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On 2/4/2021 at 8:41 PM, mom2scouts said:

Dance parents, does this kind of thing happen at your studio and, if so, what do you suppose causes it:

My dd has danced at the same studio since she was 3. It's a fairly large studio for our area, is well respected, and has been around for a long time. It has amazing professional recitals, the teachers are hardworking and respectful, and the dance training is decent. In the past few years we've had several dancers go on to professional careers in NYC and LA and several with full college dance scholarships. Anyway, every few years a large group of the most dedicated dancers, those who were competition team members or danced many hours, leave the studio and show up at other studios. They are often around middle school age. I know that many kids move on to other activities at that age, but I'm talking about those who still dance. It's not like they've outgrown the studio and are going for higher dance training, as many of the studios they move to would not be considered a step up in dance training. I know the reason some of the dancers have left. Our studio doesn't do solos at competitions (only group dances) and some want solos and move to studios that will allow them to do that. One girl left because her group of dance friends dumped her and, while the studio could prevent outright unkindness, they couldn't really stop the more subtle girl bullying, so the girl and her sister went to another studio. Some move because their best friend from the studio is going somewhere else, so they move too. Then there's all these dancers who don't seem to fit into any of these categories who all seem to go to different studios around the same time.

Is this "grass is greener" syndrome? Maybe they want to be the big fish in a smaller pond? Do parents and/or kids just want something new or a new start at that age? Is this the time when they think they'll develop more by dancing under different teachers? Is the honeymoon period at a new studio, when they think it's perfect and everything the old studio isn't, what they need to refresh their love of dance? Any or all of these?

I'm always trying to understand why people do what they do and this is one of those things I've seen happen several times and I just can't figure it out.

Here it's absolutely a dancer hoping that a move will make them a star.  We see it most often with those dancers who aren't quite good enough to make the elite level, and after two years of trying out for a higher level and getting stuck, they move to a studio where their top level teams are on par with our mid-level teams.  Sometimes it works out, sometimes not so much.  

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We just got home from our first competition since last March.  It was... not normal.  It was very nice to see my son dance again, but pandemic dance competitions are really just mini dance recitals apparently.  Our studio danced in a block of time from 7:45 am until 11:30, and then we cleared out so the space could be sanitized and readied for the next studio to start at 1:30. Lather, rinse, repeat.   There will be a virtual awards ceremony on Sunday after everyone has danced.    The dancers were allowed to have up to two people present to watch, and of course we were all spread out and socially distanced and wearing our masks.  

The kids were allowed to dance without masks, but they had tables side stage for all the dancers to keep a ziploc baggie that their mask went in-and-out as soon as they were done dancing.  This was a lovely idea except that the kids have been dancing WITH a mask on for months.  They've adjusted their breathing accordingly, and this didn't go so well for anyone.  DS said it was a struggle that none of them expected.  He expects they'll be wearing masks for the next competition in March. 

 

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2 hours ago, kiwik said:

Maybe your studio is encouraging those they see as "less serious or less worthy" dancers to leave at that age 

That doesn't make sense though. These are the most serious dancers and the ones who get the most attention. The competition dancers usually get the best spots and the extras in the recital and have opportunities that more recreational dancers in the studio don't get.

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5 hours ago, mom2scouts said:

That doesn't make sense though. These are the most serious dancers and the ones who get the most attention. The competition dancers usually get the best spots and the extras in the recital and have opportunities that more recreational dancers in the studio don't get.

I was thinking more what Lady Marmalade said but with some studio encouragement.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Did anyone ever leave a school (studio) because it wasn't the right fit for your dancer?  What  made you do it?  Was it the right choice looking back? 

This choice is so difficult when you have multiple kids.  But we have had a lot of signs, but stuff keeps happening.  There has been a lot of stuff.  I am not sure when you say enough is enough.  And to make it more difficult, it feels like it is a good place for some of my kids, but not others. 

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What has everyone decided for summer programs? Or are you still deciding?

My DD will stay at Miami for the first 4 of the 5 weeks (we had to pay for the full program, naturally), and then will go to Chautauqua. They offered all admitted students full scholarships this year, which makes it financially affordable. Chautauqua is planning for two full performances in their outdoor amphitheater during the 4-week program and my DD is dying to get back on stage, so that’s why we’re willing to double-up this summer. So, she’ll get 8-weeks of training with (fingers-crossed, pandemic conditions allowing) 2 shows. 
 

This will only leave 2-3 weeks for college application ‘boot camp’ at the end of August, so it will be another full summer for her!

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28 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

Did anyone ever leave a school (studio) because it wasn't the right fit for your dancer?  What  made you do it?  Was it the right choice looking back? 

This choice is so difficult when you have multiple kids.  But we have had a lot of signs, but stuff keeps happening.  There has been a lot of stuff.  I am not sure when you say enough is enough.  And to make it more difficult, it feels like it is a good place for some of my kids, but not others. 

