I'm really tired of the "rules don't apply to me" people...

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Posted 6/17/2013 by pheestand in NSBR Board

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PeaNut 164,125
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Posted: 6/17/2013 12:52:40 PM
Find a new place to go. If she's unhappy with the instruction etc., time to move on.

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PeaNut 15,064
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Posted: 6/17/2013 12:53:48 PM
hard to do, but you/she should move on if other studio available - that is a beautiful move she can do!


PeaNut 40,642
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Posted: 6/17/2013 12:58:32 PM
Definitely find a new studio.

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PeaNut 49,641
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Posted: 6/17/2013 1:01:10 PM
That would be maddening. DS(13) is a member of a professional children's choir. Attendance, dress, memorisation schedules, behavioural standards - all strictly enforced.

Their top choir has a mandatory week-long camp at the beginning of the year. Last year, a girl got homesick and called her parents to pick her up, and she was bumped down to a lower choir. This year, a boy was two hours late for the rehearsal on the day of their final performance and he lost his solo.

The standards are tough but, other than the few issues noted above, the kids live up to them.

Jo Mama


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Pastafarian Pea

PeaNut 11,942
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Posted: 6/17/2013 1:03:56 PM
The truth is the same rules do not apply to everyone. They vary based on a load of factors outside an individual's control and the best lesson is to learn how to deal with that. She can decide to push for change from within or vote with her feet and leave.


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PeaNut 100,403
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Posted: 6/17/2013 1:06:25 PM
I would research and find a new studio that will support what's best for your daughter. I think I would also ask her what does she want to do with her life and how does she see her getting there. Have her know and understand this current studio is not going to get her there all the way and while it was a good place to start it's not going to help her in the long haul and in reality it make take several studios to get her where she wants. Food for thought anyways to help her leave the comfort of what she has known for the past 12 years.

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Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 497,090
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Posted: 6/17/2013 1:07:30 PM
If she is serious then you need a studio that isn't a competition studio.

Swiss Army Beth

PeaNut 49,101
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Posted: 6/17/2013 1:26:34 PM
I hear you and was in the exact same position a year ago with my then 10 year old dancer and this year with my 15 year old soccer player. We left the old studio for the new one- it's stricter, more successful, bigger (!) and further away. She's now in the back of every dance instead of front and center, but learning so much and loving every minute of it. Her technique has grown by leaps and bounds (hehe), and she's learned that organization and being prepared is worth it. I wish I had listened to her two years ago and switched when she first started asking...

I'd check out other studios, even if they're further away. Maybe there are carpool options? That's what we do, and it helps a ton.


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PeaNut 526,154
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Posted: 6/17/2013 1:35:40 PM
I agree that the same rules don't apply to everyone in life.

I had this same kind of frustration when I went back to school. I busted my butt to take the hardest classes, I was frequently the only person in the class who came prepared, and I worked really hard on my projects. While total slackers who even slept in class still got relatively good grades, bc the grading was easy.

It was frustrating but one of the lessons I learned is that I have to do my best bc I am self motivated to improve. I was paying $2200 a class for my degree like everyone else. If they all wanted to blow their money and sit in class chatting on FB with the boyfriend while the professor was speaking, that's on them.

It's a hard lesson.

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PeaNut 526,154
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Posted: 6/17/2013 1:37:49 PM
And keep in mind, as you say,your daughter is an excellent dancer, far advanced of her peers. A LOT of that comes from YOUR support, and YOUR training. You get her there on time, you make sure she has the right equipment, etc. Without your support she would be hard pressed to do as well, no matter what her talent.

Your job is to support her (you are) and raise her to be the best person she can (by your family definition). Which you are doing. She cannot be driven by the prioritites or values of other people -- only her own.


PeaNut 142,266
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Posted: 6/17/2013 2:01:37 PM
I would discuss all the options with your daughter and let her make the final decision.


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PeaNut 308,186
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Posted: 6/17/2013 2:17:00 PM
I don't know anything about dance but I can tell you as a sports mom, it's the same everywhere unfortunately.

