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Tonia22

Switching schools late in the season for better training?

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Tonia22

We moved to a new state in October of 2017. Before actually  moving we asked a local point shoe fitter to recommend a good Vaganova style school in the area. She suggested a big name school. (Later we found out she worked there but no big deal) We quickly registered my DD and she was placed in what I feel was the perfect level for her. She adjusted well and has made a couple of friends. Classes are good, a little slow. We did figure out VERY quickly that it was not Vaganova at all, in fact it was quite the opposite. Really no big deal.

Being here for a few months I have met other local parents and have made some friends. One friend suggested a local teacher that does teach Vaganova and said she was the best in the area. Curiosity got the best of my daughter and myself so she took a class. Long story short, she absolutely LOVED the class, loved the teacher and wants to go there. 

Now what? She isn't miserable where she is. She actually likes it. She does want more serious training and opportunities to maybe do YAGP etc. (which the other school offers) Her current school is beginning to work on the end of year performance and now she and myself are very confused. Part of her wants to switch and part of her doesn't. 

I will add that she is VERY serious about classical ballet and has dreams of one day dancing professionally. I also realize that she is young, she is 12-almost 13. But, is that young in the ballet world? In my opinion it is but some may disagree. 

Do I go for the better training and change? Or do I keep her where she is and let things remain mediocre? 

Any opinions or advice are greatly appreciated! 

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Ballerinamom2girls

It sounds like you just want some affirmation that it's the right decision.  Yes!  Never settle for mediocre training.

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Tonia22

I think maybe you are right! Perhaps I do need affirmation because things like this have a tendency to make you feel a little bonkers :D Thank you.

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cupcake3

I too think the choice is clear!  I would go with the best training.

 

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DanceDaddy

Is your daughter at all concerned about the friends she has made at current studio? Or hasn't she been there long enough to have strong bond?

and financially, did you pay for entire year? Don't need to post that. Just think of your financial situation.

side note - things like this is why we've gone to pay for a semester at a time.

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Tonia22

She has a couple of casual friends, she hasn't been there long enough to make strong bonds. Yes, we pay month to month. She did say she would miss one of her teachers. 

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DanceDaddy

 what everyone else said...

 

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Moonbeam

From a mom perspective, I completely understand making a change for the best straight away. From a teacher's perspective, though, I would always appreciate if a student finishes the year with me and switches during the summer. Working with a teacher through end of year performances gives a student a better sense of what the teacher has been progressing them towards. I don't want any student to feel they are in the wrong place, but I do want every student to give me and my curriculum a full and complete chance to make a difference in their dance life. In retrospect, every studio, every SI, every teacher I had, whether I understood it at the time, was valuable for my training and future. Even the teachers who weren't the right fit, their influence is just as much with me as the ones who ended up mentors. All training is important training. Absolutely move on after end of year performances, but you could give these current teachers a chance to give your DD what -- I promise you -- they care deeply about passing on to her. Good luck to you and your dancer!

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Polar

I have skimmed all the responses and I'll toss something else out there. Consider finishing your year where you are but can you add any classes at the new studio. Even if just one a week. At your daughter's age she should look at it as a challenge: take what you learn at your new studio as corrections and apply them, on your own, in your other classes. Demand the best of yourself. Aside from some massive division in technical approach, her current school should not be disrupted by this behavior (at least not that I can think of... I suppose if one school was Balanchine and one was Vaganova it would be a problem, but it sounds like her current school is not strictly Vaganova already).

If the schedules truly do not line up, consider some private lessons once a week or once every other week at the new studio.

And, are you certain the new studio would accept a new student this late in the year? And if they do, would you be allowed to participate in recital. Maybe that is not important to you, but also maybe not something you had considered.

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Tonia22

Thank you so much Moonbeam. My daughter and I had a talk about everything last night. She really loves one of her teachers and has learned so much from her. We are about to decide if we can keep only her classes (2 a week) until the end of the year. She truly is a wonderful teacher and my daughter mentioned missing her. We are working things out! Haven't made any big decisions yet but if we can handle the financial side of it, we are going to do both kind of part time to make a slow, smooth transition. 

And what you said about teachers who were not the right fit.. this is SO true. A few years back my daughter had a teacher that had a lot of psychological issues but MAN could she pump out some combos! My DD loved her combos and to this day still talks about learning so and so from her. Things didn't work out because of other reasons (verbal abuse to students) but yes, this is SO true!!! 

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Tonia22

Hi Polar, great points and yes, that is what we are sorting out now. Schedules work but my husband is crunching numbers :) Yes, the new studio teacher welcomed her with open arms and she would be in the end of year performance as well. The two schools have totally different dance styles and teaching but I think my DD can handle it, she seems to catch on quickly. 

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dancemaven

I would be hesitant to split classes for a 12-13 year old between two studios with “totally different dance styles and teaching”.  At that age, the teachers are trying to build in muscle memory and lay foundational skills that will be required to be in place first before additional skills can be added.  If there is such a difference in training and styles it can be counter-productive and lead to muscle confusion, rather than muscle memory, which in turn can cause a delay in acquiring the needed technique, clean or otherwise, to support the progression of skills properly, thus causing a delay in overall advancement.

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Tonia22

Dancemaven, thank you for your response. So, the teacher at the new school mentioned this. We met with her after the class and she said that she was at the "perfect age to lay a foundation." Thing is, she was previously trained Vaganova (or as close to it as possible.) This is why we thought we were heading to the right place to begin with. Truly my fault for not doing more research but we moved 4 states away and things were rather hectic to say the least. I think at that point I just didn't want a big lapse in her training. (we missed Nutcracker this year, DD was sad, I was happy as a clam!) She also said that she was happy to see that when she "touched her at certain areas/muscles, she was pleased to see her know what she wanted and corrected it without having to even be told." She was happy with her previous training I suppose. So what would you do? Her current school is classical but it is less poor de bras, if that makes sense. My daughter even came home one day and said, "there is like NO Por de bras mom, I mean, that's what ballet is!" :) 

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DanceMumNYC

Since things aren't horrible at the current school, I would commit to it until the end of the year. The end of year performance will allow you to see what your dd has worked so hard on all year with her teachers. You'll also get to see other kids perform to get a broader scope of the school. Then, in the summer or fall, I would switch to the other school. 

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Polar

Dancemaven, thank you for that response. I've learned quite a bit from it and I hope that anyone who saw my suggestions reads yours too. Please feel free to delete mine if you think it is helpful.

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