Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers
labrador

Racism in the Studio

Recommended Posts

labrador

Thank you, Bavalay, for listening and for your support.

Share this post


Link to post
Bavalay

My pleasure Labrador.  I wish more people would speak up and address and support dancers who face racial discrimination.  Listening to my experience has been helpful for me too.  Please let me know how things turn out if you are willing.  Wishing your family the best.

Edited by Bavalay

Share this post


Link to post
popsicle1010

I just want to write a note of encouragement to you and your daughter.  I'm sorry that the situation has led to the concerns you are feeling.  I just wanted to let you know that many people support you and others who feel they are dealing with institutionalized racism.  Best wishes to you and your daughter!

Share this post


Link to post
labrador

Thank you Popsicle1010.

Share this post


Link to post
Momof3darlings

Sorry I did not see this sooner.  It is very difficult to address the situation you are suspicious of without knowing if there are any circumstances that might be something else.  As someone else stated, the ballet world is just like society.  So because it is embedded in society it is embedded in ballet as well.  Then add on top of that, ballet's narrow view of what it's dancers are supposed to look like in general and then yes, ballet has it's issues as well.  

If you are not comfortable sharing the exact situation here, please feel free to pm me or use Contact Us and ask Ms. Leigh to forward to me.  I will be more than willing to help you work through how to address this with more information.  

Share this post


Link to post
labrador

Thank you, Momof3darlings.

I am hesitant to share details publicly, in case I am wrong. Some people will be able to piece the information together, and then I might cause damage to someone’s reputation. 

I will PM.

Share this post


Link to post
learningdance
On 4/14/2018 at 3:25 PM, labrador said:

“Funny thing” Bavalay, the school’s conference is between the teachers and the students. Parents are not a party. They are not strictly prohibited but they are expected not to attend. 

I pay. . .I participate. 

I parent (a minor dancer). . . I participate. 

You pay (as in a job). .. you call the shots. 

#justsaynotoballetarrogance

Share this post


Link to post
labrador

Learningdance, you have a point.

Share this post


Link to post
Bavalay

Good morning Labrador.  You have been on my mind.  Sending you and your daughter lots of love from the west coast.

Share this post


Link to post
labrador

Thank you, Bavalay! I will keep you posted on how things pan out. 

Messages of support and understanding among parents of dancers of color are all part of what will help turn things around towards fairness in ballet. 

Share this post


Link to post
Bavalay

And I might add Labrador, white parents as well.  We all suffer when voices are missing.  Let your daughter know that we are here to support her in addition to you and her family.  I am looking forward to hearing that she is feeling strong, inspired, and not internalizing others misgivings.

Share this post


Link to post
Eligus

I agree with Learningdance.

In a studio/school's defense, I understand that parents can make it "difficult"  to run a business and that some teachers/administrators may claim that parents' interference make it difficult to train the dancer "properly," but I don't care.  In my opinion, that is a worthless and invalid argument and should not be made by any reputable school/studio.  Dealing with "difficult" parents is part of the job.  Period.

I don't believe any school or studio setting should be having meetings with only a student attending, particularly if that student is a minor.  I also could not care less about the unspoken rule or policy or tradition of said studio/school that parents are "discouraged" from attending or "never" attend.  If you are having a formal meeting with my kid, I will be there and I EXPECT to be invited with enough notice and announcement that it is not inconvenient or difficult for me to attend.  Otherwise, don't have the meeting.  If parental absence is, indeed, a "tradition" or "expectation" at a studio, then parents have the power to end it and I strongly suggest they do so.

I disagree with Learningdance's implied point about money giving the parent power.  The way I see it, it's my duty as a parent to be there as another set of ears and a brain to hear and understand what is said, and that duty is not dependent upon "paying" for that right (whether I "pay" or not, I believe I should be there).  But I agree whole-heartedly with Learningdance's encouragement to parents to realize that this is a BUSINESS relationship and that they have the power of change.

I felt it important to tease out the money issue in the power dynamic between parents and a studio/school because it is my opinion that scholarships and roles (and the potential threat of removal of such) can be used by studio/schools as an intimidating negotiation factor.  I do agree with the premise that if you accept a scholarship, you agree to certain conditions of that scholarship, BUT those conditions are limited, and meeting with my DK without me present is NOT an acceptable condition.

Labrador, I regret that people of color still have to deal with these ancient and tired prejudices.  I hope you are receiving help from people with more knowledge than I have on methods to deal with the situation you face. 

Share this post


Link to post
labrador

Thank you, Elgius,

This forum alone has been very helpful. I still hope that at the end of the day, I’ll announce that it was all bad optics with no ill intent, and everyone involved will have learned something. We all have a right to be treated fairly. 

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×