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Ballet Talk for Dancers
juliaaidan

Teacher issues

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vrsfanatic

Very well stated learningdance. I like "an effective teacher". If you do not mind, I will begin using this phrase. :)

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learningdance

Thanks vrs. .. I just want to differentiate what teachers really do. .. what characterizes professionalism.

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Momof3darlings

I love the list of effective teaching goals! The original post is a clear example of ineffective teaching.

 

I do want to add that effective teaching does not always have to be warm and fuzzy in nature. Or that it has to be uncaring, sterile or monotone in order to be effective. Effective teaching can be and needs to be evaluative which sometimes means being the bearer of not so warm/fuzzy news. The key is that the teacher there must have built or be building a relationship of trust and care that has been received and accepted by the students. Not an easy task when you have to make someone work harder. But effective teachers can be some of the hardest teachers on a student while still being able to joke or gently prod them. Some of those could say with sarcasm "what are you today, a 6 year old?" and not hurt anyone's feelings in the room. The teacher in the original post would not qualify under those ideals through delivery or intent.

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pmom

Not sure where if I should put my concerns here.  My DS 13 has recently been diagnosed with anterior ankle impingement.  He has been advised to stop working in forced foot turnout. I have been trying to communicate to his teacher via email and messages to the studio and not had one contact for a week in fact had to approach him before class.  He is aware of the situation and he doesn’t correct my son to help prevent a worse injury.  The AD has been very evasive and acts like nothing is wrong.  In fact, instead of returning my emails, only sends out emails to ask to donate to their “foundation” and insisting I keep my son there for their 4K summer intensive.  I have found other well known male instructors who are welling to work in helping my son to correct his alignment.  Am I right to request my son to be withdrawn from this studio and their negligence and take him elsewhere for an  “effective” teacher?   And this is a studio where they don’t even want students to audition for other summer intensives or seek private lessons from another studio   I feel we def need a second opinion


 

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Edited by pmom

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ballet1310

There seems to be some odd things here .... take him somewhere else.  Ballet is no different  than anything else, if I felt my child was in danger of injury, I would be out.

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pmom

Thank you, they had me sign a contract in the beginning that I owe them full year tuition if we stopped attending, but I see this as a crucial issue regarding his ankle injury.   Lesson learned, never sign a contract that makes you obligated to pay a full year tuition, especially for a 13 yr. old.

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ballet1310

I would go in and talk to them.  If you get a doctors note than they should  let you out of contract. I'm sure the studio doesn't want to be seen as just taking money....    

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dancemaven

They may or may not enforce that contract.  Personally, I think those type contracts are overreach.  Did anyone sign on behalf of the studio.  Do you have a copy of the contract? 

If they do push to enforce it, I would tell them they are in breach by not providing the appropriate instruction or communication for your son.  If they are not providing appropriate instruction, then they are not fulfilling their obligations under the ‘contract’.

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pmom

Thank you, dancemaven, I will look over that and thank you for your support. 

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pmom

So spoke to the AD.   After I plainly stated that his dance therapist had made great strides with his ballet alignment and want he needs to strengthens muscularly and the AD told me that my son should not take ballet there anymore as the dance therapist’s technique wouldand also consider quitting ballet and has no career path sinc he can’t physically adapt to the style of the teacher.   

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Eligus

aww, pmom.  That sounds traumatic.  I know nothing of your son's ankle issue, so I won't comment on that, but clearly this studio is not a good fit for your son, and the silver lining in this situation is that now you have a very clear answer about the need to leave and find an alternative path to where your son wants to go. 

I would also assume that since the AD said your son should leave, they would not be able to enforce any "contract." 

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pmom

Yes, but the crummy thing, they wil not reimburse us any of the prorated tuition.   But yes we are free. Free, free at last. 

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Eligus

I'm sorry... what? 

The studio asked you to leave, but is holding "tuition" that you paid in advance?  Am I understanding that correctly?  Or are you talking about money you have paid them for classes already taken?  I'm confused, and I should probably stop there, but this sounds very odd to me, and so I'll offer some very free advice, which you can follow -- or not -- as you see fit.

My advice?  And take this for what it is worth (which is nothing, because it is free)....  Regardless of what they have said verbally to you in a meeting, I would sit down TODAY and write them a letter (not an email, but a good old fashioned letter, and I would send it certified, return receipt so I can prove they received it) and very politely state briefly what has happened, the fact that the AD has asked for your DS to leave the studio, and then (also very politely) ask for the return of any money you have paid, but for which you have not received a service (if that is the case) and then ask them for a written response to your request for the money.  I have found that sometimes when you ask a business for a written explanation of their practices, they tend to be a bit more fair and less strident in their positions. 

I'm not going to go further with this advice, because you may just want to chalk it up to "water under the bridge" and I am very aware that I do not understand or know all the facts of this situation -- however, I think you have nothing to lose by asking for your money back in a polite, non-threatening, written letter and seeing what their response may be.  They can very easily to tell you to go pound sand, and then you can decide whether or not you let the whole thing slide, or take additional steps.  As long as you are polite and civil, there is nothing wrong or illegal with asking for a return of your money and a written explanation of the studio's position on that request.

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nynydancer

Totally agree with Eligus.  Don't let this go.  Kinda crazy behavior by them if they do that because that school already has a kinda not so good reputation locally anyways.  The ballet world is small.

Also PMOM, you are probably close to PM privileges.  There is a school in the area that can help you and will probably take your DS for free for the rest of the year.   Our AD knows your DS's teacher from a past professional life, but their styles couldn't be more different.  The school does get kids who have injuries and works very closely with dr instructions (ie do not force turn out, do not raise leg more than 30 degrees, etc).  The school also has a  regular dr making studio visits onsite (for free) . All students take pilates and the focus is on staying injury free, but the pilates teachers are very good and helping students with recovery when injured.

Best of luck!

  

 

 

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pmom

Thank you for that.  I was planning to send a certified letter along with a letter from a physical therapist.  Thank you will do and have it notarized if needed.    Can you believe this studio owner actually insisted my son do their expensive summer intensive last week as well?   

 

Nynydancer. Would this be MDT in St Vincent’s Wood in Marin? I had already called and sent them an email.  Or another one?  

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