Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers
GingerMomma519

The pain of leaving?

Recommended Posts

GingerMomma519

If I had ever questioned my daughter leaving after 6 years at this school. The schools e-mail response (4 days later) would definitely have answered any "questions" about whether they care about the long time students they lose. This is what I got this morning:

Hi (Gingermomma519),

I’m sorry to hear (DD) is leaving and understand how hard it was for her to make the decision. If a return to (dance school) is in her future, please reach out to me and I’d be happy to assist with her registration. I will process (DD's) withdraw from August Course and the 2019-2020 Academic Year program today, with an effective date of Monday, August 5.

Wishing you all the very best,

(Student Affairs Coordinator)

Share this post


Link to post
AnastasiaBeav

How horrible the school is making such pronouncements about your DD's body when she is only 9! She may not be in an official dance program any more but she can still be a dancer in her heart. There are many ways to enjoy dance without being on a professional track. I hope your family can explore those avenues together.

 

My heart goes out to the two of you.

Share this post


Link to post
Eligus
On ‎8‎/‎5‎/‎2019 at 3:48 PM, Thyme said:

Sounds like no big deal now but we still refer to that experience as a touch stone (10 years later) in moving on when we come across bad people.

EXACTLY.

And I've found that if the parent is relaxed and carries on as if everything is "normal" after the separation (no big deal, in other words, because change is just something that happens sometimes), then it suddenly isn't a big deal... tah-dah.  Change does not have to be traumatic or difficult, it's just change. 

It sounds as if you and your DD are already figuring out how to enjoy your new found freedom, Gingermomma, congrats to you. 

And - as a personal side note -- about my expectations from the home studio my DD left -- I never had any expectation of a "good bye" from them, or even a formal recognition of the decade my DD spent there.  I learned very early on that the home studio chose to operate their school as a BUSINESS.  That's it.  Therefore, I had zero expectations of a personal relationship between me and the organization.  Accordingly, at least from my perspective, there were no hurt feelings on either side when my DD left, because she made that decision based on what was the best decision for HER.   

Share this post


Link to post
Bavalay

I see the email differently Ginger.  It is a lovely note that keeps the door open for the future if that is what your DD wants. I assume this school has many students based on the responses from other members; and the way it reads from outsider perspective is that it is personable.  When my DD left her previous school we got something similar and I was happy to know that door wasn't shut--and was not expecting a response.  Maybe after you step away from it for several more days you may see it differently.   Yet still there is no reason to be commenting on a 9 year olds body that hasn't even gone through puberty.  I hope you are doing well--I bet your daughter is doing good with her gymnastics and private training on the horizon 

Share this post


Link to post
dancingjet

I read the email as professional and generally courteous. If this is a large school with a somewhat large staff then this is what I’d expect as far as receiving anything in writing. Even at my daughter’s small local school I wouldn’t expect much more than this in writing. There, at least, a personal conversation might also take place but only if the family initiated it. And I agree that it leaves the door open for a return. 

Share this post


Link to post
labrador

GingerMomma519,

I understand you feel that this response was canned, and did not address the DD’s pain and mistreatment.

Share this post


Link to post
GingerMomma519

Just to clarify, I wasn't expecting them to beg my DD to come back. Not even a little. Girls are a dime a dozen in ballet and there is always another ready to take their place. Especially a child they'd already written off. What bothers me is that it does feel very canned, like all they did was fill in DD's name. Whereas if it were my business I may wonder why a student of 6 years, taking 15+ classes a week consistently, felt they had no choice but to leave the night before the next course started. Maybe its just me though. 

That being said... it just reinforced DD's decision to move on. She has been a different child the last few days. Happy, stress free, asking to dance at a different school, and to explore gymnastics and other activities. In the end, their response or lack there of is irritating but even an e-mail begging her to return wouldn't have changed her mind and I take my cues from her in terms of where she wants to dance and what she wants to do!

Share this post


Link to post
Polar

Although our general situations are different, we did choose to leave a school for a variety of reasons. If several other aspects were all working out we would have stayed, however one large reason was that it was clear that the artistic director was not interested in developing my daughter in any way. She would be warmly welcomed to take class, but at every turn the writing was on the wall. No amount of work ethic or improvement was ever going to alter his opinion of her place in the school. Her place was to be a dutiful worker bee, to take all the recommended classes, to accept the roles sent her way gladly, but never to be graced with personal corrections or individualized guidance or advisement he offered to his chosen few.

 

She was just never going to be "his" type. His type was clearly another build and look. As we left I was very up front with my daughter that once an artistic director has made their preferences clear, if pursuing your studies elsewhere is an option, it's probably best to move on because I've never seen a director or an instructor with such clear and open bias "come around" regardless of the improvement or work demonstrated. Never. It happens in movies, not in real life in my limited experience. And my experience is limited.

 

However, I think it's valuable for our dancers to recognize their worth, to recognize when they're not valued, and to move on confidently and with professionalism and grace to places where their worth and their contributions are at a minimum, respected. I wish you and your dancer the very best of experiences on this exciting new part of the journey. It's good that you have a door slightly open there as 9 is fairly young. If the powers that be at her school shake up a bit you just never know. The wrong place at 9 may become the right place at 14. A lot can change in a short while.

