Forum: Adults / Parents Only

Advice please. Am I expecting way too much?
By dancehof
On Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:31 AM

My daughter has danced for some years with her current dance studio. The group of kids at her age level is great and so are the parents. Highly competitive company, good numbers, can't complain on that end.

Studio practices are tolerable. Inconsistent at times. Rules apply to everyone except a certain few for certain situations. Some families closer to management than others. OK.

The concern is the possible progression of the group to the older level and exposure to older groups that are immature, disrespectful at times, not always good sports, favoritism, and the like. Of course not all are like that, but there is a silent tolerance of bad behavior from the chosen ones by both students and parents. No one wants to rock the boat. I've heard many stories that make me shake my head in frustration. Personally, I don't want my daughter emulating these "role models". This includes the female teacher who has questionable, what I consider is over-the-line tight friendships with some the girls. I know many other moms in our group who share the same concern.

It's a very difficult topic to just go to the office and discuss. It will create hurt feelings. I doubt it will change much as some have tried to bring the issue up. It was met with dancers being told in class to stop "running to your parents".

I'm really concerned for my daughter. Most of her off time is spent dancing. She loves it and loves her group. At this age, I want to be able to drop her off and not worry. In light of this, I will find it hard to do so.

Am I expecting too much that my daughter have positive role models and an environment condusive to growth in both dance and self confidence?

3 Replies to Advice please. Am I expecting way too much?

re: Advice please. Am I expecting way too much?
By LoriCook
On Tue Apr 13, 2010 01:01 AM
Your child is going to run into inconsistent adults and bratty older kids in school, in activities, in sports...The way I handle it talk to my child about the issue and reinforce the good behavior he shows.

For example: you could say "have you noticed the way some of the girls talk back to the teacher? I sure don't like that, I am glad you don't act that way-you are polite during class, I am proud of you." You don't have to mention specific names and your child should know that it isn't necessary for her to point out when other girls are "being bad" or to tattle on them. This can lead to a discussion about when it is ok to "tell" on someone and what boundaries are.

My son had a friend's mom who was way too interested in him. Not in a sexual way but just wanting to be his mother and being intrusive. We had many good talks about boundaries because of her.

You have to make sure the child knows that teachers/adults are to be shown respect but they are not perfect and don't always act the way they should. Sometimes they play favorites. Sometimes they break the rules.

As I repeatedly say to my kids "life isn't fair, learn to deal with it." People who don't learn to deal with unfairness will be continually agitated and unhappy. Instead of viewing this negatively, this could be a good teachable time for you and your daughter.
re: Advice please. Am I expecting way too much? (karma: 2)
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:28 PM
If it's not the environment that you're after, there ARE other studios to go to.

When my son started dance, we started at a studio that was about 5 minutes from the house. We moved, and it became about 20 minutes. My gramma was SHOCKED that I'd continue to drive (there are two dance studios in the town that I live in now, in fairness) to the studio we started at.

I went "Why wouldn't I? They work so hard at providing age appropriate things for the kids to do, the SO treats James like he's hers, and he loves her. Why wouldn't I go back?"

So, if it's a better environment you're after, then go to another studio.

When I was a kid, I became the new kid on a pretty established competition team. I was coming from the "rival" studio on the other side of town, because the rival studio had closed. I was also coming from the farthest behind (at the point that I joined the team, I'd been dancing 2 years. The star of the team had been dancing since she could walk. Yeah. You can see where that was going, right?)

We fought. Everybody on the team hated everybody else. And it wasn't much helped by the fact that our directors fed that a little bit.

One night, we got sat down, and got a lecture about how if there were problems within the team, then they needed to stay within the team, and we didn't need to go back to our parents (sound familiar?).

I wish like anything that my mom had pulled me out of that. There wasn't really anyplace to go - it was the only studio in town, and my mom wasn't willing to drive more than the 30 minutes it took to get to that particular studio.

The reason I wish my mom had pulled me out of that environment? Not because it was unfair, or anything like that - because it wasn't a good place for a kid. You can't take a group of 10 to 13 year olds, and treat them like 30 year olds. You can't ask a 10 year old to make adult decisions. A 10 year old is a kid! That's why there's always adults around 10 year olds - their kids! They can't make grown up decisions!

So I learned alot, and ultimately became a better dancer because of being there, but I wish my mom had taken me out, because I feel like it wasn't a good environment to have a kid in.
re: Advice please. Am I expecting way too much?
By dancehof
On Mon Apr 26, 2010 09:35 PM
Thanks for your input. Theresa, appreciate your being so candid about the past. It sounds like you were in a tough environment. Yes, many of the things you said sounded so familiar! Luckily, the girls in her group are good eggs (for now...). I'm a bit disappointed because she stated she really isn't ready to leave her friends or leave just yet. I am still keeping options open though.


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