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SI supervision and discipline issues


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Wow. I am a new parent to Ballet Talk and my 15 yo DD is fairly new to residential SIs. I am thankful to you all for sharing information so candidly because I am not savvy enough to read between the lines in the printed materials. Our home studio is not able to give much advice and so I have been slogging around trying to find my way. I have found my way to you.


I wish I had known more about the subleties of supervision in programs. My DD's program is in a much bigger city this summer and I am more concerned that the rules be enforced. I will have to ask my DD innocent sounding questions to determine if the rules are being enforced. If I ask her point-blank she may be evasive. She is a good kid but you know how it is.


Any more advice on how to read bewteen the lines?


Oops, just saw the thread referenced on the first page of this discussion. Like I said, new to this.

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  • Victoria Leigh


  • mylildancer


  • Gracey


  • Avalon


Dear All,

Yes, you must do your homework by reading the rules, signing the contract, and going over your own expectations with your dk. BUT, what is on paper may be very different from the actual situation.


This is my 15 yo DS's first "away from home" SI and I have been very pleased with the care of the RA's. Check in time for his age group is 10:00 p.m. and room check/lights out is at 11:00. There are different check-in times for different age groups. Don't know how it is working for the older ones because my son was put in a single room in a j\hall with 4 other singles and a large lounge. No one is in the lounge after hours unless the RA gives an exemption for a pre-approved movie that might run over time.


On weekend trips the RA has been careful to remind the kids when early breakfast is being served and arranged for a pizza when they returned after the cafeteria was closed.


DS reported last night that 2 girls were kicked out of the program for smoking in their room (which, btw, he thought was stupid of them since they are basically unsupervised when riding public transit from dorms to studios and when walking downtown on weekends - iin groupsof 3-4). I was pleased that the SI took a "no-nonsense" approach (but feel way sorry for parents, cause this is $$$).


The next day their teacher gave a lecture to the class about how disappointed he was about breeching the behavior contract and that coming to this SI was a privilege and that the school expected high behavior standards and integrety. I liked that he reminded the students what the standard of behavior is, that they follwed their part of the behavior contract - especially when this is 1/2 way throught he SI and there could be a tendency to relax standards. It also sent a clear message home that this SI is on top of things - very good since it is a huge program.


DS's RA has even accompanied him to church the first week until he met a group of other students so that they all could go together.


We have asked our DS to give a quick call each evening - just because our family is very tight, and we want him to know that we are interested and involved.


We know that being away from home for the first time for such a long period of time he is encountering people and situations that he may not have any reference for how to deal with. (he had a "funny situation" on Sunday when a group of them were trying to find a video store and he got lectured by a drunk that he had asked for directions).

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spiritfire -


my 16 yo daughter must be at the same program - she thought it was 2 or 3 girls and one boy who were asked to leave. she also thought it was extremely stupid of these dancers to smoke in the dorm room when they have plenty of unsupervised time to smoke. however she reported that they were smoking marijuana, not just cigarettes.


i too am happy that the school acting quickly and, i feel appropriately with these students. i'm also happy that my daughter's take on it was that they (the students leaving) were foolish and really messed up what good have been a great summer for themselves. this is her second summer there and she is very happy.

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Ahh, Pal, thanks for the clarification. Not sure if your daughter has a better handle on the info because the incident may have happened in the girls' dorm or whether she is just better informed. DS seems clueless except for what is immediately concernng him. Was surprised that he had even mentioned it!


Anyway, as said before, am happy with the way the incident was handled.


Thanks for the update, Pal. Am happy to hear your daughter is enjoying her SI there. Hope to see you and other BT4D at the end of term performance.

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HOLY COW. I can't believe all this nonsense. How frustrating, disappointing and disgusting.


Wow - any more reading and my daughter hasn't any hope is being allowed into a residence program!!

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Gracey - don't be too disheartened - "things" happen at any and all SI's, we are talking about teenagers here. The important things for me are: that hopefully I've raised a child that has enough sense to discern right from wrong, what is an appropriate "bending of the rules" versus outright disregard, a child that can handle themselves in an assortment of situations -- many of which we discussed long ago (this is her 4th SI) and some issues that we remind her of each summer. The other important thing is recognizing that no SI administrators can prevent every and all infractions, it shouldn't be necessary to turn the SI into a prison camp -- but when rules are broken how does the administration of that SI deal with it? for me as long as I see evidence of an SI dealing w/ things in what I feel is a quick and appropriate manner I am satisfied.