Share this post


Link to post
Winterqueen

I just wanted to share that my daughter is currently going through this transition.  She danced at a ballet school for 10 years and the environment became more and more toxic.  She has tried every school within an hour drive of our house and we finally found a school that we think will be a good fit.  She went and tried a few classes during their summer program and was happy when I picked her up.  They have a 4 day intensive at the end of the month where she will get to meet some of the dancers who will be in her level.  But still, my daughter (13) is saying things like, my old school wasn’t that bad, I can handle it..... it’s like she has stolkholme syndrome.  She is 13 and will get over it quickly.  I have shared in other threads about how toxic the old school was, and I am trying to teach my daughter that nothing changes if nothing changes and that at some point it is like she is asking to be treated badly.  It’s tough, but I’m hopeful she will get over it really fast, probably like 2 weeks into September.

Share this post


Link to post
GingerMomma519

Stockholm would probably be a good way to describe it. DD put up with BS for years, stuff I didn't even know about until she quit. Because she thought that this school was the only way to have a career in ballet and the performance opportunities were better than anything else nearby. 

I told DD that if she wants to return the door is open to do so. However, there's no way I'd actually let her go back. Not after she sat on my kitchen floor broken down in tears asking me why certain people treated her the way they did. That is not a scene I ever want to repeat. My daughter isn't a crier, so for her to get that upset, it was bad. 

The positive news is, she's expressed interest in exploring two other schools nearby. One is a bigger school comparable to the "current" school. The other is a very small school but has been gaining a reputation for excellent training and small class sizes. She is going to attend some placement classes at each school and will decide then where she feels is a better fit and what will work around her new gymnastics schedule. 

As I've told her, this is her time to explore. So she'll do a few days of dance a few gymnastics classes, and then she can decide what she wants to pursue or if she just wants to keep casually studying both and never decide between the two. I just want her to be happy.

I hope once your DD is immersed in her new school that the Stockholm syndrome fades a bit and she is able to fully appreciate her new start. I don't care how good a ballet school is, nothing is worth keeping your kid in a toxic environment. I regret not pulling my DD when this first started 2 years ago. But I wanted her to make the choice. I should have realized that this place had their students brainwashed into thinking there was no where else on earth that turned out professional ballerinas. 

When that is quite obviously, simply, not true!

Best of luck to you and DD!

Share this post


Link to post
labrador

Winterqueen,

I am sorry you and DD are going through a similar ordeal.

Kids, and dance students in particular, crave the approval of their teachers. It is understandable that with the long standing investment of herself in that school, she would have good memories, and attachments, and hence, hesitate to acknowledge the toxicity of the school. 

A new start is an important part of the healing process.

Share this post


Link to post
Winterqueen

It’s really hard for my daughter because for many years she was the teacher’s pet.  The AD started to treat her badly when my daughter began to spread her wings.  I’m totally looking at this like when I had my first breakup and all I could do was remember the good things.  Our kids are young and haven’t had these kinds of life experiences yet.  I think she will be charmed by this new school and forget about the old boyfriend and I hope the same happens for your daughter!

Share this post


Link to post
Bavalay

GingerMomma519, I am on your side and apologize if my post made it sound otherwise.  I felt your pain and was trying to find something positive in the email response you recieved.  Not burning bridges, Stockholm syndrome, toxic environment, bullying, fear--all of these things often keep us feared up from leaving or speaking out...I too am guilty of just accepting and keeping my DD in a place when she cried about how she was being treated because I thought we had nowhere else to go (and here I don't want to say exactly what happened because I don't want to be identified--my DD LOVES her new school, and in my community I have noticed the same accompanists at every studio in town, same parents, and same kids be it auditions or from being at previous studios with my dancer).

And I understand when you say that even though the door is open, and you are letting your daughter choose, you will not go back.  Ditto.  It only take a minute for kids to make new friends and never look back.  You and your DD are on my mind.

Share this post


Link to post
GingerMomma519

Bavalay, I promise I never thought otherwise. Your intent was definitely clear and I didn't see you as defending the place at all. No worries. :) 

 

In an update to my update... DD went and took a placement class at a fairly small studio in town that has been gaining one heck of a reputation for their training and small class size. It's run by two former principal soloists from a major ballet company. When DD said she wanted to dance, just at a new school, this place was recommended to me. We went over yesterday for placement and honest to god I could have CRIED. 

DD took a level 1 class with some year round students and a few others that were placing. I was able to watch the class via a video feed to the parents sitting area, I keep seeing DD being the only one dancing and moved around a lot at the barre. I was pretty nervous about what was going on. Then after the class DD was held back by the director and talked to for about 5 minutes. Again... nervous. 

When she finally came out she was all smiles and practically GLOWING. 

The director asked to speak to me and said she'd like DD to come back tomorrow morning and take a class with their level 3 girls. She said that my DD is beautiful, talented, and very very smart when given corrections. The reason DD was the only one dancing and was constantly moved around is because she was being used as an example of how to do things properly and she wanted the girls to be able to stand behind her to watch. It was a HUGE confidence boost for a child who has been told over the last year and half that she will never be a dancer. 

This director said that the level 3 class will be hard, but she does think DD can rise to the challenge. She just wants to visually see how she fits and wants the other director to see her as well. 

She said she thinks DD has a very bright future and having grown up attending the school DD quit, she knew the culture and knew why we left. But she thinks that there is nothing stopping DD from dancing professionally if that is what she wants because she is a smart kid. I think with the small class size, DD will get more hands on corrections which will help fix some of the "issues" she has. 

All in all, it was a fabulous placement class and we couldn't be happier. DD was smiling again and said she doesn't care if she's in level 1, she just wants to dance where the director is nice and gives corrections to all students, not just a select few. 

Keep fingers crossed for us as we go into the level 3 class tomorrow. I'll post an update when we have one!

Edited by dancemaven
Removed unnecessary full quote of immediately preceding post

Share this post


Link to post
Winterqueen

That sounds very promising!  I’m excited for your daughter!!

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...