Magazine article Dance Teacher

Re: Susie Has a Conflict

Magazine article Dance Teacher

Re: Susie Has a Conflict

Article excerpt

If you own a studio, your inbox is likely a mix of reminders, schedule confirmations and new-student inquiries-with a dash of requests from parents just ludicrous enough to make you wonder if steam really can come out of your ears. You know you need to keep their perspective in mind when replying-empathy and courtesy will ensure your parents feel heard-but what does an understanding yet firm, professional response look like?

Here are four real questions from real parents (we've changed identifying details). We asked a number of studio owners-all wellversed in teacher-parent communication-to suggest effective ways to respond

Dance Mom

To: Studio Owner

"I don't want to purchase a new costume for my daughter for this year's recital. I'm going to have her wear the costume from last spring, which is almost identical to this season's-just white instead of light blue."

SHORT AND SWEET ?"Unfortunately, studente are required to purchase and wear our current season's costume. Please let me know it' she will be.attending."

-Kimberly Bartlett, Johnstown, NY

make a comparison ?"ľm so sorry that_won't be able to perform in our show thic year! All of our dancers who intend to perform are required to purchase this year's costume, just as every member of a sports team is required to wear the same team uniform It you change your mind and opt to invest in the required coetume, please be sure to let us know. We'd love to have_perform with her class!"

-vJennifer Levitsky Curren, Columbus, OH

offer A solution ?"As much ?? I would like to recycle costumes, ?? I am aware of their expense, it's part of the process of going to dancing school-I'm teaching dance performance, and costumes are a part of that performance. You can try lo consign the Old costume or sell it on eBay You could even use the money you get from consigning tho old costume to pay for the new one."

-Melissa Kelley Clark, Braintree, MA

"I know there's a competition this weekend, but we have an important event to go to on Saturday. Could you move all of my daughter's routines to Sunday?"

SHORT AND SWEET ? "Respectfully. No

- Cara Zic, Cave Creek. AZ

MAKE A COMPARISON ? "The schedule Is dictated by the competition company, and I have no control over it, Though I'm sorry for the conflict, the team Is relying on full participation from every teammate, and I expect your daughter to follow through with her commitment. Competitive dance is a sport and needs to be treated with the same commitment level as any other team sport."

-Christina Shortt.

South Windsor. CT

-Katherine Jones. Red Oak. TX

"I understand you have scheduling issues this year with the building you rent space in. But moving our girls' class to 6-7 pm from 5-6 pm is not acceptable. That means we will eat dinner around 8 pm, and that is not healthy for them! …

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