It seems the studio owners, sports organizations, etc. aren't going to force everyone to follow the rules (they need the money and don't want to risk losing 'customers' if they piss off the parents). So I don't see that changing. Won't a new studio just be more of the same?

I say keep doing what you're doing. YOU know you're doing it the right way and your daughter will too, especially when she's older and looks back on it all. There are lessons here that aren't even dance-related.

In sports there's private coaching, the best being one-on-one instruction to supplement the team thing. That is where your child, who chooses to excel, can really get the instruction and props they deserve. Is there an equivalent in the dance world?

Good luck and hang in there! It's hard

She who peas to avoid grading papers

PeaNut 9,119
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Posted: 6/17/2013 2:44:04 PM
If she's serious about dance, as in possibly making it her career, maybe competitive situations are not the best. A studio and classes that do not depend on the schedules of others might be the best route. I had private dance lessons all during my childhood and I learned far more than I did when I took group sessions. Maybe it's time to make the change?

Shelley in WA

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PeaNut 8,771
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Posted: 6/17/2013 2:49:29 PM
Your daughter can only control her own behavior. If the school is not going to enforce the rules and the girls in your daughter's level aren't as serious as she is, you have a couple of options.

1) Find a new school
2) Voice your concerns to existing school

I would have a problem if I were paying for lessons and not learning because other kids were missing class and needing to be caught up. They should catch up in their own time, not on your daughter's lesson time.


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PeaNut 88,246
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Posted: 6/17/2013 3:06:46 PM
I'm not a dance mom, but just wanted to say I support you and LOVE the dance photo on your original post!

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PeaNut 463,630
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Posted: 6/17/2013 3:08:16 PM
My DD did comp dance this year, and it was fun, but...she wants a more serious environment. Her number one pet peeve was girls goofing in class, girls with sloppy hair, girls missing rehearsal just because...and no consequences. the biggest offenders are the owners grand daughter and her main ballet teachers daughter, so..? it's not so bad we wouldn't stay, if this was a fun hobby, but DD wants it to be more than a fun hobby.

She just auditioned at a large ballet school attached to a professional company Saturday. Obviously, if ballet is not your DD thing (it is my daughters thing, thus leaving the comp world entirely) but there are definitely studios (comp and those who do not compete) with stricter behavior standards and more professional running. Find one! Its hard to leave somewhere you are comfortable with, but your DD has to make that choice to grow as a dancer. No seems throwing money away of she can't learn at her full potential.


PeaNut 359,474
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Posted: 6/17/2013 3:38:50 PM
Imagine the heartbreak she will face if she gets denied admittance to Juilliard, and that should guide your decision.


PeaNut 315,499
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Posted: 6/17/2013 3:48:22 PM

I think we're at a fork in the road. I'm trying to comfort her at the same time let her know that if she isn't happy where she's at, then we need to search out other alternatives. She's afraid to leave the comfort of her home studio, yet, some days can't stand to go there. It's a large commitment of time, money and energy and I feel if she's not reaching her goals there and is really unhappy, then we need to do something before the next season starts, which is in 3 weeks.

This speaks volumes, and it's a life lesson. I work with several people right now who aren't happy, and for valid reasons, with the work environment but it's "safe" to stay here. Now is a good time to say, yes it's scary to see what else is out there, but there is also opportunity with a different dance company to be challenged etc. This is not the last time she's going to find herself in an environment where she's not happy but the prospect of change is scary, and as she grows the change has much larger stakes than what they are now.

See what else is out there, and make the choice that is going to keep her challenged and engaged.

Sequin Sewer

PeaNut 140,337
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Posted: 6/17/2013 4:19:28 PM

If she is serious then you need a studio that isn't a competition studio.

THIS. 100% It's easy to pick out the competition kids in a crowded audition. Get her out of there, if she's really serious.

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PeaNut 272,510
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Posted: 6/17/2013 4:54:44 PM
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PeaNut 71,090
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Posted: 6/17/2013 4:59:02 PM
[If she is serious then you need a studio that isn't a competition studio.

