Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers
balletmomoftwo

Changing Schools; switching programs

Recommended Posts

Victoria Leigh

Sorry, Siegelife, I can't answer your questions about CPYB. I don't know their age groups.

Share this post


Link to post
thedriver

Siegelife, If your daughter is going to continue to dance at her old studio it may be best if YOU inform them now before they hear it from others. Good Luck!

Share this post


Link to post
mini cooper

Siegelife,

A couple of thoughts...

 

First, amen to what BW said. Take the high road whether you think they will take it well or not. However, because you have anxiety about this, one would assume you have reason to think they will not take it well. In any case, let them know your dd is leaving, and be prepared to take the consequences from them. You WILL get over it.

 

As a practical matter, most schools have a 30-day notice clause. If you are paid through the end of February, you should probably let them know at the end of January that she is leaving. If you choose to stick it out through February, and can tolerate the situation so be it. If you don't give notice, technically you may be obligating yourself to pay for the month of March (if you do not give notice until the end of February).

 

I wish you the best in this process. Once you are spooked about the training at the old school, it is very hard to get over this. You probably won't, and will end up moving anyway. Also, if you are scared of their reaction, this tells me that perhaps it is not the healthiest of environments. So, don't make yourself miserable with indecision.

 

I could ramble on about this for quite some time. I hope it goes well for you.

 

mc

:yucky:

Share this post


Link to post
dancetaxi

Siegelife:

 

I wanted to reply since I have had recent experience with this. It really depends on what type of relationship you have with the directors of the school. You did mention that they seem unapproachable, so you may already have the answer before you. My DS has had to leave 3 ballet schools in his short life. 2 were due to out-of-state moves and the last due to general unhappiness with the school he was at. The first experience was fine and I still keep in touch with the woman to this day, but the last two were more traumatic than I would have thought. Some schools (in my experience) can be either posessive of their students (school 2) or have a bit of an ego thing when it comes to their school (school 2 and 3.) I would assume that most school owners/directors feel that their school provides the best training (understandable) and are upset by the fact that by switching schools you are sending the message that the current school is "less than."

 

I always believed that being honest and upfront was the way to go and I wanted to give my DS a chance to say proper goodbyes, etc., so I usually made the announcement about a month prior to leaving. This turned out to be a mistake, especially in our last experience as it prompted many frantic meetings being called by the director trying to convince us to stay. One meeting actually had me in tears afterward and questioning my sanity as I was made to feel as though I didn't care anything about my DS' future, etc. It was really awful, and it made it pretty impossible to bow out gracefully as it caused tension all the way around.

 

I hate to pass this on, but I guess it can be another harsh reality to the dance world. I guess the moral of the story is that if you don't think they will handle the news well, you may want to wait until it is close to switch time to let them know. As I just read in the above post, some schools may have a 30-day notice policy, so you may want to make sure they don't if you choose to wait.

 

Also, as far as the new school is concerned, I would let them know that your DD will be making the transition slowly and that she will continue to take classes at the old place. They may have concerns, as Ms. Leigh noted, in regard to taking so many hours a week.

 

Best of luck, you'll feel better when it's over. :yucky:

Dancetaxi

Share this post


Link to post
Babsaroo

Whew...been there, done that. I felt that I had to thoroughly explain why my dd was leaving the studio. Looking back, I think I was hoping that if I explained it long and hard, they would change their ways. It doesn't work that way. It was an unpleasant split with a studio and instructors we had known for years and though of as friends. Time has healed most of the wounds and we can meet and be pleasant.

 

One of the things I regret is that I told the studio that we would be leaving in X number of weeks. That allowed for more discussion, more comments to my daughter and more discord between all involved.

 

If I had it to do over again, I would take my daughter out first and write a letter briefly explaining the reason for leaving along with the positive things my daughter did learn while attending the studio.

 

Different situations call for different decisions. I wish you luck in the transition. Dancetaxi is right...it's better when it's over.

