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Astrid

Moving dance schools...

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Just wondering if anyone has any pearls of wisdom..DD is 8, she has been at her dance school since she was 3. We have always been really happy there. It’s quite a small dance school she is pretty much doing everything she can there. She recently started at elmhurst as a young dancer and is loving it, but now that she has, things are starting to clash. because it is quite small, there aren’t really any alternatives, so for example, she has recently had to stop modern, which she loved. 
There is a larger dance school which does a lot more, and can be more accommodating, and offer more opportunities (and have been fab at offering all sorts of solutions)  but while it makes sense on paper, we both feel a bit sad about leaving our current one - we feel a sort of loyalty. I think I know if she wants to continue doing more then we have to make the move, but it makes me feel bad!  DDs view is she is worried she won’t know anyone. she wants to do more dancing but is scared of not having friends..I don’t want to be a pushy mum who does things she is sad about, but she is too young to get it at the moment?

anyone got any good advice? 🙂 x

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53 minutes ago, Astrid said:

Just wondering if anyone has any pearls of wisdom..DD is 8, she has been at her dance school since she was 3. We have always been really happy there. It’s quite a small dance school she is pretty much doing everything she can there. She recently started at elmhurst as a young dancer and is loving it, but now that she has, things are starting to clash. because it is quite small, there aren’t really any alternatives, so for example, she has recently had to stop modern, which she loved. 
There is a larger dance school which does a lot more, and can be more accommodating, and offer more opportunities (and have been fab at offering all sorts of solutions)  but while it makes sense on paper, we both feel a bit sad about leaving our current one - we feel a sort of loyalty. I think I know if she wants to continue doing more then we have to make the move, but it makes me feel bad!  DDs view is she is worried she won’t know anyone. she wants to do more dancing but is scared of not having friends..I don’t want to be a pushy mum who does things she is sad about, but she is too young to get it at the moment?

anyone got any good advice? 🙂 x

My youngest DD moved dance studios when she was about 10. Out grew the old school and the cohort. Never looked back. No disrespect to the old studio but without the move we believe that she would not have had the opportunities and reached the standard for US at the right age. 
Which neither of us realised that this could even be a possibility when she moved. 

If you’ve already thought of moving then it has to be the right thing to do. Stick to your instincts and go for it. 🍀
No there’s no such thing as strangers, just friends you haven’t met yet. 🙆‍♀️☺️

Edited by balletbean
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Would it be possible to stay at the old school for ballet and do Jazz/ modern at the new school?

Some schools are very accommodating about pupils attending another school if it’s different styles of dance. I’m sure you’ve checked the new school credentials fully, but sometimes a school that offers ‘everything’  is not necessarily better in terms of ‘quality’ teaching. Maybe it is just time to bite the bullet and move on.

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Just what I was going to say Valentina as she is still quite young at 8 it’s not that you want to leave and the current teacher will pick that up I’m sure as you’ve been so happy up till now and the larger school shouldn’t be too worried about the income from one ballet class! 
There’s no harm in asking anyway

As she gets just a little older the problem of making new friends usually becomes less daunting 

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Why not ask to do a couple of trial classes at the new school? Also if you think dance might become serious in the future take a good look at the credentials of the new school before you jump ship. That should include the schools track record into getting students into full time training. Don’t feel bad about moving schools it’s quite normal 

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I suggest you speak to the principal and explain your dilemma.  

 

My dd's teacher was happy to let her go to classes at other schools (with her approval) to give my dd a broader range of experience which the school was not able to offer at the time.

 

The original school was always dd's 'home' school, even when she was older and probably doing more classes elsewhere.

 

Of course this depends entirely on the approach of the principal of your current school, but she may be happy to be flexible so as not to lose your dd.

 

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, Crystaltips said:

Why not ask to do a couple of trial classes at the new school? Also if you think dance might become serious in the future take a good look at the credentials of the new school before you jump ship. That should include the schools track record into getting students into full time training. Don’t feel bad about moving schools it’s quite normal 

Yes thank for this actually it’s a good idea and we are going to do it - think that would be flood all round! 
Going to speak to her current teacher also, I feel like they won’t let her do both schools unfortunately but it’s worth a try...it would be fab if she could do both it would solve it all in my head.. xx

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3 hours ago, Astrid said:

Going to speak to her current teacher also, I feel like they won’t let her do both schools unfortunately but it’s worth a try...it would be fab if she could do both it would solve it all in my head.. xx

There may be a conflict of interest if both schools have the same examining body.

