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Difference between "pushing" and mean


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#1 Guest_poetandlyric_*

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 12:10 PM

My daughter has had the same ballet teacher since she was 3 (she is 13 now). We have always considered ourselves lucky to have landed in a great program on our first try. We have been increasingly unhappy with the way the studio is run but have not had any real complaints with her teacher. Until yesterday.

Yesterday she screamed at my daughter throughout an entire 1/2 hour private lesson. The instructor came in late and started yelling that my daughter should have come to tell her it was time for her private. She then yelled at my daughter about her tights (they got a run during the private), her pointe shoes (they are worn but not dead-only one week old) and her lack of satisfaction with her pirouette. She first threatened to take away her YAGP variation and then threatened to leave her home when they went to YAGP. Her corrections were not to her dancing but were mean jabs to her as a person. She said wearing tights with a run was "disrespectful".

I am baffled as to what to do. We were doing YAGP because her teacher told her that she needed to do that. She has excelled at her summer intensives and was well liked by the teachers that she worked with. At our studio she is known as a polite, hard working, kid. She is a lovely little dancer but she can have trouble learning new choreography. I thought maybe that was the source of the problem but my DD says that they never even worked on new choreograpy.

After the lesson the teacher came into the student lounge and yelled at my daughter never to waste her time like that again and that she was ashamed to be her teacher with her pirouettes like that. DD was mortified as the lounge was full of other students.

There is such a fine line between being an advocate for your child and butting in when mom should butt out.

Is this okay or did she go too far? We are stuck there until Nutcracker is over so we need to at least make the best of it until December. Ideas?

#2 angiered

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 12:43 PM

Ouch...is she the AD or is there someone higher up you can talk to about that?

Possibly even a discussion w/the teacher under the guise of "Are you okay? You seemed really out of sorts the other day." to open the door. That's abusive, no matter how you slice it. :shhh: I hope your DD is okay.... :yes:

#3 Guest_poetandlyric_*

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 01:32 PM

Her Teacher is the AD which is part of the reason that we feel so stuck. There really is nowhere else to go. I like you idea of approaching it from the point of "you were really out of sorts" yesterday. It seemed abusive to me too but I wasn't sure if I was too much in mommy mode to see it properly.

#4 cheetah

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 02:19 PM

Say something to her - now. Ask for a private meeting and use tactful and diplomatic but firm conversation. Find out what caused the rant. My DS suffered this for a while. We thought is was part of the ballet world. I let it go for a while (my DS is not always the nicest person so I figured maybe he deserved it.) When I finally confronted the teacher she said of course she would treat him that way because he had potential. I wish we'd walked away then. There's a line between being strict and stern with a student and humiliating them, especially in front of their peers. If an adult models that behavior, how can s/he honestly expect the student to NOT act the same way? Having a bad day is NOT an excuse, either. As adults, we have to learn to deal with days we're out of sorts.

Sorry - pet peeve of mine. Kind and polite and hard working students don't deserve to be treated like that. Especially at that age.

#5 sunflowerdncr

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 06:15 PM

leave. NOW!!! Seriously, I would be fired if I EVER talked to a student like that. As a teacher, she is an adult and responsible for memorizing her own schedule. It is in no way your daughters responsibility to remind her about class time. Above posters are right. There is a fine line between strict/displine and downright mean.

Sorry - pet peeve of mine. Kind and polite and hard working students don't deserve to be treated like that. Especially at that age.


^ exactly! Is there anywhere else you could go? This lady does not seem like she is going to change her tune anytime soon. You and your daughter deserve to be treated much better!

#6 dance1soccer1

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 07:32 AM

Anyone can have a bad day and act evil, so do give it a chance. When I have had to complain about this type of situation, I always cast it in terms of "me" not the kid. "I have a hard time with yelling. I know I don't understand the ballet world very well, but it makes me anxious when you yell at my child. What can we do to make the private lessons more productive for both of you?"

