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The worst feeling in the world


shygirlsmum
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At our current school DD regularly does a 45 min ballet class and has recently joined in with a higher grade class for an extra 1 hour per week, she shows real potential and is really up for a challenge.  

 

We have been advised from a couple of different ex professionals that DD has great potential and needs to move to a more serious dance school.  Over the summer I decided to explore some potential schools, one in particular stood out and the teacher is very well respected.  She has suggested that DD join her class and sit an exam in November.  The problem here is that out current dance school show is November and dance festivals are in October, I never intended to leave before xmas as DD's dance partner has the main part in the musical theatre part of the show and we would like to be there to support her.  The new dance school suggested that DD continue with our original school but come to her for exam work so I have just been to see DD's current teacher.  I knew it would be a tough conversation but it didn't go well at all!!!  I now seriously regret even considering moving her, DD will be gutted that the teacher she loves is so upset.

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I would stick with your plan. You've done the hard bit. I would probably have been cowardly and said nothing until the end of term and then paid a term's fees in lieu of notice. Alternatively, I would have waited until next term before starting my DD at the new school and done the cowardly bit. Why is the teacher so upset? Tell your DD that it's unfortunate that her teacher is upset and that you didn't intend to upset her but she needs to change schools if she is to realise her potential. Some schools just do not cater for the aspiring professional dancer, certainly beyond 11.

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As Aileen said - you have done the hard bit. It may have come as a surprise or even shock to the teacher and she may well be upset but she will get over it once she has digested the information and calmed down. Hold your head up high - there is no shame in doing the best for your child. Hopefully your DD will be blissfully aware of the upset but you can at least reassure her that it is because both teachers like her and want to teach her. As long as there is no criticism from you of the current school to other parents when they realise you are leaving, the fuss will hopefully have died down in a few days.

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Thank you for replying.  Yes with hindsight I probably should have kept my mouth shut :( I know how feeble this sounds but it has been on my mind for 2 weeks now and I have not been sleeping).  Another child left straight after the last festival and the teacher felt let down as she had spent a lot of extra time with this child prior to the festival and I didn't want to take advantage in the same way.  

 

Initially I had just wanted the new dance teachers professional opinion about DD's potential as she is known for being forthright, I told her that I intended to start a new school in the new year and the new teacher felt that it would be a shame if DD did not take the exam in November.

 

DD has loved our current school as all her friends attend and it had only been the last year that she has started to take it all serious she is 10 so I do think that it is now or never.  I just didn't expect it to be so emotional.

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Everything about dance - schooling - the people - the needed changes of school/teacher - friends - is emotional.  The people involved are emotional (half the reason why they do what they do). Would changing maths teacher be as emotional?

 

That is most unfair to punish your child because of a prospective change of teacher after the performances - that's just vindictive since you weren't going to leave until after the obligations had been fulfilled..  She doesn't seem to have  your child's best interests at heart.  

 

I would say  her hand has been revealed - if I'm reading this correctly.

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I can perhaps see why the teacher might withdraw your DD from the festival if she would have to put in a lot of work to prepare her for it and if your DD would be representing the school in some way when she had already stated at another school but I think that it's petty to take her out of the show which is a school production. I hope that your DD is not too upset. You are going to have to manage the situation carefully with her friends at the school and their parents. I wouldn't say too much, just that you feel that it's time for a change of schools and that your DD is no longer able to take part in the festival and the show, which your DD is disappointed about. Be prepared for some negative reactions from some of the parents and for the possibility of the friendships fading away once your DD is no longer at the same school.

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You have my sympathy as we are at similar cross roads/dilemma with my dd's teacher and dance school ( also was too honest) and it is a worry wondering whether you have done the right thing.  However, I do think should should stick to your guns as you are acting in the best long term interest of your childs development and progress which is your primary concern.  

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Shygirlsmum, I do understand why you are upset. Is there any point in your DD continuing to attend classes at the 'first' school if she is not going to be taking part in the festival or the show? Would it not be better for your DD to move lock, stock and barrel to the new school now rather than attending classes for the remainder of a very long term if there's going to be a lot of unpleasantness. I do appreciate that there will be an additional financial cost if you do this.

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Shygirlsmum, how petty for a dance teacher to behave in this way towards your dd! You are trying to do what is in the best interests of your child, and seemingly with integrity. I won't go into detail, but this really resonates with me! If a teacher has an issue, they should take it up with you, not take it out on your child. She will probably lose some friendships and some parents may blank you ... I know all about that ... but absolutely do what is best for your dd and move on. Good luck.

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I agree with Aileen. I would move her now, at such a young age it could really damage her confidence to be around such negativity. I understand fully what you are going through. Good luck, your are doing what's right for your daughter. The dance teacher would do exactly the same if she were in your position, of that, I have no doubt!

