Keeping the Peace at the Dance Studio
With the great number of personalities involved in dance studio life, there are often times when individual opinions clash and sensitive situations arise. Here are some tips for dealing with negative situations and individuals to keep the peace and set a positive example at the studio.
Distance Yourself from Negative Individuals
Does your studio have one of those negative Nellies with a special talent for stirring up controversy? If you always seem to be in the studio at the same time as this person, or if your children are in most of the same classes, it can be a little overwhelming.
Whether you are both in the lobby at the same time, waiting for your children to finish class, or sitting next to each other during observation week, try to physically distance yourself from the negative individual. Not only will this diminish your involvement in undesirable conversations, but you’ll avoid negative perceptions from others by association.
Be Active in the Studio
Studios are always looking for volunteers, whether they need parents to head up fundraisers, assist backstage at performances, sell tickets and merchandise, sew costumes, etc. Know where your talents and interests are, and offer your services whenever possible in your schedule. Being known as a helpful, positive person in the studio will help to disassociate you from any negativity happening in the lobby.
Set an Example for your Children
This applies not only to your own children, but their friends in the studio as well. By showing positivity in the studio (or at competitions, conventions, performances, or anywhere you are a representative of the studio), you can set a good example for the students.
Use discretion with your children when they ask questions about the behavior of other parents or students. Bashing another family’s actions or words is never the way to go. Instead, have a discussion with your children about why the other parent may be saying those things, and make sure your children know to show respect to other students, parents, and staff in the studio.
In extreme cases, you may need to have a discussion with the studio owner or administrator to communicate a serious situation. It is possible that the management is not aware of the negativity.
On the other hand, it is very possible that the owner is well aware and in the process of considering a solution to turn the situation around. It is always a good idea to keep the lines of communication open between parents, teachers, and administrative staff to keep negativity at bay.
It may be challenging at times, but it is important to stay positive and remain a good role model for your children through sticky situations. If the owner or teachers are not receptive to handling problems, or you feel that the negativity is becoming too much to handle, it may be time to consider another studio in your area. If you choose to move on however, be aware that negativity likely exists in many other studios as well, but it is the manner in which it is dealt with that helps turn a negative atmosphere into a positive, nurturing environment.