much more input, and the best thing I could do was start researching studios again (had a much better idea of the ones with great training now that we were local) and hope that the DT didn't end up moving too far away.  As luck would have it, that DT and 2 others broke off to form their own studio with much stronger training.  We followed as did the majority of her friends, so the "leaving friends" issue never really came up the 2nd time.  And in today's age of social media, she was able to keep up with the ones she truly cared about who stayed at the old or even went to different studios.

So, I guess my advice to you is to look at the big picture.  What is truly important to your daughter and her future?  Is it building a solid foundation in dance with the intention/hope of leading to a future in dance?  Or is it dancing, competing and hanging out with friends?  Or is it somewhere in between?  Once you figure out the answers to those questions (and more), you and your daughter will have a much clearer idea of what she should do.


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prancer

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Reply with quote  #7 
My dd liked her friends at her old studio and leaving them was the only challenge when she switched studios. My dd did have plenty of school friends so that helped with a smooth transition. She made new friends quickly at the new studio.

What we learned was that for my dd, her studio friends are friends because of their shared activity, and she is happy to dance with anyone. Social media and comps/conventions/clinics make it easy to stay in touch which is nice, and she enjoys seeing them all when they cross paths. But in truth, she only makes an effort to keep an active friendship with a couple of girls from the last studio. These are the ones closest to her age and outside of dance interests.
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momofdanceobsessed

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Reply with quote  #8 
Thanks ladies! I am of course sad about it. She has been given so many opportunities here but unfortunately I think she is more serious about dance than this studio.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #9 
I wish I had read the writing on the wall the second time DD made a switch. Should have thought more seriously about leaving a year before. I think I needed to be hit over the head with a proverbial brick.
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momofdanceobsessed

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tendumom
I wish I had read the writing on the wall the second time DD made a switch. Should have thought more seriously about leaving a year before. I think I needed to be hit over the head with a proverbial brick.


Honestly we should have left last year. And I am truly scared I may be dragging her kicking and screaming if she will go at all. It is not good for her but she doesn't have a peer group at school because she isn't involved in any school activities due to her busy dance schedule. She sees the girls at her current studio as her only peer group. It won't be an easy leave. And we will definitely have to stay on the down low about leaving. It won't be filled with well wishes...the SO is very immature. One of many reasons we need to exit.
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rmarti123

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Reply with quote  #11 
My DD11 left her competition studio this fall after starting there at age 4. While she was still dancing there last year I made it clear to her that she was going to have to leave the studio. I told her I didn't care where she continued dancing, however she was not staying at the current studio. It was a great studio if you want to socialize, have pizza parties during class time and sleepovers every weekend but the training was not what she desired and it was very expensive. I found myself angry all the time and knew I couldn't handle another year watching her not progress. What made it easier to leave was her friend base is almost 100 percent from school. You may want to try and help her reach out to her classmates now and form some bonds before the school year ends. That may help smooth the transition to another studio.
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3dancermommy

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Reply with quote  #12 
This happened to my dds 6 years ago. I basically waited on one dd who was especially attached to the studio and friends. But I planted the seed along the way. There were many things wrong and I would point it out to her. Finally there was an incident when the SO picked on her friend and that was the last straw.  She got in the car and said "its time to go". Funny thing is we kept it hush hush and left after recital. Lots of moms started texting me and asking me where we went. Then pretty much all her friend set came along with! Now their all graduating together. Things always work out. 
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #13 
I know it can be hard, but is there a girl or two at school she might be able to foster a friendship with this semester to help buffer a bit? Also anyone at dance you think might want to move with you?
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #14 
You didn't say how old your dd is, did you?

My own dd (now almost 17) left her comp studio for ballet at 14.  She wanted the type of training that would take her as far as she could possibly go and that wasn't going to happen where she was.  It wasn't easy, I'm not going to lie.  Definitely a process getting her to that point.  Lots of long talks.  Lots of tears.  I was brutally honest with her.. told her in no uncertain terms that while, ultimately, the decision was hers, if she chose to stay she had to fully understand that doing so was essentially giving up her dream.  I just wasn't going to allow her to fool herself.  So ultimately she did leave.. and never looked back.