Share this post


Link to post
eskimopieo

Hmmm, this topic is pretty interesting to me as it seems we may be in the same situation sometime in the near future. Siegelife, I don't know what your reasons for leaving might be, but it seems that would also play a role in deciding WHEN to let them know. (Yes, I think you should definitely tell them.)

 

My dd has been dancing at her current school for several years now, but unfortunately the classes in the middle & upper levels have been dropping off the last couple of years. She now feels that in order to just keep from falling behind other dancers her age, she needs to dance more. She has tried some classes at other studios while continuing to dance at her regular studio, but she's not quite ready to make the break. Once her current committments are out of the way it will be easier. Her teacher is already aware that dd feels she needs more classes & has come up with a solution for this spring, but I don't think she would be surprised to hear we planned to move to another studio with a better class schedule. (If we can decide on one, that is!) If/when that time comes, I don't plan on any long & drawn out goodbyes. I would probably talk with her after dd's last class.

Share this post


Link to post
Siegelife

Babsaroo-I think in this situation that it would be best to take your advice. I think that I'll write a letter once it's over. I don't want my dd last few weeks to end up making her feel bad. It may not happen at all, but I don't want to take the chance. The current school wasn't happy that my dd did two Nuts this year including theres. When dd brought pictures from the other Nut they had very little to say and asked her if she like the other one better. She thought they'd be proud of her since they are the only ones that ever trained her. I haven't been at the new school long enough yet to make this decision and I am worrying prematurely. However, I'm just trying to prepare. Two of the teachers at the current school were instructed by the new studios teacher's mother. I originally started this quest of my dd needing something more challenging. I heard around the studio of other girls taking an additional class at another studio or having private instruction. I think this all started when my dd did Moscow Nutcracker and was exposed to rehersals at another studio where she met kids from all over. I could see the difference in some schools. I began researching placed up north where I grew up and knew the arts was much more supported. One website in general was the Dmitri Roudnev studio in Chicago where he posts a couple of before and after pictures of girls that have attended his schools. I see the strength and potential at other places in girls around my dd's age or just a year or two older. Maybe it's not the norm though. Maybe these dancers are the extreme.

 

Anyway, back to the original topic here.....it was a quest just to make sure that my dd's studio was the best one for her. She took the trial class at the new studio. It was much more intense than what she was used to. She found it exciting even though it may have overwhelmed her a little. We now will try two classes a week with the new studio to feel it out and make sure she likes it before burning bridges at current school. The dilemma is that the current school is the one that gets the recognition in the area due to there Nut and other performances. A lot of the Governor's School of the Arts high school kids go to the current school. One of the teachers at the current school is the Assistant Director-I think that's her titile-at CPYB in summer. This is one of the teachers that was taught by the mother of the teacher at the new school. I'm really running out of breath for the dance family tree.

 

So, initially we're going to wait to make a decision until the end of next month. I'll also have to talk to the new teacher, if that's what we decide about what other classes she would take there due to my not being able to get off of work on time. Maybe a carpool and I could take the girls home if someone else could pick mine up? Husband can do it most of the time but he's military and goes away a lot.

 

Anyway, don't want to be pushy, just do the right thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Momof3darlings

You've been given some great advice here. Leaving is always hard, the only thing I would add is that you should, when possible, leave so that if your DD decides that the "grass wasn't greener after all" and wants to return, you have left on as good a terms as you possibly can.

 

vj

Share this post


Link to post
Siegelife

momfothreedarlings-I agree completely. That's why it's so hard. I don't want to leave and leave a bad taste there. Not only because it's rude but that she may be involved with them again in the future in some way or go back. The transition will be slow, over a month or two. However, we know how quickly dd's minds can change etc. They are the performing school in the area so I'm sure we'll cross tracks. We'd be trading training for performances and exposure I guess. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get there. Thanks sooooo much for everyone's advice. :yes:

Share this post


Link to post
BW

When Babsaroo wrote

If I had it to do over again, I would take my daughter out first and write a letter briefly explaining the reason for leaving along with the positive things my daughter did learn while attending the studio.
I realized that this is what I did in effect when my daughter switched programs. Our situation was aided by the fact that it was either at the end of the "school" year or some other such time...