THIS. 100% It's easy to pick out the competition kids in a crowded audition. Get her out of there, if she's really serious. [/quote]

This isn't necessarily true. Me dd did competitive dance as well as trained at a professional school. Both offered quality training and had their benefits. While her dance career ended as a jr in college due to an Achilles injury, she has many friends who have succeeded in the dance field professionally and they received their training from competitive studios.

It all depends on the quality of the instruction.

PEAceful Pea

PeaNut 14,521
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Posted: 6/17/2013 9:51:46 PM
That would drive me crazy too.

We flew over the weekend. On the way there they guy in front of me kept reclining his seat right after we were told seat backs up for take off or landing. They had to remind him countless times, he would just recline again as soon as they left. On the way home they made the "everything with an on/off switch" needs to be turned off speech and she kept reading away on her Kindle.


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PeaNut 38,879
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Posted: 6/17/2013 10:01:05 PM

he would just recline again as soon as they left.
Cindi, that is when my knees would keep finding the back of his seat. Yes, passive aggressive, but oh, so satisfying.


Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 274,935
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Posted: 6/17/2013 10:17:55 PM
My dd switched studios 3 times if I remember correctly. She danced with the Kirov ballet and with Paris Opera. Switching was the only way she would have gotten the training she needed. We left a lot of friends behind, but it was what she wanted.

I'd sit her down and talk about the differences between different studios and see if she really wants to change. It might be good to sit down with the studio owner to talk about her progress and she what things she needs to improve on. You might find out then why she wasn't moved up. Sometimes it's not about technique but the group age for competitions.

I'm curious as to why she's doing gymnastics. Dd wasn't allowed to take gymnastics at any studio. In fact girls were cut at auditions that had that gymnast type stance. There was a real fine line before you got to that point. I can best describe it as they sat in their hips with their pelvis tilted downwards. Ok, that might not make sense at all after I read it.


PeaNut 566,163
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Posted: 6/17/2013 10:39:04 PM
I understand where your daughter is coming from, I was in her shoes. I also was at studio in first walled lake and then Farmington hills (which has since become another studio). Since we are neighbors, I'm wondering if I've heard of the studios you are talking about.

Having become a dance teacher myself (but have been out of it for a good while) all I can say is that 1) the teachers notice whether they will do something obviously or not and 2) she will have to deal with this in school and in life so it is a good lesson for her to learn. If it bothers her personally, then I would have her discuss with the teacher she feels closest to(perhaps after a solo session). Have her focus on what she is looking for in developing herself and what the teacher thinks she can do to achieve those goals. If she can have the discussion as a mature adult (no whining) then you won't come off in a way to have any repercussions against your daughter, and she will hopefully learn to either make the best of her situation or get some closure to know that it is "ok" to move on.

Good luck!


PeaNut 240,579
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Posted: 6/17/2013 10:45:54 PM
Nothing helpful to add on the dance front but I really detest the parents at school who park right in front of the "no parking" sign or at corners which essentially back up the whole street. Why they think that there convenience is more important than anyone else's or the SAFETY of every other kid trying to cross who is now in other driver's blind spot is beyond me.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 29,331
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Posted: 6/17/2013 11:15:13 PM
I would think that by moving to another studio she would possibly learn different things. it seems like you are wasting your money if she isn't being pushed to learn more.

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PeaNut 176,832
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Posted: 6/18/2013 7:45:17 AM
I'll just toss in one "other side of the coin" for you.

It is absolutely the most stressful situation for a teen girl to be in when she is placed in the tough situation of being on a competitive team AND a high school team. Please don't downplay the importance of the high school teams; in fact, those very athletes are crucial to the success of the high school's season. They are pursued and sought by the coaches of the high schools, and these athletes pull the admirable double duty of both pleasing their competitive coaches and their high school coaches. It's also a double-edged sword because it places the child in the precarious position of having to please both comp coach and school coach. The coaches ALL SAY they "understand" the practicing conflict, but most of the time they don't. And the attitude and punishing of the students who are torn between missing one or the other practice is horrible. BTDT.