So... IDK... I guess my advice would be to lay the cards on the table for her.  Don't allow her to play pretend.  If it's not meeting her needs make sure she understands what that will mean long term.   Allow her to make an informed decision... the consequences of which she will be fully prepared to accept.  That's a great life lesson.  Of course, that's also assuming she's old enough to understand the bigger picture. If you're talking about a younger child, I think I'd be more apt to just make the decision for them.  Will it be hard?  Probably initially but kids adapt and it's important for them to learn that early on.  Just another great life lesson.  You'd only be doing her a favor in the long term.  Whatever you choose, good luck!
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #15 
Like Heidi said, depending on the age of your child, you might be able to really lay the cards on the table. At one point I was direct with my daughter and told her I pay her tuition for a dance education. I don't pay for friends. I told her she could focus on friends at school for free.

By that point she had already realized that she was not getting a top notch dance education. I think she understood this very practical message. She started thinking about how she could get her time and my money's worth from dance and she opened her eyes to other options.
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mic123

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459
You didn't say how old your dd is, did you?

My own dd (now almost 17) left her comp studio for ballet at 14.  She wanted the type of training that would take her as far as she could possibly go and that wasn't going to happen where she was.  It wasn't easy, I'm not going to lie.  Definitely a process getting her to that point.  Lots of long talks.  Lots of tears.  I was brutally honest with her.. told her in no uncertain terms that while, ultimately, the decision was hers, if she chose to stay she had to fully understand that doing so was essentially giving up her dream.  I just wasn't going to allow her to fool herself.  So ultimately she did leave.. and never looked back.

So... IDK... I guess my advice would be to lay the cards on the table for her.  Don't allow her to play pretend.  If it's not meeting her needs make sure she understands what that will mean long term.   Allow her to make an informed decision... the consequences of which she will be fully prepared to accept.  That's a great life lesson.  Of course, that's also assuming she's old enough to understand the bigger picture. If you're talking about a younger child, I think I'd be more apt to just make the decision for them.  Will it be hard?  Probably initially but kids adapt and it's important for them to learn that early on.  Just another great life lesson.  You'd only be doing her a favor in the long term.  Whatever you choose, good luck!


Hi heidi459 - I sent you a pm.
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momofdanceobsessed

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Reply with quote  #17 
Sorry I keep forgetting to put her age...she is 14! So the same age as your daughter was Heidi. And I agree with you totally. My husband has said the same as your post. It is going to be really hard to leave for her but I hope she can keep her goal in mind. She is hoping to get into a certain college dance program and then go from there. This college offers so many opportunities for their dancers. They have dancers working all over so it would open so many doors for her. It was why I enrolled her in ballet school a few years ago because I knew she needed more ballet. Thanks for all the advice!
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ggsmith

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Reply with quote  #18 
I found some really good advice about a year ago on BT4D that has lead me in the right direction.  It wasn't written to me, but directly addressed a situation we were in.  I hope that the helpful Mom that shared this doesn't mind me quoting it here:

"You can exposure your child to others with different training through SI's and even Master classes.  And you can let her take the lead.  Right now, it appears she is content.  And you can continue to be honest if there are issues that don't make her a total fit right now for this environment...  You will do more damage to try to force a change. But what you can do is expose, expose, expose without preaching that there is better training out there if in fact there is.  This so that at the point that she is ready, she has knowledge of what better training looks like."

We took DD to a couple weekend dance events last spring.  She got a scholarship to a small modern program and also attended one and two week programs in the area, including her home studio, and took classes at another local studio.  In all, she spent 8+ weeks in various programs held locally over the summer and couldn't wait to get back "home."  We signed her up for everything at her level in her school (as usual) and she was assisting with a group of younger students.  After Nutcracker, we started talking about summer programs and other training available in the area and she asked to take classes at two of the places from last summer, starting in January.  We are continuing to expose her to workshops and weekend intensives and she auditioned for a couple SI's.  She will be taking trial classes at other schools this spring and plans to make a final decision after the summer intensive, but is not planning to return to her current school.  She knows what good training is, and she is excited to improve her skills.  We can see a difference already by just changing two days of classes.  

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Amomofonedancer

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Reply with quote  #19 
This-
"You may want to try and help her reach out to her classmates now and form some bonds before the school year ends. That may help smooth the transition to another studio."

While it is always a good idea to reach out, I would also recommend encouraging her to participate in a low time commitment organized activity. My dd joined a club starting as a freshman in high school that allowed her the opportunity to sign up for various volunteer/ charitable activities. They met once/ week after school for an hour.  She was able to pick and chose what she signed up for and when she got busy with dance, she signed up for activities over fall, winter, spring breaks. She got to meet people at her high school that she might not otherwise have met and they had fun while volunteering.

Having gone through changing studios a couple of times with my daughter, my advice is to make sure she is involved in something else before you pull her out of her peer group at the studio.  I think this is especially important if she has not had time to make school friends due to her dance commitment.  


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