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male teachers teaching alone in the studio


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Yesterday, I took dd to a summer dance intensive for students age 11-17 at a studio that is not her home studio; she just turned 11. I stayed with her to get her settled, and she is attending with a friend.


The studio director (a female) checked emergency numbers for accuracy at arrival.


When I returned to pick her up, there was a male teacher teaching the class. However, he was the only staff member in the studio teaching the class of approximately 15 girls.


When dd has had male teachers in the past at her home studio and elsewhere, the director/owner has always remained present in the studio, so I never gave it much thought. Today, it did give me pause, and I was a bit uncomfortable with the situation.


Am I being too sensitive? I did mention it to the director this morning, and she was empathetic, but, of course, could not guarantee that another staff member would always be present. She admitted that the thought had not occurred to her, and that she had known this male instructor for some time and was comfortable with him staying with the girls.

Edited by daughterfan
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  • Momof3darlings


  • Curandera


  • daughterfan


  • ToThePointe


My dd, just turning 15, has had several male dance teachers through the years and I've never given it a second thought. I hope you feel more comfortable with the situation now that the director has reassured you that she knows the teacher well and has never had any issues with him.

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Unless this particular male teacher has given you some actual reason to be 'uncomfortable' with him teaching your DD, I would think that you are being too sensitive. Simply because the teacher is male does not mean he is programmed to be inappropriate with the girls or to be a predator.

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I agree that you are probably being too sensitive unless you have a specific reason to be concerned about this particular male teacher. If the situation were reversed and you had a DS, would you be concerned leaving him with a female teacher?

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My 10 yo DDs favorite teacher is male. He is not, and should not be IMO, in any way "supervised" during class by anyone -- well other than the 15 or so other students (mixed class, both male and female) and the accompanist. Same as the female teachers.


She was a bit apprehensive at first, everyone knows there is some amount of touching necessary for corrections. In the beginning it actually helped her to make corrections quicker (to avoid him having to touch her) but now she is not bothered.


We have had the general "appropriate/inappropriate touch" discussion with her, not specific to this teacher or ballet, we are able to trust her school makes good staffing decisions.

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I would be more concerned that any teacher is left in the building without the benefit of at least one other adult in the building even if that adult is the front desk worker. If you're in the classroom teaching, you have no idea what's going on in the front of the studio or who is walking in the door.

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Ignoring the male / female issue, just from a safety standpoint, you need 2 adults. What if there was an emergency? I would definitely have a conversation with someone about that. And no, you are not being too sensitive.

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If it were a solo practice, I would be uncomfortable leaving her if there weren't other staff around. However, since this is a group class of fifteen, it wouldn't bother me at all. I would, however, make sure that I was at least 5 - 10 minutes early to pick my daughter up everyday, so she wouldn't have any chance of being left alone once the other children have left after class.

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Agreeing with the other posts...I think you're being just a bit sensitive. The majority of my instructors growing up were male and I actually found myself relating better to them than to female teachers. It is quite common in the ballet world.

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I was not at all suggesting that he needed to be supervised, and dd has had several male teachers in a variety of settings, as I stated. There is definitely no problem with that at all. Of course, my dd has had all of the regular, requisite conversations with me regarding appropriate touching for corrections versus inappropriate touching, esp. since she has a good friend who has a sibling who was a victim of abuse.


As Momof3darlings and buzzandmoo more clearly articulated than I did, the situation gave me a moment of pause due to the fact that there was only one staff member present, and honestly, this concern was amplified by the fact that it was a male teacher. This is the first time, outside of a private lesson where I remain in the studio anyway, that I have encountered a single staff member present at a studio with a class, even if it is just the receptionist at the desk.


In coaching training in community sports, it is always emphasized that two adults be present whenever working with a group of children, if for no other reason than to protect the staff themselves.


I was not upset, but simply surprised, at the unexpected situation, and just wanted to gauge, via this forum, whether this was a common practice or not. DD, of course, attended today, and will have the same instructor this morning, but I am not sure this is the most prudent or intelligent business practice.

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Your subject and post mention specifically that the teacher is male, so it does seem like that is weighing on you more than just the fact there was only one staff member present.


With only one class going on this month on any given day, I'm not worried about DD being at the studio with other dancers and just one teacher. During the regular year, it would give me pause. There ought to be someone else present to keep an eye on the front office, answer the phone, be available, etc.

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It really is unfortunate that false accusations can so easily be believed. As a defense attorney and the mother of a son, I would insist that there always be two people around if he is coaching or teaching children.


For whatever reason, it seems easier for people (including juries) to believe that male teachers have an inappropriate agenda and that female teachers are in it for the love of teaching.


I have had potential jurors state flat out that they could not be impartial jurors and decide my client's case simply because he was "accused" of sexual misconduct of a child. He was considered guilty by all who entered the courtroom and heard the charge. They did not need anything else.


I have seen too many cases of jurors and judges finding people guilty even though there was much more than reasonable doubt. I have heard jurors after the finding of guilt state that there must have been some reason, not in evidence, why he was being charged - some lawyer trick keeping important information out. The decision was made not based on evidence but under the "better safe than sorry" theory of judgment.


I trust my daughter to tell the truth. I do not trust other girls and/or their parents telling the truth about my son. There are a lot of weirdos out there that are either crazy, mean or vindictive and they wield a powerful weapon of accusations that are believed without direct proof.

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I must agree with Curandera. Before I trained to be Girl Scout leader I never thought twice about being alone with a group of girls, but after their training I understood that the policy that there always be two adults was for my safety as much as theirs. It is unfortunate that despite how advanced society has evolved we must always stoop to the lowest denominator. :blink:

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First, I will admit that I misunderstood your original post. When you said the teacher was the only staff member in the studio, I understood that to mean that he was the only staff member and adult in the specific dance studio (classroom) where your DD's class was being held, not that he was the only staff member/adult on the premises. I do agree with other posters that two adults should be present both for the safety of the students and for the protection of the adults. However, in my opinion the gender of the adults and the students is irrelevant to this analysis.

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