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Ballet Talk for Dancers

SI supervision and discipline issues


Avalon

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They talk in Starbucks and they are VERY likely to be overheard by someone connected to WSB staff.

 

knock knock, off topic, and

 

Bwahahahaahhahaa!

 

To think I spent quite a time lollygagging at that very Starbucks today! Did not see any WSB students, misbehaving or otherwise, but it is so true--kids sometimes forget that adults may _seem_ deaf, dumb, blind, and invisible, but...weeeee are heeeeeeere (and we would know exactly where to go if we observed untoward talk or action!)

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I am glad to hear that when approached, SI's have addressed concerns. I also think it is important that parents elevate concerns. I know 2 dancers who were sent home last summer for rule-breaking (one of them is well known for rulebreaking and the other a follower). They were sent home from an intensive my dd had attended the previous summer. One with such tight security that, because we had not pre-arranged it, her father and I could not check her out of the dorm. It is still an intensive that I recommend to younger dancers.

My dd is almost 16 now and is at an intensive program with much more freedom. The dancers can check themselves in groups out until 10pm. We had to trust her to let her go, but the results have been great. She has grown in her confidence in herself. She misses home, but has thoroughly enjoys her classes and freedom.

It is very important for parents to understand the type of security offered at the programs their dk selects and how it fits with their dancer.

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Please get me off of this roller coaster...

 

To make a very long story as concise as I can, here is my update: Husband brought DS home for a holiday weekend with us, his grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and girlfriend. At the conclusion of the weekend I had a brief moment with DS to reiterate my concerns and expectations. Husband and DS left for the long trip back to the SI. Storm delays and road closures made for a late arrival (about 11:30 p.m.) so husband had spoekn to DS's RA about arriving after curfew and had gotten clearance.

 

When they arrived, DS's roomates were moving furniture into the dorm room and there was one girl present. No RA staff in sight. Rules state that at 10 p.m., you must be back in your room, quiet, and ready to go to bed by 11. Husband left before midnight to head home.

 

A few miles form the SI husband encountered some difficulty (he accidentally hit a member of a racoon family as they crossed the street). As I work with a wildlife rehabilitator, he turned around to search for the animal and offer assistance. Despite his search, he could not find the wounded racoon. It is now close to 12:45 a.m. and husband's gut is telling him to be concerned, and he had already turned around in the great racoon fiasco. When he arrives at the dorm, lights are on, music is blaring, and he hears girls' voices in the room. Husband debates several minutes about what to do. He then knocks on the door. DS answers, two girls run past husband like lightening, and DS's other roommate also decides to leave the dorm and go outside. Husband has words with DS, during which an RA from the other side of the building comes to turn off the loud music. Husband expresses concern about the situation to this RA and apologizes for meeting her under these circumstances. Husband asks for her to address his concerns with the directors and perhaps to consider a private room for DS because his roommates are older (17 and 19) and don't seem to be expected to adhere to any of the same rules.

 

Husband then has a conversation outside the dormitory in the courtyard with DS's roommates and reminds them of the posted rules with regard to curfew, etc. (which are posted right inside the dormitory, complete with highlighting). Husband then drives home, having several hours to decide how he is to break all of this news to me...

 

I felt a little better, as DS seemed very humbled by being caught in the act, and husband had an opportunity to speak to an RA at a time when things were obviously amiss. But, I no longer feel better...

 

Just got off the phone with DS. He reports that his roommates are furious that his "psychopath" father came back and interfered with their evening. DS and one of the girls present in his room that night were treated to a meeting with all of the RA's and the director and were given a serious warning for violating curfew. DS was threatened with expulsion; no discipline given to his roommates, who left the freakin' building after midnight while husband was there and who already had a girl in the room when husband arrived after curfew. Go figure. Husband also examined the completely inadequate and incomplete sign-out sheets. The pen did not even work consistently.

 

DS further says he is the scapegoat for the entire SI. Roommates are ticked off with him. Staff apparently is having a meeting with all dancers this evening and stating that they have no choice but to enforce the rules as posted. Hmmm - imagine that. DS's "lunatic" father, he has been told, might "sue" the *** Ballet becuase of this.