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Thank you for all your comments, i really appreciate having a shoulder to cry on.  The teacher is having a think and said she will let me know what she decides :( .  I have had a chat with a couple of parents this evening and they have been really supportive.  DD was amazing !!! after the initial tears she decided that she will just work really hard and hope that the new school will enter her for festival (the new school have indicated that she will be invited to their festival class as she is in the open category for a few sections).  My older daughter still wants to dance with her friends at the old school so I am really hoping everything can be smoothed over.  Hopefully I can get a decent nights sleep tonight and have a better day tomorrow xx

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I can perhaps see why the teacher might withdraw your DD from the festival if she would have to put in a lot of work to prepare her for it and if your DD would be representing the school in some way when she had already stated at another school but I think that it's petty to take her out of the show which is a school production. I hope that your DD is not too upset. You are going to have to manage the situation carefully with her friends at the school and their parents. I wouldn't say too much, just that you feel that it's time for a change of schools and that your DD is no longer able to take part in the festival and the show, which your DD is disappointed about. Be prepared for some negative reactions from some of the parents and for the possibility of the friendships fading away once your DD is no longer at the same school.

 

I agree. I can kind of see the teacher's perspective regarding the festival, particularly if she was teaching a new dance or dances which were then obviously only going to be performed at one festival. If it's anything like our school, there is a waiting list for private lessons for festival dances etc, and I could understand that the teacher might feel more inclined to spend that time with a child who is going to be staying longer. (Plus realistically, shygirlsmum probably would be better off spending her money elsewhere rather than paying for tuition and a costume she wouldn't be able to use again.) But the show? That doesn't seem reasonable.

I hope the teacher sleeps on it and changes her mind. If she doesn't, I would be inclined to move straight away. However upset the teacher is, she shouldn't be punishing a 10 year old child in this way.

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I hope the teacher does have a good think and comes to her senses.  It seems incredibly petty to pull your DD from the school show - especially since it seems you have an elder DD still wanting to dance there and taking part in the show.  It surely reinforces the fact that you are considering the individual needs of each child and not finding fault with this teacher or this school.  Our school also has a show in November (but we don't do festivals so it cannot be the same one) and rehearsals are well under way and tickets already on sale - so very late in the day to lose someone from the production.  I do hope things get better quickly for you.

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Festival dances are done and dusted most if them dances learned for last festival, the only one to work on is a duet which Dd knows already. She said it was a conflict of interest (which I don't really agree) but I can totally understand that she feels let down. The really annoying thing is that the teacher has one or two favourite students who I know attend other schools I have no idea if she knows or just has double standards.

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Move now in my opinion. (Feel free to ignore it!).

 

Sometimes we do need to make hard decisions for our children and it is unfair of teachers to act as owners of our children. Yes, they have worked hard to get them where they are now, so why do they not revel in that, support it and in future years say 'she started her dancing with me at this school'.

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That is most unfair to punish your child because of a prospective change of teacher after the performances - that's just vindictive since you weren't going to leave until after the obligations had been fulfilled..  

 

I don't know if it's any consolation, but it happens to top professional dancers as well.

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Chin up - you have made decisions based on your DD's current wants/needs, you have to do what is right your her, you cannot make decisions around the fact it may upset someone.  You have to be able to look in the mirror in the future and say I did everything I could to help DD.  I am sure the friendship that she has with her current duet partner will carry on regardless of where they both dance, and her dance partner will understand and support the decisions you have made.  She wont be the first to move dance schools and am sure she wont be the last  ;) 

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Hi shygirlsmum. I know exactly how you feel, I was in your position a few years ago. My daughters ballet teacher was great but held them back from taking exams and going to auditions. She also charged a fortune in extra exam lessons. I decided enough was enough and took the plunge to phone her and tell her we were leaving her school, after half a bottle of wine I plucked up the courage to make the call. Like your teacher is was devastated, crying down the phone, which made me feel terrible!! I felt like I was breaking up with a boyfriend! Lol. Anyway it was the best decision we ever made, the new school did everything so differently and DD came on loads. Do what you feel is right, don't let the old teacher pressure you into staying. You are the customer and the customer is always right. Punishing your daughter and taking her out of festival, is very unprofessional, and very imature of a grown woman. Good luck with your decision, you know what's best for your child, x

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Thanks everyone for your comments. I can honestly say that the past few days have been a rollercoaster. I feel privileged to have the support of many of the parents at our current school, DD's dance partners mum in particular has been a rock. Whilst things are by no means settled I can see light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks again to everyone

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  • 5 months later...

Its been a while since in have looked in on this forum and thought it would be nice to update you.

 

We decided that the first school we looked at wasn't for us (the teaching was excellent but location and time wise it caused problems) plus i felt that i had been a little railroaded into starting classes there. So, we made the decision to have a few weeks out and consider options, I contacted a studio a few miles away from where we live (this school has a fabulous reputation but crossing the city centre at rush hour had always put me off, i like to take the easy option) the teacher was lovely, very encouraging without being pushy.  DD did a few weeks trial and in January made the plunge and signed up to their dance program, she now dances over 10 hours a week and loves every minute of it.  DD is making great progress and is delighted to have her first pair of pointe shoes.

 

We worked hard to maintain a relationship with the original dance teacher and she has now come around.

 

So apart from now spending my life ferrying DD to and from dancing, all is good.

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Thank you for your kind comments.  

 

Yes, my older daughter is still at the same school and doing very well, dance teacher has commented that since her sister left my older daughter has improved greatly.  I think she has always felt like she could never be as good as her sister so didn't try.  It appears that without the pressure of her little sis being in the same class she is putting more into her dance.  It is win/win as far as i am concerned.  :)

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