#7 2marzipans

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 10:09 AM

My dd has danced at several studios, and she has experienced this from time to time everywhere, although not on such an extreme level. My question is, is the teacher like this in regular class? If not, it almost seems that she was having a bad day and unfortunately used the private lesson situation to vent her own personal stress because it was on only one student. The fact that she continued the rant into the lobby is more upsetting. I would talk to her in the ways mentioned and then play the waiting game. That was a pretty abusive rant to put up with more than once. I wish you and your dd the best of luck.

#8 cheetah

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 11:01 AM

It is the rant in the lobby that worries me. DS' teacher used to rant at him at every opportunity - class, lobby, rehearsal, etc. Humiliating a child in a public forum serves no purpose.

#9 SnowWhite

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 11:50 AM

I would immediately set up a meeting to discuss this incident along with your concerns regarding this type of behavior towards your child. I truly believe the way she responds to your concerns and the explanation of her behavior will help you decide if it is time to move on or not.

We have been in your shoes and I can tell you that my husband and I knew in the first five minutes of a meeting with an abusive AD that it was time for us to leave, move on and get our child away from him. The ADís defensiveness and spinning of the situation to cover his own bottom made us realize he had no concern for our child only his own ego. His reaction and mind set confirmed to us that we did not want this person instructing our child any longer. We walked out from that meeting and never looked back.
"There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens to let the future in."
~Graham Greene

#10 balletpointe

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 04:49 PM

As an adult we wold not except being yelled at so why should a child. My daughter had a teacher who spoke very quietly and always remained calm but maintained the highest level of discipline, the class knew if she was displeased as she would tell them that she was disappointed with something, they then made sure that they did not let her down or them selfs again over the exercise.
How does your daughter feel about this teacher now?

#11 angiered

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 11:00 PM

I just wanted to add....my second concern would be that she's had the same teacher for 10 years. I think kids need to learn from a variety of instructors. So maybe it's just time to move on anyway. :thumbsup:

#12 ceecee

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 01:58 PM

angiered, I agree that it is a very good thing to experience a variety of teaching styles. I think it helps them to pick up choreography more quickly and reduces anxiety in unfamiliar situations like auditions & SIs. All arrows seem to be pointing to the door. :thumbsup:

CC

#13 Guest_poetandlyric_*

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 10:43 PM

Thank you all so much. I called the AD today and set up an appointment for myself, my husband and my daughter to sit down together. I think that we will still end up leaving but at least it will be with some closure. I'll let you all know what happens and this advice has been invaluable. It helped to give me more of a backbone!

#14 dancingmommy

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:54 PM

I do beleive children, teens and adults need to be treated with respect always. It is not worth a child's self respect and confidence to be treated poorly in any way, and not by any dance instructor, no matter how great he/she may be. Treating children in this manner can having lasting affects on children into their adult years. In a school in the old days, leather straps were accepted and also harsher teaching methods in all sports, dance, etc. However we have evolved from those times as we know just how harmful it is. I am a firm believer in self-evaluation and control. Some of these dance teachers and people of all relationships with children and adults should really look at themselves and think, "could I have handled that better?" I had a harsh experience with my young daughter, her dance teacher screamed at her in a threatening manner for not doing the dance routine right. She used her body language as well which made it that much worse. I think it was totally unaceptable and really wonder if they realize how much worse is would be if someone was that much bigger and an adult having a fit. These children we are raising we are all striving for them to be happy, healthy confident, successful adults, not anyone timid or insecure. Dancing or any other sport / activity does not define these children, it is their experiences they have along the way. Lets be aware of how we treat our future generation as it really is a self-reflection of ourselves and what we have exposed them to.

#15 Clara 76

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 12:37 AM

Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, dancingmommy!

It sounds as though you have sorted through this really well. There are several other threads around here that discuss similar things. I am sure you will have some good contributions!

"A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor"- (Currently poking Poseidon in the netherworld with his trident)

"Christian Louboutins are uncomfortable, but I screamed the first time I put on a pointe shoe." Mila Kunis