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Guest poetandlyric

Is there a graceful way to leave studios?

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Guest poetandlyric

We have been with the same teacher for a LONG time. We have been on the fence for about two years about changing studios (and probably should have) Instead we followed the teacher to a new studio when she opened her own studio up. Now, it is time for us to move on. Nothing terrible has happened, no one thing that I can point to and say, THAT is the reason that we are leaving. It just isn't the right fit for my two dds anymore. I don't want to burn a bridge and I want to do this in the most graceful and professional way possible but the teacher/studio owner is a little emotional and I know will take this as a slap in the face. It is just that my daughters want to pursue a professional track and this school doesn't really offer that (although the teacher says that it does) Suggestions?

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Guest maudebee

We were in a similar situation a year or so ago, and I'm not sure that we handled it the best way ... and I think that the temperament of the teacher contributed. We simply thanked her for all that she had done for our daughter and then said that my daughter was looking for more diverse and more intensive pre-professional training (even though this is what the teacher said she offered). Then we simply did not go any more. We have our daughter at a wonderful school now and are elated that we made the change, but we hear through the grapevine that the former teacher has been saying some mean things about daughter, concerning why she left. But that's OK because it is most important to us that our daughter get the best training for her. Don't know if that helps, but it's my two cents!

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lhc1109

I empathize with you poetandlyric. Having left a studio because of a specific "that's why we're leaving" moment, it didn't make it any easier for my daughter and I (I was an active volunteer). It's the nature of the relationship that is developed between teachers and students. The bottom line is you have to do what is best for your dk's especially if they want to pursue dance professionally. Maudebee's approach seems very reasonable and I second the advice to make the break and not look back, hold your head high and close your ears to all the jabbering that will likely happen. We never regretted the move once the initial adjustment was made. Good luck.

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msd

Made the move a couple of years ago from the pre-pro school to the university-affiliated program. What changed were my dd's goals -- she still wanted to be a highly trained dancer, but she wanted to explore more aspects of theatre as well. Tried to set up a meeting with the dean of the pre-pro, but he was out of town. Wanted to let the school know, so they wouldn't wonder where her registration (and hefty tuition!) were. So in the end dd and I sat down and composed an email to the dean, explaining that her needs/desires had changed, she would always be grateful to school A for getting her where she was (true) and that she would not be returning.

 

The dean sent a short but nice email wishing her well and letting her know she could return if she ever wished to. There were a few awkward moments in the past year, when we would go to see the company perform, and run into some of her teachers. One wouldn't speak to her (actually left the lobby of the theatre), most would say a short hello and ask how she was doing.

 

It's never easy. Dd was at the pre-pro for 6 years. It was hard for her to leave good friends, and it was good training. Luckily, we found excellent training at the new school that is more aligned with her goals. No bridges burned, but changes made for the good of the dancer.

 

Good luck to you. Let us know if you find a more graceful way to do it!

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Guest poetandlyric

I think, maybe, that I need to come to terms with the fact that we can be gracious and professional and leave in the kindest manner possible and that still may not be be enough to not burn a bridge. We can only control our actions, we can't control other people's reactions to them. All that being said, does anyone have strong feelings for telling the AD in writing or in person?

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Guest maudebee

I usually prefer in person for these sorts of things, just because I hate for someone to misjudge my meaning or intent because they can't see my expression or hear my voice. But if that is not possible, especially if the only time you can talk is in a busy waiting room between classes ... a polite and simple letter should be OK. It's not my preference, however.

Good luck with this. I know it is hard because a dance studio can become a second home for serious dancers!

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proudofpeanut

DD and family were in a similar situation 2 years ago. DD had started at the school at age 3 and danced there until age 11. She simply outgrew the school. When your DD is in 5th grade and is dancing with high school girls and getting no corrections because she's at the head of the class, it's time to go.We tried to make the break at the end of the summer because DD had been away at an SI anyway. We did try to do it in person, but could never time it when the teacher/owner was there and things were private. I finally had to write her a nice e-mail. We did it and walked away. We have remotely kept in touch with her, sent her a sympathy card when we heard her father died, shared SI scholarship news, etc. It is a polite distanced relationship now.I am a teacher myself and this was hard for me too. If you are a good teacher, however; I think eventually you realize that your students might need to spread their wings and try new things. I hope that is what she realized in the end. DD has NO regrets at all and the training she is now getting is training at such a higher level.

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concerned parent

We have changed twice. I find it helps to be as grateful and gracious as possible, but to be clear and frank as to why you are leaving. If the teacher you are leaving is genuinely concerned about what is best for your child, it should not be an issue. If he or she reacts negatively, then it is obvious you are making the right choice.

In our case, the first time we changed was to move from a recreational program to a ballet school. The teacher/owner we elft reacted somewhat negatively, which made it clear we were making the right choice. Because of the circumstances, I wrote a letter explaining why we were leaving, but delivered it in person.

The 2nd time we changed was to move to a nationally recognized program which was a much more difficult choice as the teacher we were leaving was very supportive. In this case, I discussed why we were leaving with the teacher. She cautioned us about the intensity of the program we were going to, but in the end she supported our decision.

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Guest coupe66
I think, maybe, that I need to come to terms with the fact that we can be gracious and professional and leave in the kindest manner possible and that still may not be be enough to not burn a bridge. We can only control our actions, we can't control other people's reactions to them.

 

Yes, that's it exactly. However you decide to eventually make the break, and even if you do it in the kindest and most gracious way, know that the person on the receiving end of the news may or may not take it well. Hopefully, that will not be the case, but if it should turn out that way realize that it is not your fault. You cannot keep sending your dd to a studio that doesn't meet her needs simply to avoid hurting someone's feelings.

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dancemaven

Some additional thoughts, experiences, and shoulders ( :dry: ):

 

Time to Change Studios?

 

Changing Schools Advice

 

Changing Schools--Maintaining Relationship

 

Please do feel free to continue to add support, experiences, and suggestions to this thread! :rolleyes:

 

Poetandlyric, Best wishes on an age-old, but always difficult decision and transition. :sweating: In the end, just remember "I only want to play baseball."---Bull Durham.

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Guest coupe66

Dancemaven, thank you so much for sharing these links :) , they are a real gold mine of great advice! I only wish I had read them last year at this time when we were going through this very situation.

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Guest poetandlyric

"I only want to play baseball" "I only want to play baseball" I only want to play baseball" Got it!!

 

It's a bit like breaking up with a college boyfriend isn't it "It isn't you, it's me"

 

My dds have been practicing saying "It just wasn't the right fit for our family" no matter what the question is after we go. I have been drilling that into them. No matter what anyone asks about why we left or how they try to drag dirt out of them just say "It just wasn't the right fit for our family"

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