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Extremely irritated


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I am so MAD I can’t see straight! Or that could possibly be due to me coming down with a cold……..nevertheless, I’m irritated and need opinions!


I really love my new studio. The classes are fantastic and the girls are really, really good. What I don’t like is the total lack of communication from the AD and AAD (mother and daughter, btw). I gave the AAD my email address in January to receive notifications about class cancellations, news, etc. I have yet to receive a single email. She kept saying she had sent out emails and I kept telling her that I didn’t get them. She told me to check my junk folder and I told her I do everyday to make sure something important doesn’t get tossed. So I sent her my work email and she emailed me back so we were going to use that one. That was TWO weeks ago. Since then some very important information has been sent out that I have not been the recipient of and tonight it cost me.


I was originally supposed to learn the two pieces the company girls are doing next week and possibly (if I learned it in time, and after watching it tonight that would not have been a problem) perform it with them next weekend. But then I underwent toe surgery and have been recovering from that so I knew that chance was gone. However, I spoke to both the AD and the AAD about performing with the level right below the company girls in the spring recital in May. Both said that was fine.


Last week I sent the AAD an email asking her when the spring recital was because I have already scheduled the next part of my CPA exam and didn’t want the dates to overlap. That was a reasonable question, right? I also asked her about the costuming, was it provided, did I need to purchase it, had it already been ordered, etc. It has been a week and she has not emailed me or addressed any of these questions in person. I found out the date for the spring recital from the other students.


Two weeks ago I PAID to take a master class that served as an audition to the Nutmeg Conservatory even though I am too old to be considered. I took the class for my own benefit and pleasure and thoroughly enjoyed it. I pay my fees every month to take four classes a week plus conditioning at this place.


That leads me to…………..tonight.


We had a dancer and choreographer that they work with a lot come in and he is apparently doing a workshop from now until April 1st. Our class was cut 15 minutes short and conditioning was skipped. The workshop is also being used to set the spring recital piece. I asked the AD if I needed to stay and participate. She said she didn’t know. I said, “Well we talked about me dancing with the ballet 6 girls and you said that was fine.” She said she remembered that and that they had not taken one single step with them yet and wouldn’t until after next weekend’s performance. Okay, I understand that. But then she turns right around and says they are learning the choreography in this workshop. So I went to the daughter, the AAD, and asked her if I needed to stay. She said she didn’t know, that the girls had PAID to take the workshop and I hadn’t. I told her I hadn’t KNOWN about the workshop and if I had KNOWN I would have paid as well. Then she started telling me how sick she was and that she really couldn’t talk right then. This is the same lady that never has time to talk to me…..before class, after class, or even answer one single email. Now, I am not going to say what the girls are paying for this workshop, but let’s just say that this guy is going to be walking away with at least $2,000 before it’s all said and done.


So, because I hadn’t paid and didn’t really feel welcome, I just went and changed and was leaving. The AD was going back to her office and was surprised to see me leaving. I told her I was just going to leave because I didn’t really know what was going on, I hadn’t been getting any of the emails, I hadn’t known about tonight and that money was required, and as far as the spring recital I would just like to know one way or the other if I’m doing it or not, either way is fine with me. She said again that they would start with the ballet 6 after next weekend’s performance and told me I could stay and watch the workshop and said it was mostly going to be a jazzy number. I sort of downplayed it and told her I wasn’t really a jazz person and she said she wasn’t either. She asked if I had gotten a flyer about schedule changes and I told her no. She said Saturday’s class was going to be different and ran to get me a sheet. We normally have a two hour technique class followed by conditioning……..that is being cut down to an hour technique class with no conditioning. Did I mention that I PAID to take these regular March classes?


I arrived home and my Mom called just as I walked in. I told her what was going on and she said one of the problems is that I am an adult and they know with these kids they can sort of jerk them around with these “workshops” and charge like they do for them and that the parents will pay, and they can hold things (like casting and performance opportunities) over their heads to make the girls do what they want. She said on some level they probably know that as an adult they can’t do that to me and get away with it. And after finding out what the workshop was I wouldn’t have paid to take it anyway……….especially after paying two weeks ago to take another workshop.


I told my Mom that I was just going to continue to PAY my monthly fee to take my four classes and conditioning a week and see what happens once next weekend’s performance is over with. I feel like I have made it known that I would like the opportunity to perform in the recital and have shown what ability I do have and the willingness to take corrections in class. I even feel like I have gone above and beyond by continuing to go to class while my toe was recovering from surgery and it busting open and draining and bleeding with every class. If they approach me about it, fine. If not, fine. At this point I’m over it.


But am I honestly asking too much for a little communication? Like five minutes after class? Or a quick email? Or something?


What do you all think about this?




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I would take a step back, look at this like you're a customer to a business. They're treating you very poorly as a customer. Time to move on. Maybe your desire to perform is supposed to override that or something; but the fact remains, you're the customer.


Incidentally, ballet organizations can be disorganized at times. But what you describe seems to go beyond disorganization, to simply bad business.

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That's exactly what I said to my Mom, David! If I want to perform I can go to at least four other studios and have that opportunity with no problems. However, they are nowhere near the same level as this school. I suppose that is some of the perfectionist coming out in me though.


I will in all likelihood continue to go to this school for the four weekly classes and start supplementing it with one or two classes at another studio.......so if I do decide to perform I will have the opportunity to do so at a later date and be at the technical proficieny I expect of myself. Whatever this current school does as far as performances and workshop.......whatever. Like I said, I'm over it, ya know? All I know is they are whipping my bum into shape and that's what I like about it.