 

DS's dilemma rings true in many ways; he says he is confused and frustrated because he did not know that he was breaking any rules until he got "raked over the coals" by the director today. He states that the RA's had their own, very lax rules and that he was indeed following them. Of course to him it may indeed appear that his parents have ruined the SI for all involved by being so persistent and so insistent that the rules and expectations in our contract are adhered to. At 16 DS cannot understand why we think these rules are important.

 

Now, on top of my concerns about his supervision, I get to worry about DS's emotional adjustment as well. I have learned the hard way to do my homework before I sign that huge SI check next time.

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Momof3darlings

So sorry Avalon! I certainly hope everything gets settled and blows over quickly so DS and other SI'ers can get to the business of dancing! Isn't that what we paid for?

vj

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I am so very sorry, too, for this dilemma you find yourself in. You should take comfort in the fact that your (and husband's) parenting "gut" feelings are pretty accurate and that you listened to them. Hopefully everyone can move on and be so exhausted from dancing that this becomes simply a first week blip.

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Victoria Leigh

If the Directors and RA's do not enforce the rules, it's not going to get any better. It sounds like they have a serious problem there and need someone to take charge pretty quickly. For one thing, if they have different rules for older students, then they need to put them separate from the younger students.

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Besides, they have a serious security issue if a parent (or presumably, anyone) can gain access to student rooms at 12:45 am.

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can the name of this program be mentioned???? or if that's not possible - some clues as to which program this is??? for future reference. while the instruction may be excellent if someone were to consider this program for future summers they could then look into the rules and supervision issues more closely (i.e. is this an isolated incident - not something happending across the board at the program)

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pal,

 

I completely understand your request. This is one of those times when it is particularly anxiety producing to be a parent of a DK.

 

My husband and I talked about this very question and wondered what our obligation should be about sharing the information we have gathered. What we decided is that we would like to wait and see if these events are, as tippytoes suggested, a "first week blip." There are four more weeks of training in this SI, and we are asking DS to use those four weeks to turn around his reputation and to prove to staff and fellow dancers that he is, in fact, the fine young man we have always known him to be. We think it only equitable to allow the SI some additional time as well to demonstrate to us that they are the concerned, committed, and observant program we had assumed them to be.

 

If things do not improve where supervision, safety, and rule enforcement are concerned, so that DS can focus on his dancing, we will seriously consider sharing all that we know about this SI.

 

I hope this is acceptable.

 

Thank you all once again for helping my family through a difficult time. I greatly appreciate all you have done.

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vrsfanatic

Knock-knock...global moderator here. It is in the best interest of the Board, not to post the name of this organization (or any others) as thus far only one side of the story is being discussed. There are always two sides to the story. I am sure Major Johnson and Ms Leigh will have some great suggestions as to how to continue the discussion without placing any of the Moderators and/or Administrators of Ballet Talk for Dancers in any sort of legal jeopardy.

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vrsfanatic,

 

We were posting at the same time; I hope my response was appropriate. I have tried to be purposely vague thus far about identifying information. Of course I understand that there are two sides (or more) to this story, and your concerns as a moderator are completely understandable as well. We are still hoping for a positive outcome...

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vrsfanatic

Thank you Avalon for your understanding of the situation here at BT4D. :D

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Mel Johnson

Not to mention the posters themselves, who are solely responsible and liable for the information contained in their posts, by board policy. :ermm:

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My daughter is down around that part of the country also with 4 weeks to go and I have come to accept that she is on her own with virtually no supervision. (this after speaking with those in charge and her RA). I will give it more time and hope everything goes ok. My daughter is in a dorm with 13 and 14 year olds, so not much is going on, but she tells me the RA's are only concerned with themselves and their classes and they pretty much ignore the girls.

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OldDancerBabe

I'm new to SI's away from home, so maybe I don't understand the situation. However, one of the things we like about the SI that my daughter is at is that the RAs only supervise the front desk. Parent chaparones supervise the residence floor. Maybe these are really unusual young people at your son's SI, but I can't imagine teenagers taking an RA too seriously. Where is the adult supervision?

 

Avalon, I'm sorry you're having to go through this. As difficult as it must be for both you and your husband, please be reassured that you ARE doing the right thing. Sometimes being a parent is just the pits.

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