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I was going to suggest looking at the possibility of her taking the modern class at the other dance school, Astrid. That way I guess you can dip your toe in, try it anyway, before making the move for ballet too. Also, it will solve the modern class problem in the meantime. It would be difficult for the original ballet school to argue given they have moved the class, which now makes it difficult. Good luck though, it's never nice having to sort this type of problem out x

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Hi @Astrid although I’m not able to offer any pearls of wisdom, it maybe comforting to know you’re not alone... I have different reasons for contemplating seeking another school locally which concentrates more so on Ballet. My DD dances across the genres & has festival / performance opportunities with her current school etc but we recently auditioned for Trings CBA & unfortunately my DD received a no. They kindly spoke with me (& without going into too much detail) my DD has all the credentials apart from an understanding pelvic alignment which requires more training. My DDs current school doesn’t promote associate programmes, vocational schools etc as I’m sure they’d prefer to keep it all in house (which is absolutely fine &

understandable) but we feel like me & my DD are going it alone. I would like to think my DD could stay at her current school & practice Ballet at another but I don’t think that’ll go down at all well! Please keep us updated! Xx

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I know it feels like a huge move, but my experience was that it was right to go. If the school is no longer giving your dd what she needs, then that’s the right time to move on. My dd felt huge loyalty to her old dance school and her friends there, and took well over a year to make the decision to go (and it was very hard, and involved a lot of tears) but looking back she’s clear that it was the right decision, and that (if anything) she wishes she’d moved sooner.

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21 hours ago, TKT said:

Hi @Astrid although I’m not able to offer any pearls of wisdom, it maybe comforting to know you’re not alone... I have different reasons for contemplating seeking another school locally which concentrates more so on Ballet. My DD dances across the genres & has festival / performance opportunities with her current school etc but we recently auditioned for Trings CBA & unfortunately my DD received a no. They kindly spoke with me (& without going into too much detail) my DD has all the credentials apart from an understanding pelvic alignment which requires more training. My DDs current school doesn’t promote associate programmes, vocational schools etc as I’m sure they’d prefer to keep it all in house (which is absolutely fine &

understandable) but we feel like me & my DD are going it alone. I would like to think my DD could stay at her current school & practice Ballet at another but I don’t think that’ll go down at all well! Please keep us updated! Xx

Hi TKT! 
yes I do understand this too! As our little journey has progressed I have found that we seem to come up against obstacles to thinking outside the traditional box so to speak...it’s so hard isn’t it! How old is your DD? There are lots of other opportunities for more ballet out there depending on where you are or what you can manage? good luck with your thoughts..it’s driving me a bit bonkers! haha...xxx

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On 09/12/2019 at 09:52, TinyNEDancer said:

I was going to suggest looking at the possibility of her taking the modern class at the other dance school, Astrid. That way I guess you can dip your toe in, try it anyway, before making the move for ballet too. Also, it will solve the modern class problem in the meantime. It would be difficult for the original ballet school to argue given they have moved the class, which now makes it difficult. Good luck though, it's never nice having to sort this type of problem out x

Thanks Tiny - got a feeling the new school wouldn’t like us just doing that, but gotta try I guess! 🤪

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2 hours ago, Confuddled said:

I know it feels like a huge move, but my experience was that it was right to go. If the school is no longer giving your dd what she needs, then that’s the right time to move on. My dd felt huge loyalty to her old dance school and her friends there, and took well over a year to make the decision to go (and it was very hard, and involved a lot of tears) but looking back she’s clear that it was the right decision, and that (if anything) she wishes she’d moved sooner.