Thanks for the verification that I'm not the crazy one in this situation! :(

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I have seen a lot of dance organizations that are very very good on the training/artistic aspects and mindblowingly bad on the communications/business end. Maybe this is something to do with opposite sides of the brain or something?!? :dry:


So at least know that you are not alone in your frustration and plenty of other dancers go through similar things. (Oh the stories I could tell... PM me if you want all the gory details, hehe.) If you decide to work through the frustration and stay at this studio, I would give you two pieces of advice. One is to get the phone numbers of some of the girls who you are dancing with (or even their Mom's!) so you can keep abreast of schedule changes. A LOT of information tends to get passed just by word of mouth and in-studio announcements. (I'm still not convinced that an AD of mine would even know what an email account is for!) The second is even more important and even harder: don't take ANYTHING personally. It is just the way they do business, and it has nothing to do you with you, your dedication, your dance skills, anything. It's not your fault that they are bad business people!!


Good luck!! :D

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I would suggest you focus more on your training than on peformance. If you get good training, then over time you will have plenty of opportunities to perform in various theater and dance venues.

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  • 2 weeks later...



After a week.........this morning (Saturday) at 8am I received a phone call from the AD telling me there was no class today. I told her I sort of figured there wasn't since they had a performance tonight. I asked if they were going to be back to normal on Monday and she said she didn't know........something about the girls wanted to go back to regular class times but they had a lot of work to do settting the spring recital piece so to check with her on the times. If they keep going like they have been that means classes will be 4:15-6 (instead of 5:15-7 and 5:45-7:15) with conditioning then rehearsals immediately following and I won't be able to attend because I work until 5.


So this means that I may have to go back to the dinkle school I was at before this if I want to keep dancing for another couple of months.




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I agree with everyone that dance studios are not organized on the business side of things....ESPECIALLY when it comes to performance times and the times/schedules of classes and rehearsals. I performed last december and the rehearsal starting times changed every five minutes that unless you were in the loop completly (which I wasnt) you would have no way of knowing. Even though I would call the studio ahead "no one would know." Then I was pointed out alot for being someone who was always late. Which was not my fault. It was frustrating and actually took away alot of the enjoyment of preparing to perform. However, just because these kinds of things are wishy washy at times that is no excuse to purposely leave you out of things and not even let you know if you are performing. I would be insulted too and I would take my dancing elsewhere. The thing that is frustrating about being an adult in a studio performing with teenagers is that we as adults don't have parents hounding the AD and teachers. We are also considered secondary to their "promising students" who probably pay alot more $$ for classes per-year (and pricy workshops) than we do. I was in an "adult number" that was part of the teenager company performance. We didn't get as much clean up for our performance and less rehearsal time onstage. I was actually embarressed by the actual peformance. It looked very unprofessional and quite messy...like it was almost put together last minute. Welcome to adult "recreational" ballet.

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Yes, that is ridiculous, I'm so sorry that you have run into people like this! Very occasionally my AD will do things like that, but usually I am 'in the loop' and know about it. I get very irritated when an email isn't sent about a change in class time because my money is just as good as everyone else's money who might know about the class change because they were in class the night before and I wasn't. Or if you call the AD and leave a nice message adn they don't call back or ever acknowledge that you called-that drives me crazy too. So I think you have a good plan-to just get what you can out of the classes and leave it at that.


Crazy prices

This summer there will be 2 week long workshops, with guest teachers, at the studio I go to. Cost is $280 or so for first week and second week will be discounted (don't know exact percentage yet). 2 summers ago, to take class for the entire summer cost $260 I believe or less. This included June, July, half of August, and maybe even part of May. This did not include guest teachers, only staff teachers at the school. I live in MS so these prices may seem really cheap, but my point is that all of a sudden the price of the whole summer has been reduced to a 1 week of classes with these new teachers that they are bringing in. NEEDLESS to say, I will not be participating in these 1 week workshops. :innocent: I also work, and the time away from work to participate in these all day workshops isn't worth it.

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Follow up.........


I saw the AD at Saturday night's performance and made sure to greet her and let her know I was there. She seemed pleased that I had came. I saw some of the girls afterwards and they were excited as well that I was there. Last night in class we didn't actually have class, but we watched ABT's performance of "The Dream" since that is what our spring piece is being based on. I noticed the AAD was being a lot friendlier towards me, although she didn't actually speak out loud.


Today during my lunch hour I phoned the AD at home and started the conversation with "I hate to bother you at home, but it seems like we never have time to talk at the studio............" I asked her if she had conferred with her daughter and she said yes. I asked her if a decision had been reached regarding me participating in the performance and she said yes, they were both in agreement that I can do it, and if I didn't want to do it I needed to let them know asap. So I was like, "nononononononononoooooo, I WANT to do it!" :shrug: After that we discussed me not being able to make the Thursday class (my job lets me work straight through from 8-4 so I can make the 4:15 class on Wednesday, and I will not ask to leave early a second day) and would I be able to attend rehearsals. I told her yes, that I had already spoken to her daughter about that, and I could be there shortly after 5 and warm myself up and be ready when class was over. She said that was excellent, then said nothing was concrete yet about when rehearsals would start, possibly this Saturday, and told me to make sure before I left every night that I knew what was going on and when they gave them out to get a schedule as well.


Tonight the AD was really a lot more attentive to me in class, gave me several corrections, complimented me on some things in front of the class, and I actually wound up doing a really good center and grande allegro too. It was a very good class all around. Afterwards the AAD was friendly again during conditioning.


I don't know what has happened to bring about this change. Maybe my self-imposed exile last week made them think or something. Casting has not been done yet so I have no idea what I'll be doing, but I'm just excited to get to perform. And I hope that I can continue to have the drive and determination I did in class tonight during future classes.

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