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Adult Class Etiquette


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:angry: Teachers, what would you do if a student shows up for adult class and sets up their baby blanket and a TV in the corner, in front of the CD player, and turns on "Barney" for their baby, loud enough for all to hear, and proceeds to the barre to take class?


Is it safe for all concerned to have an unfettered, unattended two year old in the studio, on the dance floor?


What is the appropriate ballet etiquette for bringing babies into adult ballet class?

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Well ... here's a recent thread about babies in a ballet class Baby ballet


Teachers will chime in here, I hope, but speaking as an adult student, what you describe is just rude! The turning up of the television so it can be heard over the music for class, the (apparently?) lack of any request to the teacher, or lack of common politeness in asking the other class members if it's OK ...


Look, I know life is tough for women with children, but it is a lifestyle choice, and shouldn't necessarily be inflicted on those who haven't been part of that choice (ie your fellow students!)


And then there's the health & safety aspect ..

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A student should, in the least, ask before bringing their child with all their paraphernalia to ballet class. I have on one occasion let my children come for a prearranged private lesson but they were old enough to keep themselves entertained and I asked permission of the teacher beforehand. And, they were old enough to be in the lobby without adult supervision. To send a message to them how expensive my lesson was, I charged them $5.00 per non-emergency interruption if they disturbed my lesson. They got the picture since it was the same as their weekly allowance. :thumbsup:

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If an infant were asleep on a blanket the whole time, maybe, but what infant would be able to sleep in a ballet studio? They aren't exactly peaceful. I think it's unsafe for baby and dancers alike and also rude. I want everyone to be able to participate, but there have to be some limits. In the same vein, a lady once brought her elderly aunt to observe class. The aunt was QUITE intrusive and constantly commenting on how she could do this and that so everyone could hear. That's rude too.

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As a student, I completely agree with Redbookish. That seems like completely unacceptable behaviour, and I would feel really unhappy about it if it were happening in my class. It's also really awkward, because if the teacher decides to ask other class members if it's O.K., anyone who objects is going to be made to feel the villain of the piece.

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I use to teach renaissance dance, and a mother would bring a 5 year old who kept distracting her, and also the rest of us. It was an awkward situation. On hindsight, I should've had more courage to tell her to keep her chlidren in line. I generally don't mind children who are well-behaved (like read a book or draw) during adult activities.. but as someone mentioned here.. it's a personal lifestyle choice... not everyone's.

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I think it all depends on whether it's disruptive.

IMO disruptive = bad.


That said, I've had classmates whose 5-6yo kids would have their class for the first or second half of our Sat AM class and the kids would then sit at the front of the room with a QUIET book/toy/whatever for the other half of our class. No problem.

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How could you be fully engaged in class knowing your baby is over in the corner without supervision? My attention would be too divided to get anything out of the ballet class.

As a member of that class I would be annoyed and would want the teacher to step in and say classes are closed to observers without advance permission, or during observation week if the same rule goes for their kids classes. Are siblings or Moms huddled in the corner amusing themselves while young students are trying to pay attention to instructions and hear the music.

Most studios don't allow moms to hang around in kids classes while waiting, the reverse should hold for adults.

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I think it all depends on whether it's disruptive.

IMO disruptive = bad.


That's the bottom line. It's impossible to know for sure whether they will be disruptive until it's too late of course.


In the last few months I've had a baby in a carrier (not a peep) and a couple 5-6 year old kids (watching DVDs and/or playing video games, with headphones). Absolutely no disruption, and absolutely no problem. Barre was nearly over before I knew they were there. We do all pretty much concentrate on ourselves during barre, after all. :blink:

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I think the mother is on the edge of a nervous breakdown... a television??? Are you kdding??



On the other hand... I have on occasion taken my baby to class... I took class in my 3rd trimester, and then 6 weeks afterwards... with the baby in a basket... she would just sleep through most of the class... if she made a peep, she was attended to immediately and did not disrupt the class. When she became mobile, I would pick her up and hold her... (lousy for one's center of balance, but I was desperate for class... yes, motherhood can make one desperate..) She's now 9, but from time to time there have been child-care impossibilities and she's had to come watch class... she knows to sit very quietly in the corner.. .usually draws or reads. BUT... this is a special situation, and I had perhaps already developed a certain status within the class... also, the class needed a certain population density to survive... and I didn't do it at all often, only when other arrangements for childcare had fallen through. Had she been disruptive, I wouldn't have repeated the license. No one seemed to mind, but generally seemed to enjoy the visitor... class pet perhaps. I certainly wouldn't expect to walk in anywhere with my kid in tow and take class, though!



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I would ask the dancer to leave and not return until she has a babysitter for her child. That is so inappropriate.


Not a teacher, but... I agree with Balletbabe32. Even if the mother was not distracted by the presence of her offspring, other dancers might be.


I think that this is really unacceptable for her to have her two-year-old child in the studio, particularly when said child is listening to things that are audible to other dancers. If nothing else, the presence of undesired and disruptive viewers seems to indicate a lack of discipline on the part of the studio. As far as safety goes, I think that was well-covered in the other thread, but suffice to say NO, it is not safe to have a baby around all those flyin' legs. ;)


If this became a regular thing at a studio I was attending, I would talk to the teacher to see that the problem was resolved, or I would find another studio... But I'm not really a baby person in the first place! :o

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I don't have children yet, but I know my instructor had brought her baby to class before. She was a sweet little thing, just barely walking, and very shy, and actually was rather clingy. I know our teacher tried desperately to get other people to watch her during our class, but sometimes, it just didn't happen.


I have to admit, on those days, we (the class) learned a fantastic lesson in concentration. Actually, those sometimes ended up being our best working days, because we had to work so hard on our lesson. (And in a class of teenage girls, it's quite a feat.)


I think, and forgive me for being passive, but there's a time and place for everything. Sometimes, things just happen. To say "NEVER" is kind of....setting up for rule breaking.


A television set is definitely a bit much. But you know?

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As a ballet-addicted mother with a husband whose job is often unpredictable, I must admit that I have brought my children to class, but not until they were at least five and could amuse themselves without interrupting the class.


I take classes at two different schools with three locations. Two of the locations have secure waiting areas, so the kids can sit on chairs/sofa outside of the studio and watch DVD's, play video games or play cards, so I'm not sure that really counts. At the remaining location, when there has been a situation where one or both of them has come with me, there is an alcove just large enough for a small child or two inside the studio (the building in which it is located is a public arts center and not terribly secure, so the hallway was not an option for me). The few times that situation arose, I called the teacher in advance to ask permission, and none of them minded at all, but then, they all know my kids well.


I can only think that the mother must have been desperate because I know I couldn't have gotten through class with my own two year old in the room!

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For what its worth, from the perspective of an older adult beginner (man) student. As others have said, certainly a lot depends on the child and how disruptive they might be. But on an exception basis, I really wouldn’t have a problem. For a young mother, I can imagine that her ballet class may represent something very important in her week. For different reasons, it does for many of us. Missing that class leaves a gap. Whatever that feeling is, it’s why we adults keep taking ballet. I’m certain readers of this board know what I’m talking about.


From years of raising my own children, I know that sometimes sitters and other arrangements just fall through. So my bias would have to be, in those occasional unforeseen circumstances, to allow a little tolerance and, perhaps as someone suggested, concentrate a little harder on the task at hand. I’m reasonably certain that in almost all cases, no one would really rather the child not be in class than the mother herself. Instead of making it more difficult and uncomfortable for her, perhaps in those cases we should talk to her with understanding and see if we can help her find better alternatives.

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