Thank you for this, this is just how we are feeling! It’s good to hear from people who have done the same..xx

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1 hour ago, Astrid said:

Hi TKT! 
yes I do understand this too! As our little journey has progressed I have found that we seem to come up against obstacles to thinking outside the traditional box so to speak...it’s so hard isn’t it! How old is your DD? There are lots of other opportunities for more ballet out there depending on where you are or what you can manage? good luck with your thoughts..it’s driving me a bit bonkers! haha...xxx


Hi @Astrid - My DD is 10 & only started dancing this year but has thrived & has a real passion for ballet (although she’s a fab little dancer across the genres). How old is your DD? We’ve just started signing up to workshops & an Easter intensive with her current associate. I just have an intuitive niggle that she needs more regular / local ballet classes & another set of eyes. She would love to go to vocational school in YR 9 so we’ve only a couple of years to get the foundations right! Xx

Edited by TKT

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On 07/12/2019 at 13:41, Astrid said:

Just wondering if anyone has any pearls of wisdom..DD is 8, she has been at her dance school since she was 3. We have always been really happy there. It’s quite a small dance school she is pretty much doing everything she can there. She recently started at elmhurst as a young dancer and is loving it, but now that she has, things are starting to clash. because it is quite small, there aren’t really any alternatives, so for example, she has recently had to stop modern, which she loved. 
There is a larger dance school which does a lot more, and can be more accommodating, and offer more opportunities (and have been fab at offering all sorts of solutions)  but while it makes sense on paper, we both feel a bit sad about leaving our current one - we feel a sort of loyalty. I think I know if she wants to continue doing more then we have to make the move, but it makes me feel bad!  DDs view is she is worried she won’t know anyone. she wants to do more dancing but is scared of not having friends..I don’t want to be a pushy mum who does things she is sad about, but she is too young to get it at the moment?

anyone got any good advice? 🙂 x

Hi Astrid! No great pearls of wisdom, but just to say that we changed dance school twice before my dd found the dance school where she now thrives and gets excellent teaching across the disciplines. She didn't know anyone there at first but it didn't take long to make new friends and now she would never go back, even though she can see positive things about her old dance schools too. My only suggestion is to do a trial at the alternative one, and be open with your director at the current one. Age 8 is quite a good time to move in some ways, as they still have so many years ahead of them. Good luck with thinking it through! :)

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On 10/12/2019 at 21:13, TKT said:


Hi @Astrid - My DD is 10 & only started dancing this year but has thrived & has a real passion for ballet (although she’s a fab little dancer across the genres). How old is your DD? We’ve just started signing up to workshops & an Easter intensive with her current associate. I just have an intuitive niggle that she needs more regular / local ballet classes & another set of eyes. She would love to go to vocational school in YR 9 so we’ve only a couple of years to get the foundations right! Xx


Yes it’s a bit like going down a rabbit hole isn’t it, the further you go the further you have to keep going 😂. DD is 8. She is quite opinionated in her plans in what she wants 😅. We have a try our class this week with the new dance school so I guess we will see how that goes! 

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18 hours ago, Katia05 said:

Hi Astrid! No great pearls of wisdom, but just to say that we changed dance school twice before my dd found the dance school where she now thrives and gets excellent teaching across the disciplines. She didn't know anyone there at first but it didn't take long to make new friends and now she would never go back, even though she can see positive things about her old dance schools too. My only suggestion is to do a trial at the alternative one, and be open with your director at the current one. Age 8 is quite a good time to move in some ways, as they still have so many years ahead of them. Good luck with thinking it through! :)

 Ah this is interesting - I had always just thought we would stay where we are but think I realise if she wants to do other types of dancing (which she does) she might have to make the move. I think 8 is too young for her to have to stop doing all the other types of dance she likes so she can do more ballet. Surely it also has to be about fun! 🙂 Anyway we have a trial class this week so we will see! x

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Astrid - not sure my post will be “pearls of wisdom” but it’s just an opinion based on moving around a fair bit of dance schools with clashes and other things.  

 

at 8 I think the schools you’re currently at have seemingly done a good job as she sounds happy and friendships and teaching styles and relationships make a big difference to the future. 
 

the clues are how many advanced/vocational grade classes do they both have on their timetables as this will give you insight into the demand they have at both schools and whether dancers stay with them and onto further education in dance or fizzle out. If neither of these have them then look for a third option :) 

 

I personally wouldn’t worry about modern (hindsight is wonderful) because your dd will always catch up later if need be and there’s things such as jazz associates or contemporary associates you could pick up instead for a while. If the teachers want your business they’ll find a solution (Even if it’s the occasional private lesson) ;) 

 

I’d be wary that the grass isn’t automatically greener with a larger school. If it were me I would be cautious and do some open classes, guest/drop ins, and a trial. 
 

