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DoubtfulGuest

Changing Studios

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DoubtfulGuest

Hi AB'sMom!

 

That is so apt.

 

I wound up saying that DD's needs will be met by the new studio, but that I really hope they are able to implement the changes for other kids in her level who would likely be interested in increasing their training. After nearly three days of crafting polite "thanks, but no thanks" responses, I think I've been clear enough, and I will probably let any further communications go unread.

 

For anyone reading this down the line, I managed to confine the conversation to email (rather than phone or in person) by stating that I would be too emotional, which is probably true. I do care very deeply for everyone involved.

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nynydancer

AB'smom, completely agree.

 

Great advice from everyone here. You all literally stiffen my spine as I read.

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logollady

when we chose to leave DD's home studio, we kept to the positives and told the truth... ie. You have been instrumental in helping DD get this far, You have invested so much and we are so thankful, You will always be in our thoughts and an integral part of her journey etc etc. It was VERY hard and VERY emotional for all, but definitely needed and for the best. These things are never easy. Hugs to everyone having to face this fork in the proverbial road. It is a good thing, and you are being a good mama for exploring the options that best fit your dancer. :clapping:

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Noodles

Any thoughts on how to approach a dancer who feels that she is ready for more, knows she needs more, but is still very attached to her home studio?

 

Edited to add: Oops, I wandered into the under 13 group. Topic is still appropriate, and I appreciate the feedback!

Edited by Noodles

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L_One

Noodles - My daughter was on the fence about the move to her current ballet school until she took a placement class. She was ready to quit the old studio that night (she had a performance commitment to keep so she couldn't) - perhaps your daughter may find similar motivation after a placement or trial class at a new location? Two things got my daughter excited at that placement class - the students in class were warm and welcoming and the talent level exceeded her expectations. She knew that was where she wanted to train. One year out and she hasn't looked back.

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Ballerinamom2girls

My daughter also just needed one placement class to motivate her to make the switch.

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MFBmom

Completely agree that placement classes can be eye opening. They give a glimpse into the studio, the style and the personality of faculty and students. DD's first SI was also eye opening because it showed opportunities for improvement in technique training and exposed her to other dancers her age who were highly motivated to do their best.

Most importantly, the dancer needs to be ready to make a change.

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gabby's mom

I thought my daughter should move on two years ago. Last summer she did not go away for a summer program, but attended five different local programs, including the "advanced intensive" at her regular school. I didn't realize how many programs were available within a 90 minute drive! She had some great experiences and met two teachers she really liked. Still not ready to move on, she returned to her school in the fall.

 

By Christmas she was "antsy." She was interested in taking classes with the teachers she'd met last summer. She was open to taking trial classes at other schools in the area, something she's resisted for two years. Starting in January she cut back at her school and has been taking classes regularly with the teachers she met last summer. She's been at workshops, trial classes, and weekend intensives. She is committed to spring performances but has several options she's considering for fall. Recently she told me that it is hard to keep taking classes at her school now that she's had so many amazing teachers elsewhere.

 

I read somewhere on this board that is best not to push the dancer to change, but just keep exposing them to other teachers, methods, and schools until they come to the conclusion it is time to move on. Excellent advice in our situation. Good luck to you and your dancer, Noodles!

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RRballetmom

I'm dealing with the same exact thing right now, I have emailed her teacher of 8 years but my works just don't seem to come out right.  I am hoping with leaving my daughters old studio that one day we can still drop ins and classes without her teacher feeling hurt about us leaving.  Its hard when your studio has been the same one for so very long and you develop a very deep relationship.

 

Hugs!

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DoubtfulGuest

Quoting Mom2K8 -- from another other thread where we got off topic

DoubtfulGuest,

Thank you so very much for your reply. This is just what I had hoped to hear. DD and I stopped by the studio over the Easter long weekend and had a great chat with the AD. All DD kept saying in the car was when can I start mommy. She wants to leave her current program now and start with SCB as soon as possible. We can't actually do that due to conflicts with her flamenco class and because I have a thing about following through with our commitments. However we may be able to add the Wednesday prep class to DD's schedule for the remainder of the term. She has a two week intensive at NBC (I feel the need to be clear that this is not the NBS program - people often confuse the two) early in the summer and then we hope to join the full prep program in September.

DD is 7 and is very serious about ballet and has big dreams - she will be 8 in late fall this year. This past year in our current program (new for us this year) has turned out to be a "lost year" for DD - it took just one session with her stretching coach to realize this. This was followed by the second term parent viewing class where there had been no advancement from the first term  - DD was totally bored - it was written all over her face.The joy that is usually there was gone. I knew I had to do something. I am trying very hard not to beat myself up over making assumptions and not asking the right questions about her program at the outset. I am fairly certain that DD will have to work hard to catch up to her peers at SCB. She has passion, a strong work ethic, natural ability and amazing musicality and feeling in her dancing, but she needs the proper training to focus it and mold it.  I am very grateful I hired a private stretch coach  as it was our experience working with her that made me fully realize what DD should have been receiving at her current school but was not - not even close. It also showed both mom and daughter what she is capable of. When I think of where she would be now if I had made different, more informed  decisions.....but I refuse to go there. Forward only - no looking back.

DD and I had a serious chat this evening about moving studios and I asked her to tell me why she wanted to move. She explained that in addition to being bored she wanted to be challenged the way her stretch coach challenges her; that she wants to learn more and to advance. "Mommy, I want to go to a ballet school where ballet is as important to the other kids as it is to me - I want to be with serious students". From what you describe I think we may have found her new ballet home.

I saw the pic of your DD9 in her tutu - she looks so adorable but more importantly so happy! DD is coming in to take the Saturday prep level class in two weeks (DD will be on a ballet break from her home program that week for the Assemble Internationale 2017) so we may very well meet in person - which would be lovely! Especially since I cannot send/receive PMs yet as I am too much of a newbie.

