Bolshoi summer intensive, experience with staff
By cynthia100
On 07/04/2015 22:54:54
Hello. My daughter, a college senior, was hired as an acting instructor for the Bolshoi SI in Connecticut. She was having a great experience and then was summarily terminated after just about two weeks. No reason given. Has anyone had any kind of similar strange/negative experience with the Russian American Foundation that runs this program? Have any SI students experienced having a staff member disappear overnight, and been told "she had to leave due to a family emergency"? (Yes, they are lying to the students about why my daughter is no longer there) I know this is not exactly dance-related but I am trying to find out if this is something that has occurred before with this program. I thank you for your attention.
re: Bolshoi summer intensive, experience with staff
By ballerina_bella1
On 08/07/2015 16:44:18
Hello! I went to Bolshoi Connecticut this summer, and took classes with your daughter! I remember she was gone after two weeks, and we never got an answer from the staff as to why she left, but word around the school was that she had a family emergency. All I can say is that she was a great and friendly teacher and I don't know why she would be terminated! That's really weird and wrong that the staff would lie about it?? Anyways, tell her ryzhova girls said hello!
re: Bolshoi summer intensive, experience with staff
By ballerina_bella1
On 08/07/2015 16:45:23
Hello! I went to Bolshoi Connecticut this summer, and took classes with your daughter! I remember she was gone after two weeks, and we never got an answer from the staff as to why she left, but word around the school was that she had a family emergency. All I can say is that she was a great and friendly teacher and I don't know why she would be terminated! Anyways, tell her ryzhova girls said hello!
re: Bolshoi summer intensive, experience with staff
By Serendipity42
On 08/08/2015 23:17:13
Has she written to the organization to find out the reason? If it had to do with her teaching (perhaps she was not following syllabus) or with something a student may have said, she needs to know so that it can be remedied. Sometimes it's simply "not a good fit" with these sorts of programs (including the possibility that a "friend" of the organization may have wanted the job instead....).
re: Bolshoi summer intensive, experience with staff
By nycsylph
On 08/11/2015 08:40:59
Hi cynthia100 - I was nodding while reading Serendipity's post. Those are all solid suggestions as to what happened. In my own travels, I've seen teachers with twenty years of experience run into trouble when they've inadvertently contradicted another teacher by teaching something slightly different than the prescribed methodology. It could be what happened here, or it could have been budgetary in that what your daughter was teaching could be covered by someone else. Then there's a friend of the program needing a job. I guess I'm just wondering if you could sort of feel them out rather than directly confronting them. I'm thinking this could be done by your daughter writing and asking for a letter of recommendation. If there were nothing personal going on, there wouldn't be a problem in getting this. I would make sure that she's very polite and honest. She could say how much she absolutely loved working at the Summer Intensive and was so sorry that it was cut short. Add that she would love to be considered for another position and that she gained so much by being associated with such a notable group of professionals. If they refuse a recommendation, I'm sure it'll be done very nicely, but you might read between the lines in terms of what they do say. I doubt it was a reflection on her, but you are chancing finding that out by following up. In terms of the "lie", I really wouldn't get upset by this. No professional organization is going to involve students in their decision making. The students came to learn about ballet and not get caught up in drama so I really would let that slide. And if they did have a problem with your daughter's approach (doubtful), the cover story really is for her benefit. I hope you and your daughter find out what you need to. Given that ballerina_bella1 posted such enthusiastic praise, this seems more political than anything else. And if that's the question, whether political decisions go on in who gets hired and who keeps teaching positions, the answer is a resounding yes. :)

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