For Parents

When Is It Time To Leave Your Studio?

3:19 PM

It's always hard to say goodbye, but sometimes, it's best for everyone. Are you considering leaving your current studio? Here are a few things to consider first.

 

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Please note that these are just examples of situations where leaving your studio might be the right option. Every situation is different, and every dancer and studio is different. Always make the choice that is best for you! 

#1 - Make sure it's not "Grass is Greener" syndrome. 

With selective social media clips and competitions, it's easy to look at a practiced, refined piece or clip of a piece and think you'd be better off dancing somewhere else. While sometimes it may be right to leave to go to a more technique-focused studio, generally speaking, a dancer's hard work is what makes the dancer better, not the teacher or the studio. 

That being said, there are cases where you may choose to leave because, when looking at the advanced dancers who have trained many years with that teacher/studio, they do not have a strong technical foundation. If you are reaching for high levels of technique, and the advanced dancers at your studio don't have that level of technique, you may not be in the right place. Which leads us to point #2... 

#2 - The studio goals are not in line with your own. 

Maybe your studio is very competition focused, while you are looking for more technique classes and classical performance opportunities. Or it could be the other way around! Is the culture focused on the growth of the team, or the growth of the individual? Is the choreography based around technique and skills, or interpretation? Are most of the dancers stepping off the stage around age 14, or are they going on to bigger and better things onstage with professional schools and companies? All of these things are very personal, and if your studio has a different goal for their dancers than you have for yourself, it may not be the right fit. 

#3 - A recurring issue has not been resolved.

Bullying (in class, outside of class, or online), unfair role selection or class placement, or lack of corrections and critique are all things that can really affect a dancer and their experience. If you have already sat down with your Artistic Director or teacher, and have worked to resolve the issue, and it has not been resolved, you may need to consider a new location (especially in the case of bullying. Do not put this off). 

#4 - There is no opportunity for growth

This is not common, except in very small studios. Occasionally, you may be in a situation where you are the oldest, most experienced dancer, and there are no other classes for you to move up into. I have had a few students in this situation before (usually in rural areas and very small studios with fewer than 200 students), and my solution is usually to send them elsewhere for technique classes, but continue private lessons with them, and give them a solo or special piece of choreography in the recital. This allows me to continue to work with them, but also pushes them and gives them more opportunities than their current class allows. Again, this is more common with older, advanced dancers who attend small or rural studios. 

#5- Injuries are rampant. 

If all the dancers over a certain age are starting to get hurt and are not recovering, that is a big red flag to me! It is possible there is a teacher who is not teaching proper alignment or safe technique. If you can trace this back to your studio or instructor being the source of the injuries, get out of there quick. 

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Have there been situations where you chose to leave your studio? I'd love to hear your reasons! Leave your answers in the comments below so others can continue to learn from your past experiences! 

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