 

Don't worry about the "lost" performances - they may be fun but they're not important, especially at this stage of the game. :grinning:

 

Good luck to you and your daughter Siegelife! Meanwhile, I hope your cyber name isn't indicative of how you feel about your life! :wacko::yes:

Share this post


Link to post
chauffeur

Another thing you might want to factor in with a school switch is how long your DK can handle remaining in the old school, knowing that she'll be leaving there at some point. No school is all negatives and I think with younger kids especially, they have a marvelous talent for focusing on the positive and ignoring the negative. But if a switch is necessary, it can be hard for a kid to let go even when she's been part of the decision to switch.

 

With our DD's last switch, we had originally thought we'd ride it out til the end of the school year and then switch over the summer. But then the problems we had been having at the old school got worse, so it became an end of the calendar year switch. But I quickly saw that DD was getting all torn up inside, knowing that she'd be leaving soon. So it became an end of the month switch in order to cut short her anguish. After her next-to-last class, we sent in a letter, notifying the school that her next class would be her last and that we hoped she would be able to take it and say her goodbyes "without incident." That put them on guard that we didn't want any horrible scenes because we knew they were very capable of making them.

 

Once out of there, it was like a fever breaking and everything was happy and peaceful again.

Share this post


Link to post
AsleepATheWheel

Regardless of the reaction you will get from the old school, and you are practically guaranteed some sort of 'fun', you must go in there with your head up, inform them that you are leaving, thank them for working with your daughter and then listen to their 'take on the situation'. You do not need to tell them why you are leaving, and this will only prompt more discussion. They probably already know anyway. But try to leave on a positive note, it's better for everyone. Most likely, despite quality of instruction, they helped to instill a love of ballet in your child and for this, you must thank them. That is how I regard what happened with dd's first studio, and it's fair, because without them, she wouldnt be doing what she is doing today. :wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Mrs. Stahlbaum

Another vote for letting them know. We switched schools, and found it was definitely better to let them know. You mentioned the family dance tree--schools are all connected, and it will be better for the relationship that you have with the schools, as well as the relationship between the two schools, if this is done in up-front manner. Write them a letter or an email so that you don't have to get into a long discussion of why you are leaving, and thank them for the excellent teaching that they have provided. It probably won't be the first time someone has left their school; people change schools all the time.

 

My daughter also agonized over the loss of friends at the old school, thinking she might want to drop in at the old school from time to time to see them, but once she got to the new school, she hasn't looked back. We were surprised at how quickly we felt right at home at the new school.

 

Best of luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Lily

Friends of ours just recently left our dance studio. It was a painful decision, and then it was a long struggle to figure out how to do it and leave the door open for the future (you never know). It was like a break-up - tearing up both the mom and her daughter. The mom ended up phoning the AD for an appointment. The mom wanted her dd to thank AD face to face, etc.... The AD figured out what was going on and said that there was no need to put the student through all that emotional turmoil, and writing letter is best letting her know they would be taking a leave from the studio.

The AD mentioned to us later that when a student wants to leave - handling it via a letter is preferred - it takes away any emotional strain and any chance for any negative exchange. Then, the student/parent does not feeling burdened to give specific explainations regarding the reasons for leaving. The letter is an opportunity for giving thanks and leaving on a positive note - keeping the door wide open for a welcome return.

I think of all those weeks where dd's friend and the mom were crying about telling the studio - and playing out what they will say and when - and how not to cry while doing it. The letter option removes all that and if orchestrated smoothly, leaves everyone feeling positive. It also makes it easier to move forward at the right time, rather than postponing the inevitable.

 

Lily

Share this post


Link to post
thedriver

Lily, I like the advice your AD gave. I think it would be the best route to take for many types of non-ballet related partings, also.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...