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Ballet Talk for Dancers

How to handle fellow dancer bullying your boy?


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Literally asking for a fellow dance mom. If your son is roommate with another boy at a prestigious ballet intensive. His roommate is ganging up with other kids in the dorm to hide your son's clothes, tennis ball, food or anything he owns. He even threw random underwear onto your son's bed. What would you do? His roommate is favored by all the teachers since he has done well recently. Even after talking with the chaperone/counselor, bullying behaviors still continued.

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Something needs to be done so your kid can focus on dance.  Could you ask for a roommate switch first?  And talk with the r.a.'s one more time.  Maybe they think things are better.  If that doesn't work, try to reach the administrative head of the si.  

Also, encourage your ds to find a friend--maybe someone slightly older or younger or a girl--who is outside of the pack.

Also, consider whether the prestige of this place really matters if your kid is so miserable.  Call the teachers, demand some action, and write reviews here and elsewhere.

Wishing you the best!

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They are on wk 3 of a 3wk program. His mom wants to wait until she gets there to talk with the program director. I'm encouraging her to call now. His roommate will stay for another 3wks which means another boy can subject to his crude and mean acts. No matter how talented a person is, it doesn't give him any right to bully anyone else! 

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Please encourage your friend to join BT4D. :) 

 It is much easier for folks to understand first-hand experiences rather than offering advice through a go-between.  It is BT4D policy not to discuss specific third person/non-member issues as those folks are not present or participants in discussions here. :)

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I'm sorry this child is going a rough time. I understand and agree with the first-hand experiences rule, but this might help other boys who might face this situation. We went through a similar problem last year at a large 5-week intensive. My son (13 at the time) was bullied by his roommate. Not intimidating really (verbal abuse that fell flat), but annoying (taking food without asking, using his towel, having a friend in the room too much). My son dutifully went through best practice steps to try to address the bullying (asking the roommate to stop, getting other kids to help him dilute the situation, asking for help from the counselors). None of it worked in the end. A room change request was denied, so my son and his friends just tried to avoid the bully as much as possible during free time. I also emailed the program director after my son's attempts to resolve didn't work and said directly, "This has to stop. Tell me what support you need from me." It eventually stopped and my son ended up having a great experience. Not sure if the counselors talked to him and/or his parents or if the kid just moved on to someone else. The same boy went on to bully a fellow dancer at his home school later that year, so we realized it was a chronic issue with this kid. Long story short: I recommend calling the program director immediately in a case like this. Timely action is important so they can follow their guidelines (assuming they have a handbook that spells out the rules around bullying) and address the problem.  

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I agree with fourseasons. Take a look at the handbook, if it is a "prestigious" (or simply well run!) program surely they have a clear code of conduct and supervision in place to deal with problems, and enlist the help of the school. I am sure problems frequently arise when you have adolescents living together, away from home. It would be completely unrealistic to expect otherwise, and the program should be prepared to handle these kind of situations. If a child has taken measures to resolve problems on their own and that doesn't work, it is totally reasonable for the parents to speak up. I think when parents are reluctant to "make trouble", it can allow these situations to go on much longer than they should. I learned this the hard way realizing that my son had been subjected to quite a lot of inapporpriate behavior (and witness to more) from one student who made it a pattern-- thankfully only as a day student, and not living together. But I waited way too long to say something. 

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Yes I agree with all of this. When are children are young, I feel that there are times when the adults need to step in. It is unrealistic to think that children are going to sort these things out. Or at least if it has gotten so bad that they tell us, it is time for us to act.

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Definitely address this with the administration. Your boy needs to know that you got his back. Also, another kid might keep this abuse to himself and things could turn tragic. 

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I agree with all of you ladies. Thank you for your input. Mom and Dad both were respecting the boy's wish to let him handle it. Fortunately there's finally a positive outcome. All his items have been returned and roommate has been acting more cordial and respectful. First half of program ends tomorrow. 

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