PeaNut 146,398
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Posted: 6/18/2013 7:47:28 AM
I deal with this at school all.the.time. The parents can be awful, but it's when the rules are not enforced for the KIDS that I get crazy. IMHO, if we as a school are not going to enforce the rules, then we need to quit calling them "rules" and start calling them "suggestions," because that's what they are. By not enforcing rules, we are actively teaching the kids that they don't have to follow them.

DS had a teacher this year whose rules were crystal-clear, and the consequences were logical and meted out equally across all students. You should have heard the outcry from the parents! That teacher is my hero. He was always available for extra help, he was happy to meet with parents, and he had the utmost repect for his students. One of the ways he showed that respect was having high expectations. DS (and many classmates) rose to those expectations and did higher-quality work than he ever thought he could.

Slightly off-topic: what is the difference in philosophy and/or technique between a "competition" studio and a traditional studio? How would an audition panel see a difference between dancers trained at comp. vs. non-comp. studios?

It's all just nonsense anyway!

PeaNut 97,456
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Posted: 6/18/2013 7:54:21 AM
I know nothing about dance, but I LOVE the pic you posted!!


PeaNut 15,108
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Posted: 6/18/2013 8:24:43 AM

The truth is the same rules do not apply to everyone. They vary based on a load of factors outside an individual's control and the best lesson is to learn how to deal with that. She can decide to push for change from within or vote with her feet and leave.

I agree with this. And, also, I trained in dance growing up, and the truth is that dance, like everything else, is not fair. My oldest trains at the school part of a studio that has a professional division for a major ballet company, and they are about as rigid as you can get, which leads to its own issues--let's say (we are a big city) that there is unexpected traffic gridlock, and your child is ten minutes late to a 2.5 hour class? Guess what, she is still required to be there because you canno skip, but she will have to sit out the whole thing.


PeaNut 145,403
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Posted: 6/18/2013 8:41:43 AM
Wow I feel like I wrote this, down to helping with costumes and backstage. We are dealing with the exact same thing at our studio. It is so frustrating for my daughter who is dealing with the same thing. She goes to classes and has passed up a lot of school opportunities because she signed up for company where others do the school play and basketball and miss countless practices. She really likes the comradery she has built with some of the girls. I have suggested we move studios but she has built some good friendships and doesn't want to be the "new" girl at another studio. You are right too, if I speak up then my daughter faces the consequences of a complaining mother. Good luck.


PeaNut 472,567
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Posted: 6/18/2013 8:43:37 AM
I'm not sure who all you are frustrated with: other parents, the studio, other dancers, your daughter, life????

The studio should be enforcing their rules.

It's your job to raise your child, it's not your job to raise others. It's also not your job to be so "observant" of others, especially teens, in order to compare. But then, I just did 10 years of ballet and not in a "competition" studio. IMHO, competition studios arrange all choreography to "win" and not necessarily learn good dance skills. I get that they play to the individual or group strengths, but I believe that it is at the expense of learning good technique in being a well-rounded dancer.

If you are not happy with your daughter not being moved up, your daughter should ask her teacher, "What do I need to do to improve in order to move up?".

If you're not getting what you want from the studio in terms of instruction, recognition, rule enforcement, progression, etc., regardless of your daughter's "comfort level" and driving convenience, then move on.

You are buying a service from a business.

The truth is the same rules do not apply to everyone. They vary based on a load of factors outside an individual's control and the best lesson is to learn how to deal with that. She can decide to push for change from within or vote with her feet and leave.

I agree with the above.

ETA: I go crazy when I watch "Dance Moms", many times those girls have not so great basic dance technique. A year or so ago, they went to New York and auditioned for Joffrey summer classes I think (?). Maddie and Chloe's lack of some basic ballet technique was in full view.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 479,777
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Posted: 6/18/2013 10:14:36 AM
We were forced to change studios two years ago. My DD is much younger than yours, and I believe has potential to do really well, but she wasn't pushed to do more at her former studio. I was reluctant to move her because she felt comfortable with her teacher (she has a speech issue so is very shy around people she doesn't know) and it was convenient. There were the same problems with girls who blatantly disregarded the rules as well as they were just disrespectful.

