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Ballet Talk for Dancers

How to switch studios


dscotto183

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If you have become friends with a dance school owner how do you pull your child to put her in a better school without insulting/upsetting the current instructor? I love my daughters current teacher but I feel like she needs to be in a more challenging school.

 

If you have any stories you can share i'd really appreciate it.

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I sort of had a problem like that. I wouldn't say I was exactly friends with the studio owner but she is a very personable and friendly person and I've gotten to know her very well and liked her as a person. She was also my DD's instructor and I had a lot of problems with the way she ran classes. She was a very good instructor but being the studio owner got in they way often and she would never focus herself entirely on the students during class, she would often leave or stop instruction during class to take care of administrative things. That was one of my biggest gripes with her but I didn't want to tell her that.The reason I gave was that my DD was only 10 and she was already in the top class for that school. I told her that I wanted my DD to be in a school where she could continue to learn and grow as a dancer and I felt like her school could no longer provide that.

 

If you really feel that you want to give an explanation of why you are looking for another school, I don't think it would be too insulting to tell her the truth. Some school just can't teach ballet at the higher levels and maybe she will accept that her school took her as far as they could but it's just time for you to move on.

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Although it's very difficult to change studios without someone's feelings being hurt, I think it can be done.

 

Having been through a similar situation, we told the AD (as well as everyone else that asked) that the school was no longer a good fit for DD. I stressed not that DD was no longer challenged, but that she was no longer happy in her classes and that she needed a change in environment to rekindle her love for dance. Was that the entire reason? Of course not, but I felt that it was not necessary to put the AD in a position to be defensive about her school, and I wanted to eventually have her support as the ballet world is small.

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My other issue is that my other two kids also go to the same studio and i didnt want to switch them out. Im afraid that it will become awkward. I would really like to know the opinions of studio directors, how they feel about students switching.

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I think your main concern should be making sure the new school follows a ballet syllabus that will provide lessons in technique so that your daughter will be challenged and also learn the age appropriate fundamentals. If you are satisfied that the new school is a better fit for your DD, then be prepared for hurt feelings.

 

Dance schools are a business and can be very, very competitive for students. Also, because the children spend so much of their time there , the attachments are hard to break. It will not be easy for you to gracefully switch schools but I do think it is really important that your DD takes the time to thank her instructor, possible even give a sweet note and/or gift of appreciation. Best of luck.

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I just went through this. My dd 11 left a comp studio where she had been since she was 5 and competed for 4 years. My younger dd was also at the studio, also on the comp team. But dd11 wanted to try a real ballet studio. No competitions, no hip hop or jazz, just a solid ballet focus with The Nutcracker and Swan Lake, etc. What she wanted, her comp studio couldn't provide. My younger dd had no interest in leaving, she loves jazz and hip hop and loves competitions, etc. I sent the SO an email explaining that my 11 yr old would be leaving, and told her why, and that younger dd would still be there and if older dd missed her jazz and hip hop classes, she'd be back. We really love the comp studio, the teachers are great and they are like our family there. The SO was very kind about it all, and understood why dd11 wanted to go and supported her in her new journey. I thought it might be weird or awkward, but the first time SO saw dd11 after she left, she gave her a huge hug and asked about her new ballet school. She wanted to make sure she was happy. It really couldn't have gone better. But I think a huge part of why it went so well was we were leaving one studio for a completely different type of school. The two have nothing in common, really can't be compared. So the SO didn't feel like dd was leaving for something better, just different.

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Ok, I am both a parent and a studio administrator. I think you don't need to bend over backwards to prevent hurt feelings. Explain your decision in a way that is kind and expresses appreciation for whatever positive things you and your dd have gotten out of the studio. Hopefully, the SO (whether her feelings are hurt or not, which you honestly cannot control) will respond in a similarly kind and professional way. If she does not, it may be awkward, but it also reinforces that you have done the right thing by making a change.

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