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When to move on

2 Left Feet

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A discussion in the Men's forum made me think of this subject: How do you handle it when the time comes and you have to move on to another teacher?


I had a wonderful teacher who did amazing things for me over the last four years. Around the beginning of this year, her normally well thought out classes began to drift. She began correcting less and less and she increasingly turned to another student to help her with combinations when she couldn't make them work with the music (someone she trained and danced with professioanlly). Then, one day, she did something I felt was inappropriate and I left class. That was 6 months ago and I've not been back since. She made no attempt to contact me to apologize or even explain why she did what she did.


I have a new teacher not far from here. I love her classes and I feel very comfrotable there but it's not entirely the same. The corrections are not as intense and my strength and form have declined somewhat. In may ways I miss the old teacher but still feel the sting of that incident like a gaping wound. Increasingly, it has soured my ability to enjoy dancing. I maybe take class once a week (down from 5x) and often don't finish class anymore.


I know others have posted about finding new schools and new teachers, either from moving or from situations like mine and the one in the Men's forum. How have other people dealt with these situations? In many ways it's like a loss of an old friend, very hard to handle at times.

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Wow 2 left Feet. I could have written your post. Suffice it to say, I've been through the same exact thing.


It's been several months. I was thinking a phone call would be good. Clear the air, explain things somewhat. Even if we disagree, it's better than unspoken hurt feelings and stuff.

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Sounds like your old teacher is going through some kind of personal crisis. Having left, you don't know whether she's continued to spiral down, or whether things are clearing up and improving for her. I would try to be a friend at that point, it doesn't mean you have to take her class of course, but do try to find ways to keep in touch and listen to her if she chooses to open up to you.

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Forgiveness is a healing cartharsis even in situations in which you have truly been wronged.


This may not sound very popular to you but...So far, holding on to the hurt and feelings of betrayal you have seems to have done you more harm than good and has ruined the joy you could be experiencing in your other ballet classes. Not to say that you shouldn't be hurt, depending upon what happened, it may be perfectly reasonable for you to feel the way you do, but it might be time to move beyond the place you've been since six months ago. It appears you are at a crossroads and need to make a decision on what to do now. Leaving the studio and the offending teacher behind doesn't seem to have solved the problems you are still experiencing. Why not try something different like going back to talk with her? Try to understand where she was coming from (without condoning any behavior you feel was wrong ) and tell her that her behaviour hurt you. It could be that she is feeling a little guilty for what she did and may need you to break the ice so she can tell you she is sorry. In the end, even if she isn't sorry, forgiving her in your own heart may just set you free from all of the negative feelings you are experiencing. At least you would have tried your best.



Great teachers and good friends are such a treasure. Don't let this one go without giving it a try, you may someday truly regret not trying to make things right again, even if what happened wasn't your fault.


Several years ago I had a teacher yell at me in class and it hurt me. I worried about it for days and wondered if I should bring it up to her. Fortunately, she brought it up at our private lesson a few days later and I could get it off my chest. Unfortunately she yelled at me again, this time in a group setting. This time I let it slide because I realized it was not an intentionally hurtful thing, just her stress showing itself. However, in doing so I also adjusted my expectations and realized our friendship was not on the level I thought it was. I also decided that I didn't want to tolerate it anymore and was determined to walk out if it ever happened again. Fortunately it did not. Allowing any more than three strikes would have been a compromise of my self respect. But, even she deserved at least three chances to get it right before I pulled the plug.


I hope things work out for you.

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Well...when this time comes for me...as all good things come to an end, I will politely tell my teacher(s) that my schedule/new location/goals in life (whatever it will be) are no longer going to allow me to attened class there. They don't need to know the "real" reason (if any) and they don't need to know where I would be taking class if I were to continue. I will make sure to thank them for all their guidence and let them know how much I enjoyed my time with them. I may also give them a token of thanks such as a card or a small gift. I think that is the best way to break ties. If you have been at a studio for a year or more it is just rude to simply stop coming. Regardless of the personal stuff that may have happened it might be better to leave gracefully (no ballet pun intended). If the teacher who wronged you has any sense at all, she will know deep down why you discontinued taking her classes. Good luck.

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