We are both looking forward to what the AD has to say and to see what plan she will develop for DD.

Finally, very special thanks for your posts here - it was this discussion thread and your posts that lead me to CSB. In all of my slightly panicked research to find a new options for DD, CSB never came up in my searches. Not only does the program seem to be exactly what we were looking for, but it is a 10 minute drive from home.

Thanks again, I look forward to meeting you in person at the studio in the coming weeks. 

(Apologies in advance for typos - this single, logistically challenged single mama is up way past her bedtime!)

Mom2K8

 

hi Mom2K8!

That is so great your DD is feeling good about a change. It was obvious for my kid right from the first day, too, and her mood keeps getting better as she can see her progress. Losing the joy is so scary, and especially when they're so young. It's completely normal for kids to fade in and out of activities, but when you've had a kid who has done nothing but want more dance... finding them a home is really important. Your daughter's words are so familiar to me. 

Please don't beat yourself up. When they're as little as ours are, so much will change very, very quickly -- and forward is a great direction to be looking! I'm sure your DD will hit her stride again very soon. If it helps, just a week or two ago, the AD asked my DD if she'd "never stretched before" because her progress is so dramatic in such a short time. She was never taught the "how" of stretching, but kids are so amazing and learn so quickly. Every studio has a slightly different focus, and I'm willing to bet there will be some things that are new to your DD, and some where she'll have had plenty of grounding. My DD was nervous coming out of Cecchetti into Vaganova, but the new style really suits her, and she is taking to it like a duck to water.

That's wonderful news about the possibility of Wednesday PREP -- I think a lot of kids begin by adding a class or two while they wait out the end of the year. We only made the switch when we did because I couldn't fathom sending DD to Europe for three weeks with her old studio when they would have known she wasn't registered for next year. 

I'll stick around a week from Saturday and introduce myself when you're in for sure! Exciting stuff!

DG 

 

 

 

Edited by DoubtfulGuest
General clunkiness

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DanceMumNYC

Hi everyone, I am at a crossroad and need advice. Dd(10) usually takes ballet on weekdays after school & other dance genres (jazz, tap, etc.) on Saturdays at another studio. However, the ballet school has decided to schedule some of next year's classes on Saturday morning. We were completely caught off guard since her level's classes have always been held on weekdays. This messed up our planned schedule for the Fall. The specific times of ballet on Saturday now interfere with the times of the non-ballet classes she expected to take at the other studio.

I know another pre-prof ballet studio that offers classes for her level everyday, which would probably give us more flexibility & probably allow her to stay at the other studio for other genres. However, dd said she'd rather stay in the ballet school & look for another school for the other genres because ballet is "the most important" & she's happy where she's at. Not to mention, the other pre-prof ballet studio I looked into is further out & would take us about 2 hours each way!  

So here I am looking into other NYC studios that offer tap, jazz or modern, musical theater etc. Peridance & Steps on Broadway didn't put their schedules out yet, but past experience tells me that they both have very limited options. There is only one class per level, so if you can't make that specific day/time then there's not much you can do about it. Ailey is great too, but dd would have to enroll in their pre-prof division & take ballet with them, which isn't the goal. I seriously considered these schools in the past because they also have pre-pro ballet programs & ideally it'd be great if dd can take everything in one place. But now I think it'd be a huge mistake to take dd out of the ballet school she's in now for them. I've come to believe that the ballet offered at schools with multiple genres isn't as good as strictly pre-prof ballet schools here in NY. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

That said, I'm at a crossroad because we seem to have 3 options: stay in the ballet school & quit the other genres (given we don't find another studio..dd wouldn't be too happy about dropping other genres though), switch ballet schools to accommodate the other studio's schedule (despite dd's wishes & the long commute), or switch both schools to take everything at one place (despite the fact that the ballet training may not be as good as what she gets now).

Does anyone know any other NYC dance schools that offer good training in other genres? Has anyone faced a similar dilemma & what did you do?

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Elf Font

Your summer plans may already be in place, but summer is an ideal time to explore other schools to see if they might be a possible fit, without having to commit too much. Also, I wasn't sure why you dismissed Ailey as a program. I see that Franco DeVita is now listed on their faculty page as one of the ballet instructors (https://www.theaileyschool.edu/about/staff/faculty-musicians). I don't know if he would teach your daughter's level, but his teaching there would seem to be a big advantage to ballet at Ailey. 

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DanceMumNYC

Hi Elf Font, thank you for responding. I dismissed Ailey because the goal was to have a pre-prof ballet studio and another studio where dd can take everything else. Ailey would make her enroll as a pre-prof student, where she'd get ballet & modern, nothing else (we might've considered it if tap was also offered for her level). As I mentioned, it is a great school. However, I still don't believe the ballet compares to where she is now. I didn't know Franco DeVita joined Ailey's faculty. Thank you for sharing that information. I definitely agree that it's advantageous to the school. 

I would love for her to explore other schools, but unfortunately most summer auditions have already passed. Ailey has a SI but it's for ages 11+. Steps has one for dd's age group, but I found it kind of pricey and it also conflicts with another program she's already registered for. I'm not sure where else to look. I'm hoping that she can stay at her ballet school & we can find another studio that offers classes Saturday afternoon.

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DanceDaddy

I'm actually thinking how lucky you are that they published the schedule now.  You have time to research and make a decision.

 

Ours won't come out until Mid-July and they won't have settled who is teaching what. GRRR!

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Elf Font

DanceMumNYC, Have you considered Broadway Dance Center? They offer drop-in classes that you could supplement Tap or Jazz or whatever your daughter might be interested in. 

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