I've had kids at two different dance schools at times because of different needs (i.e. some children with one school, some with another.)

Edited by maize
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46 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

Did anyone ever leave a school (studio) because it wasn't the right fit for your dancer?  What  made you do it?  Was it the right choice looking back? 

This choice is so difficult when you have multiple kids.  But we have had a lot of signs, but stuff keeps happening.  There has been a lot of stuff.  I am not sure when you say enough is enough.  And to make it more difficult, it feels like it is a good place for some of my kids, but not others. 

We’ve definitely left a dance studio (and, similarly, a barn for my equestrian), but I only had one dancer (and rider) to consider.  I guess it comes down to meeting the needs of your neediest child. If current studio is a bad fit (not just a not ideal fit) for at least one child, I’d consider moving them all. I suppose you could split them, but that becomes logistically complicated. 

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I had two dancers at one point and one was very serious (the now 13-year old) and one danced only for fun and exercise (the now 20-year old who is studying to become a physicist). They danced at different studios and they needed different things. My younger dancer was at the "best" local ballet studio with a "pre-professional" program (though in the time we were there no one made it straight from the studio to a contract). My older dancer was at a much less serious, less ballet focused studio and enjoyed taking lots of styles of dance and getting to perform and compete.

This school year, we left the studio my 13-year old had been at since she was six or seven. There were a number of reasons we left, and so far it feels like the right decision. I'm sure there are people who think we were crazy to leave as she was definitely the studio darling getting all the solo roles for her level for the whole time she was there, which made relationships with some of her classmates a challenge. Not to get into too many details, but the studio was harder (in a not always healthy way) on the kids who they felt had real potential, and it ended up messing with her head. She is now so much happier and rediscovering her love of dancing. I think we know where she will land in the fall, but even if the place we think she will go doesn't work out, she has no desire to go back to where she was. 

As for summer, she is trying the intensive at the local studio where we think we want to send her in the fall. On the surface, it's not as "good" of a studio as her old studio, but their virtual classes have been doing wonders for her self confidence and love of dance, so we are hoping she likes it enough to want to go there in the fall. We are in an area where she is likely going to have to go away for training at some point if she wants a chance to make it professionally, so being at a "less prestigious" studio isn't as much of an issue as it would be if we had a local studio that was training professional dancers.

Good luck finding the best fit for each of your dancers!

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We left a studio that, in hindsight, was downright abusive to BalletBoy. I still get angry when I think about it. The studio has since changed directors and I hear better things, but they were so bad. The culture was so toxic. I kept chocking it up to "but ballet is like that." I have been floored over the last couple of years at how much more kind, supportive, and growth-mindset oriented the more professional studio has been. Zero regrets other than having not left sooner. This studio believes in my kid. The old studio's whole goal was to tear my kid down.

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My daughter has been at two studios and they have been wonderful.   It is not always clear who the directors think the best dancers are -- the kids all know, but they are all pushed equally.  They try their best to make corrections for everyone, they cycle students in and out of roles pretty fairly, and most importantly they just foster the sense that everyone is there to support each other.  

It's nice being able to listen in on the classes -- right now my daughter has two main ballet teachers (husband and wife) and the husband is ALWAYS encouraging, while the wife is much stricter.  BUT all the corrections are followed with enthusiasm  when the student gets it right and there is always chit chat before and after just to see how the kids are doing.  You can tell how much they care.

 

This summer we weren't really going to do much, with all the housing that seemed to be disappearing.  So my daughter applied to ABT virtual (and got in) and at the last minute applied to Richmond Ballet.  Her best East Coast friend is going and her mother crazily and generously offered to put my dd up for the whole time and transport her.  So fingers crossed for that one -- the girls would be in HEAVEN.  5 weeks with their best friend!!!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update, my daughter got accepted to Richmond, so she will be heading there for five weeks this summer.  She is beyond excited -- not only will she get to do something in person, but she will be with her best friend for five weeks.  I am so excited for her! 

Edited by SanDiegoMom
edited months to weeks!
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4 hours ago, SanDiegoMom said:

Update, my daughter got accepted to Richmond, so she will be heading there for five weeks this summer.  She is beyond excited -- not only will she get to do something in person, but she will be with her best friend for five months.  I am so excited for her! 

Awww that is such great news.  Congrats to her.  I hope she has a great summer. 

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  • 4 months later...
On 1/31/2020 at 10:49 PM, Farrar said:

Three weeks in San Francisco. Two weeks in NC for BBSI. BBSI is weird because it's not prestigious but the training is really good and it's this boy ballet secret. We'll see what we think. Families who have done it are really into it.

Did your son end up going to BBSI last year?

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3 hours ago, mommyoffive said:

Did your son end up going to BBSI last year?

Nope. He needed a zoom break from dance and we weren’t doing in person anything at that point. This year, it overlaps SFB, where he is now.

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