I honestly wouldn’t worry about syllabus grades for non vocational grades and try to get the best teacher you can find with a great reputation and preferably professional experience alongside a recognised teachers qualification. 
 

Also, I’m a bit jaded. Loyalty is over-rated. Just do what’s right for you :) 

 

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On 28/12/2019 at 02:53, annaliesey said:

Astrid - not sure my post will be “pearls of wisdom” but it’s just an opinion based on moving around a fair bit of dance schools with clashes and other things.  

 

at 8 I think the schools you’re currently at have seemingly done a good job as she sounds happy and friendships and teaching styles and relationships make a big difference to the future. 
 

the clues are how many advanced/vocational grade classes do they both have on their timetables as this will give you insight into the demand they have at both schools and whether dancers stay with them and onto further education in dance or fizzle out. If neither of these have them then look for a third option :) 

 

I personally wouldn’t worry about modern (hindsight is wonderful) because your dd will always catch up later if need be and there’s things such as jazz associates or contemporary associates you could pick up instead for a while. If the teachers want your business they’ll find a solution (Even if it’s the occasional private lesson) ;) 

 

I’d be wary that the grass isn’t automatically greener with a larger school. If it were me I would be cautious and do some open classes, guest/drop ins, and a trial. 
 

I honestly wouldn’t worry about syllabus grades for non vocational grades and try to get the best teacher you can find with a great reputation and preferably professional experience alongside a recognised teachers qualification. 
 

Also, I’m a bit jaded. Loyalty is over-rated. Just do what’s right for you :) 

 

Hi Annaliesey thank you for this and happy new year to you! we went to the new dance school and did a trial day which she really liked. I found everyone to be really nice and welcoming. We know the dance teacher already as we have had lessons with her previously at the existing school (I forgot to mention that before). I’d say where we live, it’s a choice of these two  (unless we want to travel a substantial distance, which currently we don’t).

The new school is probably the one where most people go if they want to do dancing seriously later on, but even then there is a real lack of extra training at a younger age where we are, which is why things like the associate classes are so valuable to her - she is just getting so much out of it which she wouldn’t have got previously.  
I think the thing that I noticed the most is the amount of classes available at the ‘next level’ as you say, they seem to offer quite a lot at an ‘inter’ level where as our current one she would just be doing one ballet class. I guess if she carries on with dancing she would eventually have to increase her hours which she could only really do at the new one. I know the teacher at our current school is very well regarded, so it’s hard to know what’s best here so we sort of have to go on gut feeling? 
I have also realised as you say that there are options for classes outside the ‘grades’ which has been helpful. 
It’s been a good exercise for us just to review things and see what else is out there. She is only 8 so trying not to over think it. I mean she could just jack it all in next year 😂 I think we have got a good plan now which everyone seems positive about - thanks to everyone on the forum for your help! 🙃🩰 xx

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Hi @Astrid

My DD has moved dance schools twice. I faced a similar issue to you when DD was 10. From the age of 4, DD was dancing in a local town dance school that did not have any ambition other than the occasional show and review (i.e. no competitions, no support on career path).

After one prominent setback, and DD's dejection, I explained that she needed better training if she was ever to get a chance as a professional dancer. She agreed and we reached out to a bigger dance school in the city. It was a tough step as it involved up to an hour of travel at rush-hour to get her there - a huge commitment for my Wife and I.

All I can say is that I am so glad that she moved. DD flourished under the increased (healthy) competition and standards, and I have lost count of the amount of times I have kicked myself for not doing it sooner. 

There is nothing wrong with grass-roots participation in dance, but if your DD wants to be a professional, she must have the right coaching. There are some pitfalls to small schools that keep parents sucked in. Here are some warning signs:

  • Approval from the teacher becomes too important, yet they do not make any attempt to formalise feedback. It is done spontaneously in class and you end up with an upset child to deal with.
  • Approval from other parents is too important (this is a tough one - are you staying there for DD or for the social contact with other adults?)
  • Your child resorts to youtube and social media to learn (teacher stops teaching and resorts to criticism instead that makes the child want to get answers elsewhere)
  • The school encourages its own echo-chamber where there is no external competition to deal with. (i.e - When people leave and you get feedback from teachers/parents that you are not allowed to talk to them any more)

I'm sure that in the end, you will make the right decision. It's a tough step to take, hope this helps :)

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