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Ballet Talk for Dancers
juliaaidan

Teacher issues

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Lady Elle

Just a thought to remember.  The studio is working for you.  You are employing them to teach your child and the expectation is that they would honor and respect any adjustments your child may need to make to heal.  

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JKK

Pmom, assuming you are in California....

California law contains special statutory provisions protecting dance studio clients from precisely the business practices you describe.  You have an absolute right to a refund of your unpaid tuition.  If you are interested in the full background on the law and how to pursue your rightful refund, please let me know and I will post all of the information.  If you are not interested, I totally understand.  Ballet circles are stunningly small, and for this (among myriad other) reasons, letting go/moving on is often the best option.

The “small ballet circles” leads me to this message to the lovely and awesome moderators of this forum:

All of you (and the other memebers) are SO incredible!!!!  I, on the other hand, driven by cowardly paranoia over anonymity, have been lurking for months. Until pmom’s post stirred my dismay at how a few bad apples can cause considerable and innappropriate suffering to dance students and their families, I was accruing an enormous debt instead of paying it forward.  I hope this post atones for at least some of this 😳

Also, I am not a parent of a Dancer 13+, but I am the parent of a very serious dance student and well versed in California law 🤓  If you are ok with allowing this post to remain, I am happy to provide the California Dance Studio law information — should any member, as well as pmom, be interested.  Moreover, in any event, I promise to pay it forward by posting, with my DD’s input, reviews of her first SI experiences this summer 😁.

 

 

Edited by JKK
Removed personal information

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JKK

Pmom, I will pull all of the information together.  This will take a little time but I will post soon, so glad it might be helpful!

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JKK

P.S. the PT note is not even required under the California Dance Studio statute, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.

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pmom

Oh please take your time.  The Erin Brokovich of the balllet world.  🙂. No rush at all.  Thank you again.  

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JKK

Ha!

Edited by JKK

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JKK

Working on it.

Edited by JKK
Removed personal information.

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pmom

LadyElle, 

Well at least, assess each student and make a fair evaluation and be upfront with the family before having them drain their bank accounts.  Oh yes, the mandatory performance fees of 365 dollars a year and they don’t disclose this up front when they have families sign contracts at the beginning of the year.  And their are 3 “mandatory” performances a year.    There are a lot of bad business practices going on, not to mention they never disclose the figures of the “foundation”.   

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JKK

Here is a link to the actual law.  The link is a government run, public website with all of the California Codes on it.

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=CIV&division=3.&title=2.4.&part=4.&chapter=&article

 

Please note that the below information is not legal advice, just my summary of a plain reading of key elements of the statutory language.  The quoted material comes directly from the law:

1)      These laws apply to all California dance studios, including ballet studios, except: i) Federal, tax-exempt, non-profits that receive funding from the California Arts Council, ii) studios that teach only students under 21 AND charge less than $500 for lessons, iii) studios that charge less than $50 per month, and iv) dance programs associated with schools (like SOTA).

2)      All dance studios must provide written contracts and they must be signed by the customer, and the contracts must contain language describing that  the contract “may be canceled by the student at any time provided he or she gives written notice to the dance studio.   When a contract for dance studio lessons and other services is canceled the dance studio shall calculate the refund on the contract, if any, on a pro rata basis. The dance studio shall refund any moneys owed to the student within 10 days of receiving the cancellation notice, unless the student owes the dance studio money for studio lessons or other services received prior to the cancellation, in which case any moneys owed the dance studio shall be deducted by the dance studio from the refund owed to the student and the balance, if any, shall be refunded as specified above. A dance studio shall not charge a cancellation fee, or other fee, for cancellation of the contract by the student.”

4)      The customer cannot waive these provisions, either in writing or by action.  No studio policies, nothing a customer signs, etc can over-ride the rights granted under these laws.

5)      Dance studios must secure a bond and provide proof of the bond to the California Secretary of State.  The bond is to cover refunds to customers whose rights are violated under these laws.

6)      “Any person who violates any provision of this title relating to dance studio contracts is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

7)      If a customer successfully sues the dance studio, the Court can award the customer 3 times the amount of what the dance studio owes.  This could amount to quite a bit of money and is, ostensibly, to encourage dance studios to do the right thing and not make customers sue them.

8)      Similar to #7, the Court can also award attorney’s fees and costs.

 

Sadly, a handful of studios make these laws relevant and necessary, and very few parents know about this law, thus it is often overlooked.  

 

Edited by JKK

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pmom

JKK, just SENT a message.  Sorry not able to connect online all the time as I am also fighting a cold.   

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dancemaven

Posters, please be aware how much personal information you are willing to post and please be aware how much personal information you may be asking another member to share.  As adults, it is certainly each members’ prerogative to provide their personal information, but remember once it is there, it cannot be taken back. :wink:

We suggest folks review our Social Netiquette policy periodically:

http://dancers.invisionzone.com/topic/33432-posting-expectations-important-social-netiquette-for-bt4d/

In addition, just as we do not—and cannot— give medical advice here, we do not—and cannot-—give legal advice.  The most we can offer is a point in the direction one might want to check into and explore further.  :thumbsup:

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pmom

Thank you dancemaven.  Yes I am keeping my anonymity.  Appreciate it 

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JKK

Thank you Dancemaven, I had reviewed the policies but clearly missed important subtleties.  BT4D is such an incredible resource that would not be what it is without the dedication of the moderators.  Your time, attention and commitment are deeply valued and appreciated!

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