Forum: Advice / Girls & Guys

Dance sponser making people uncomfortable?
By AriBri
On Mon Nov 28, 2016 07:45 PM
Moved to Girls & Guys by Sumayah (204191) on 2016-11-29 16:47:20 better subforum for your question - "tell" is more for issues with the actual forum interface

The last school i attended had a drill team (texas dance team), but my current one does not. So i decided to start one.

Things have been going okay but i am upset with how slow things have been in making it especially since i already know what is needed and have it.

The sponser, (To start a club or sport you need a teacher to sponser) is gossiping about girls during practice and it makes some of the new dancers few like attacked like its not a safe place.

Also she used to be cheer coach and I feel like she dosent understand that dance and cheer are VERY different.

I am the only one I know of with drill team experience and I wish she would stop trying to turn dance into cheer or gossiping about others or saying we should use things from cheer into our dances that need to be different due to drill policy.

Its like fighting against the way I know things should be and sitting there and seeing as it goes wrong.

if anyone has tips on how to train new dancers in leaps and turns and kicks, I'd be more than happy to take in tips!

please help..

3 Replies to Dance sponser making people uncomfortable?

re: Dance sponser making people uncomfortable?
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Mon Nov 28, 2016 09:22 PM
College or high school? There should be someone above your sponsor that you can go to and see what the procedure is if your sponsor is not being a positive influence on your club. See if you can meet with them and the sponsor and explain your feelings--that the sponsor seems to be steering the group towards cheer instead of dance, and that the participants are looking for a more inclusive, nurturing space opposed to a competitive/critical space.
re: Dance sponser making people uncomfortable?
By AriBri
On Tue Nov 29, 2016 02:45 PM
High school, the sponser is a teacher

I don't want to offend her and make it seem wrong in her eyes. Because I know when you disagree with people they find it offensive even if you might know what you're doing

Thank you for replying also
re: Dance sponser making people uncomfortable?
By Sumayah
On Wed Nov 30, 2016 01:09 AM
You are definitely in a difficult position.

As a teenager, you aren't given say in how things play out, you have to defer to the adults around you who are in charge. That does not mean you have to stand idly by and watch your team implode, though. There are things you can do to help point the team in the right direction.

Texas dance teams are almost as iconic as Texas football. For those unfamiliar, drill teams or dance teams in Texas are A BIG DEAL. Like kinda bigger than cheerleading. Here's the Kilgore College Rangerettes as an example of a dance team kickline:

Highschool dance teams will do a kickline, pompon routine, and usually some type of lyrical and/or contemporary dance, jazz dance, hip hop, and a variety/prop routine. Not only do they perform at halftimes, they perform for pep rallys, they typically have at least two-three stage shows involving the feeder middle schools and occasionally the local dance studios, and they have multiple periods of dance a day. There is a hierarchy- Captain - who usually wears all white; sometimes a Co-Captain but more frequently you'all have 1st and 2nd Lieutenants, and other officers. Each grade has it's own group, and Freshmen typically spend a year as "babies" before they get accepted as full team members. Choreography is often hired out to local professionals, as well as set by the Director and Assistant Director. It's definitely it's own culture.

And if you haven't grown up with it, then it doesn't make sense. So if you're in an area where dance teams aren't as pervasive as your school in Texas, it's understandable that the cheer coach doesn't get it. She knows how to run cheer, which *is* very different, even though there are similar elements. If your sponsor has only known cheer culture, then she's going to want to run things that way.

My best suggestion is to call a meeting with your sponsor, have a parent present as witness, and then calmly explain how you're feeling in regards to the atmosphere of the group and the goals you would like to help your group accomplish. So for instance, write down a list and bring it with you. It should outline all the points you wish to touch upon. Don't point fingers, because that never goes well. Focus on how you feel and what you are willing to do to help.

1) I would like to help foster an environment where the dancers upbuild and encourage each other.
2) I would like see the team establish a demerit system for persons who are absent, tardy, or are speaking/spreading gossip about fellow team members. List the demerits you would want to see put in place/voted on by the team - additional kickline, cleaning the dance space, unable to perform for X number of games, etc.
3) I would like to see the team work on the technique of X style.
4) I would like to see the team perform during X or have X performances.

Stuff like that. If the teacher either won't listen, ignores you, or changes for a brief time before slipping back to the way she's accustomed, then you take it to the Vice Principal or Principal. Here again, don't frame it in a finger-pointy way (adults typically side with adults), but at that point explain that you had brought your ideas to Ms. Cheer Coach but are disappointed that none of the suggestions had been implemented. Ask them for their advice in communicating with Ms. Cheer Coach better. Tell them that you understand that as the sponsor she has say in how the group is run, however you would like to be able to implement some ideas based on your experience on a dance team previously. Let them know that you respect her and her ideas, but you would like to feel heard. That way it addresses the problems with a higher up under the guise of asking for help. And either they'll speak to her themselves or give you pointers on how to approach the teacher in a way she'll be receptive. If that doesn't work, petition the school board. If it's worth fighting for, then fight for it.

Also, realize that it's not going to happen overnight. If this team is a new inception this year with you, realize that you're laying the groundwork for the club's future. Honestly, you won't get them up to the standard of the team you left behind in Texas, most of those teams have decades of history, but you can get the team off to the right start so it can grow and develop over future years.

TL:DR - be respectful, present your positive ideas for the team, failing that ask for help further up the school hierarchy.


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