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newballetmom

Feeling unwelcome

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newballetmom

We’re relocating to a new city and are exploring our ballet options. I’m encountering something that I’ve never dealt with before and I’m curious if it is some unwritten rule of ballet etiquette or if the studio in question is being as rude as it seems. 

 

Basically, we are trying to decide between Studio A and Studio B. They are on completely opposite sides of town and we are looking at housing developments that are close to each of them. 

Obviously the location of the ballet studio isn’t going to be the ultimate deciding factor, but if I’m driving there 5 days a week, I’d prefer to be nearby!

Anyway, to help make this decision I wanted my daughter to try out both studios to see which is a better fit. 

Studio A has been wonderfully accommodating and has invited her to take all the classes at her level for a week. 

Studio B, meanwhile, told me flatly that they do not allow students to *try* (said with derision) their classes and if she wants to study there she will need to enroll. 

I found this exceedingly off putting and am ready to write off Studio B completely except for the fact that they are a well regarded studio. 

Is it expected that you would just trust a studio to be a good fit without ever meeting the teachers or taking a class? To be clear, I’m not talking about a big 3 Letter Studio here. Just a studio in a midsized American city. 

Am I out of line? 

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danceimatter

I’ve never experienced or known a studio that does not allow a child to take at least one class (often free) to check out the school. As a parent I’ve been invited on occasion to watch the advanced class (while my child was in a lower level class) to see how the students demonstrate technique. 

 

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Victoria Leigh

Not out of line at all, newballetmom. That is not the way a studio should work, and I would not want to take a young dancer there. 

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newballetmom

Thank you! I feel much better about striking this studio from our list. Heaven knows how they’d treat her if she studied there. 

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Ballerinamom2girls

Someone may have given you the wrong information.  Perhaps worth calling again, or going in person and asking?  Honestly it sounds so bizarre I can't imagine how they would get any students if that's their policy.

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dancenc

I believe that is the policy of one school here - you can enroll after a placement class (for students needing placement, not including any current students). And those are difficult to get as levels are full. I agree that it would be really hard to know until you’ve tried a class. Good luck with your decision and move!

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newballetmom

Ballerinamom2girls,

I believe I was speaking with the AD. She may have misunderstood what I was saying, however she was rather curt with whatever information she was giving. 

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Bavalay

Hi newballetmom, perhaps the AD misunderstood what you were asking.  Was it one trial class or for a whole week like studio A gave you?  I am not sure to write studio B off yet.  One weird interaction...yes some caution.  But perhaps there was miscommunication.  Did your daughter get a trial placement class at both?  The one experience I had with my DD12 trying a class was for a fee that would go towards tuition should she chose to dance at that studio.  I am wondering if there is a way to talk to people who go to studio B or see performances?  Get some information on culture at the studio (from parents, older students, alums).  Smiling and generous and kind up front does not equal the same once there.  Best to you as you search for the best place for your dancer.

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DanceDaddy

Is there something happening at Studio B that caused this response? Like are they caught up in auditions?

 

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newballetmom

Bavalay, 

I only asked for one trial class (that I fully intended to pay for!) but it’s possible she thought I was asking for a drop in class while we were traveling or something of that nature. 

Getting ahold of the studio was another issue. I left a message on the voicemail and when my call was returned it was essentially just a message saying that their classes began on X date ect. Nothing about what my message had asked about. 

I called back and that’s when I got the unwelcoming response. 

My daughter is actually taking a class at Studio A as we speak. I don’t know how it’s going, but after the Studio B situation I’m really hoping things are going well! 

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Bavalay

Thank you for clarifying newballetmom.  From what you've shared (and seeing there are choices available), I would be more inclined to keep it moving past studio B.  I am hoping along with you that option A is a winner with your DD.  Please let us know how things turn out.

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Fraildove

A slightly different opinion... I would try to visit studio B in person, preferably with your daughter. If you could approach whoever is at the front desk with a scenario such as this: We are new to the area and are wanting to continue with my daughter’s training (which has been at a pre-professional school... if that is the case, otherwise omit). We have heard some wonderful things about your program and would love to be able to take a placement class so that you might get a feel if she would be a good fit for your program (even though it goes both ways, a little flattery never hurts with first impressions). We were unsure the cost of the placement class and if there might be room for her if your program has already begun. But given your great reputation we wanted to stop by and see if this would be a possibility. She is very anxious to get back into the studio, as I’m sure you can imagine.”  then perhaps you might get a very different response. I am assuming that your daughter is wanting a pre-pro or very ballet focused program and that she is older than 8 or 9. Assuming that she is, speaking in person with your daughter there, which gives them the opportunity to see her and see that you both are serious about finding out about their school might very well give you a different result. I would hate for you to write off a program because of a phone conversation. Maybe she was having a bad day, maybe she had had phone calls all day from parents looking at a trial class. Not an excuse to be short, but maybe not worth giving up before fully exploring the option. I often sound very different on the phone than I intend, granted I’ve not been accused of being downright rude, but I can come across as being a little abrupt. And I can say for myself, I honestly don’t mean it like that and hope that a prospective student would visit and see in person what we have to offer.

 

like I said, a little different opinion, so take it for what it’s worth! Best wishes on your search!

 

 

 

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newballetmom

Thank you, Fraildove. I do appreciate your perspective. The trial class at Studio A went pretty well yesterday so I’m relieved that it seems like we have a solid option there, but you’re right that an in person conversation may prove more fruitful. 

I definitely don’t want to burn any bridges unnecessarily, especially since good training is hard to find. 

 

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