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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.

Communicate Problems
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.

Stay Positive!
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.


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About Terry

Terry Finch is a dance teacher and choreographer with an extensive training and teaching background that spans 26 years. Terry has held a variety of teaching positions, from assisting instructors at her dance studio, to teaching at summer performing arts camp, and leading college level master classes. She is currently in her fourth year as a dance teacher at a studio in central Pennsylvania.

6 Responses to “Keeping the Peace at the Dance Studio”

  1. On April 21, 2012 at 11:41 pm Mercy responded with... #

    I’m very grateful for all the great dance moms at my daughter’s dance school. We have great friendships. I unfortunately do have 1 mom who has chosen to just not like me and makes it very clear. I choose to ignore her negativity though I can’t help but feel hurt since I’m not sure why she signaled me out and no one else. Her negative action is rolling her eyes or talking over me if I give my opinion in any conversation we are having. Thankfully most of the other moms have caught on and rally around me. Such drama when all we want is to see our daughters become dancers.

    • On April 24, 2012 at 7:05 pm admin responded with... #

      Hi Mercy,

      Thanks for sharing, as I’m sure many people have experienced the same situation that you describe. No matter what environment we are in, there will be those who choose to challenge others. By staying positive and rallying with others who have the same mindset, you are setting a great example for the children at the studio.

      Take good care!

  2. On May 8, 2012 at 5:39 pm Bret responded with... #

    I think volunteering at the studio is a great idea – not only for the benefit of the studio, but for the dancers to see parents actively involved. However, that actually backfired for me at my daughter’s studio. I was informed that parents made accusations about my child receiving preferential treatment, etc., BECAUSE OF the help I was lending around the studio. I found this to be very discouraging. Not only was that not true, but it NEVER crossed my mind to volunteer so my daughter would get special treatment. This has now made me hesitant to volunteer. 

    I guess jealousy can drive people to lose sight of the fact that sometimes people really do behave altruistically. 

    • On August 10, 2012 at 4:48 pm Judy responded with... #

      I hear ya. I too chose to volunteer to avoid some major negative influence and I did it because I love being involved. If I am going to be sitting there for a few hours, I might as well help out. Well, it backfired. All hell fire came down on me by “that person” saying that my dd was getting preferential treatment.

      However, despite her accusations, it doesn’t stop me from volunteering. I love doing it and my daughter loves my involvement and at the end of the day, she is all that really matters.

  3. On May 16, 2012 at 3:30 pm S responded with... #

    Sadly drama is so common amongst the parents. We recently left a studio that had an absolutely toxic environment. I was one of three parents who kept to the corner and tried desperately to stay away from the problems – negativity and ridiculous competitiveness. The AD was well aware of all of this but rather than do anything about it, they simply advised that we wait in the car if we wanted to stay out of it. Eventually people just started to leave.

    We are at a school now where none of that is tolerated and the atmosphere is so different. Everyone supports their kid and everyone else’s kid. You can actually have a conversation with the other parents and not hear anyone put a student down or talk their own child up. It is a very open and honest place and it benefits not only the parents’ moods but the children’s ability to learn and thrive.

  4. On July 20, 2012 at 7:37 am Wedding Entertainment Melbourne responded with... #

    I think volunteering at the studio is an excellent move – not just for the benefit of the studio, but also for the dancers to see father and mother actively involved. However, which actually backfired for me personally at just my daughter s studio. I was actually well informed that folks earned accusations about my child receiving preferential treatment, etc., Due To The Fact OF the help I was actually lending around the studio. I found this to feel very discouraging. Not merely was which not true, however it Did Not crossed my mind to volunteer so my child would get specialized treatment. This has today made me personally hesitant to volunteer.
    I guess jealousy can disc drive people to reduce sight of the simple fact that occasionally individuals really do behave altruistically.

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