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Gracey, my DS "informed" me that these types of things happen more often than we parents seem to believe. And not just at SIs or residency programs - it occurs at the local football games, the theaters, the mall, sleepovers, etc. We have to teach them to make wise decisions. And then ultimately we have to let them move forward to either make the proper decisions - or face the consequences. We all hope that our children will make the "right decisions" but sometimes they don't. When that happens, then I believe we should make sure we're there for them and we help turn it into a learning incident. So far my DS has shown fairly good decision making capabilities, despite temptations that he has faced. He's also made some poor choices - though not to this degree. When a program acts this swiftly and strongly it sends a good message to all DKs that they will be held accountable for their actions. Hopefully the many will learn from the mistake of the few (though I find that the teenage mind doesn't quite work that way sometimes!)

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Gracey--100 teenagers all in one place is just that! 100 teenagers all in one place. All you can really expect from an SI is that they have rules in place, that they do their very best to make the kids adhere to the rules and if someone doesn't that they have a clear plan of action for what to do as a consequence. I can tell you stories from my teenage years of things I saw at church camp. No grouping of teens is immune. And someone who likes trouble can surely find it.


You have to trust that you actually know your child, that they have the tools to make good decisions with and that you've taught them well. But all in all, 100 teenagers is 100 teenagers. (and no I'm not saying that all teenagers are bad. They are not, but a room of 100 anythings and you'll find some form of craziness)

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My husband is a high school teacher and he reminds me often of this little idea. The way to discern the decision making capacity of a group is to take the highest IQ and divide it by the number of kids in the group!


Groups of teenagers is a set up for stupid teenager picks but kids CAN make right choices. I think that my son who is involved with theater kids has more/different temptations than the dancing kids have.

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It certainly can be alarming reading about what happens in residences but one has to remember that often the worst offenders are those who are only at programs for the summer. Most (sorry I can't figure out how to underline) dancers who are in full time residential programs know what the consequences are and do not take risks or do things that might get them sent home. Certainly if your kid wants to go that route there are lots of opportunities. The dancers in a residential program are trying to do almost a full academic course load and dance five or more hours every day six days a week so really they don't have a lot of time to get into trouble. Any incidents, because of the very small, insulated community they live in, do not usually go unoticed and become "big news" and word travels very fast and far. I would speculate that the percentage of kids doing stupid things in each age group is probably quite similar to the same age group who live at home and do not have such a time consuming "craft". Peer pressure exists for kids living at home as well as away so the bottom line is you have to know your kid and really make sure you have good communication as much as you would if they were at home (even if it is by phone or msn).

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I would hope that year long residences would be better run, but we are only considering summer SI's!


It is not so much the teens behaviour, as it is the lack of proper supervison in 'some' of these programs. Are they crazy? They also know they have 100 teens there. I am suprised armed guards hasn't been a consideration.

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My dd gave a slightly different version of the above matter: more on line with Spiritfire's son's version and her take was: "they aren't kidding when they say don't do something, and even if you are just part of it or hiding someone elses behavior, then you are at fault, too" So without speculating on the exact nature of the infraction, in this case it looks like prompt action was taken. And the supervision appears to be pretty good because it was observed and dealt with promptly. My other dd is at a much more closely supervised SI and they still get time in their room, behind closed doors, I imagine if one wanted to do something risky or against the rules one could. And as others have said it's the nature of the response once an infraction has occurred that helps the parents to decide if this is a well supervised SI.

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Sorry kdr - I am still stuck on Avalon's issue! I am not so sure anything would have been dealt with if her husband had not put his foot down at 12:45 am!

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kdr, spitefire and pal,

I am thrilled to hear how the SI your kids are at handled this. Now I will have to look back at other threads to figure out where they are since we will be looking for SIs again next year (maybe). DD is a good kid, most of the time like most kids, and SHE appreciates places that have rules and enforces the rules. Then she is free to love or (metaphorically) die by her own choices knowing that consequences will be enforced. She currently dances at a performing arts school and is willing/thinking of leaving (the school not ballet) because the school doesn't enforce its rules and she says this leaves her uncertain about what is REALLY expected, so she really doesn't want this in a summer program.

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