The dance teacher retired, so we were forced to look around. I found her another studio -- it's an inconvenient drive and she had a rough few weeks (not because of the teachers, who were amazing with her), but because she knew she wasn't up to the other girls her age, but she came through it stronger and is such a great dancer. Her progress has been amazing, and she's happier because she's learning, she knows what to expect and she has made a ton of new friends.

So I'd take the leap and go.

ETA We do not do competitive dance, although her studio has a very good team.


PeaNut 123,049
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Posted: 6/18/2013 10:27:03 AM
We had a similar experience with my DD, who is now 17 and just finished up with her high school dance "career".

She danced at a recreation studio that dabbled in competition here and there. Pretty much everything you typed, I could have: one of the few dressed appropriately, always in class, helped backstage and with costumes, etc. And there were plenty of girls who did none of those things and no consequence for doing so.

My DD is a talented dancer, if I do say so myself as a mom, and was frustrated at times with the other girls not taking class seriously.

Meanwhile, my husband's niece, who is about 10 years older had just finished *her* high school dance "career" around the time we were toying with switching for a more challenging experience and a studio where all the dancers were more serious. She went to an elite competition studio, where all the rules were enforced strictly, and the dancers were significantly disciplined. She graduated, taught dance for a couple of years while she was in college (maybe only one year), and that was that. All that time, all that money, and it's done.

And taking that into consideration, that at the end of the day, the elite compeition studio and a recreational studio had the same outcome, we decided to stay where her friends are. We felt fairly certain that we'd encounter similar frustrations at a new studio, or trade ours for new ones, so the benefits didn't seem to outweigh the risks for our situation.

Our focus for the past 5 years or so has been to turn her attention to the benefits she can actually use: enjoying the classes, expressing herself with dance, working as a group to accomplish a goal (great show), exercise, etc. Now that she's graduating and heading to college to study topics totally unrelated to dance, she's happy she stayed (and has been for awhile). Just sharing our experience.

So, I type all that to say you and your DD need to really consider what she's hoping to get out of dance. If she's not looking to be professional, how happy will she be at a serious ballet studio? Maybe another competition studio or even a more performance based but still recreational studio would be a better fit. Or maybe she'll ultimately be just as happy where she's at.

IDK, sometimes, I just feel this generation of parents have been almost duped into spending boat loads of money on competitive dance, travel teams, etc. when our kids would get just as much out of other experiences on a more recreational level. I'm not saying that's what the OP is talking about, but that is rattling around in my head as we discuss the situation.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 274,935
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Posted: 6/18/2013 10:59:34 AM
I'm just going to throw this out there for what it's worth.

If she's 15, then that's often the time to either train professionally as a career, or keep dancing to have fun. Training for a career usually means 30-35 hours a week on ballet and point work. There's very little time for any school activities. High school and all the experiences it comes with are gone.

If she doesn't want that, she needs to find a happy medium. It does sound like she wants more than the group is offering now, but doesn't want to make the jump into a career. That's ok, but she does want to be challenged more and I get that.

I would encourage her to talk to the director or studio owner herself. May sure its time she has scheduled so the person has time to talk and not be rushing off to teach another class. I certainly wouldn't approach her myself, dance moms can be a bit pushy and even if you're not it might come off that way.

As far as the rules not being followed, even some under paid contracts don't follow them. It happens in every type of situation out there.


PeaNut 217,769
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Posted: 6/18/2013 12:50:49 PM
Although some have great experiences with competition, it just was something I never wanted for my daughter. Her last studio would have eventually had her compete so we switched schools to a non-competitive dance studio. I'm really happy with my decision.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 11,642
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Posted: 6/18/2013 12:53:54 PM
Very frustrating! Former competitive dance mom here...(And so glad to put that former in there!)

In my experience, it's strange relationship because the parents/dancers aren't just team members, they are customers. No studio wants to lose customers, especially when they're paying for private classes etc.

I'm glad you found a studio to audition for. I echo the other comments, that if your daughter wants to get more serious, she should move to a more ballet focused studio. Even if she doesn't want to dance professionally, she will probably find the girls more serious there. (That's based on me watching my daughter's friends who dance at a variety of studios.)
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