Ask out my teacher?

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Sackameno, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    It seems to me that Larinda's point (to wit: risk of interpersonal drama is a *business risk* for dance teachers) is a fair one that deserves greater acknowledgement than it seems to be getting. Likewise, a social interaction with customers is a business interaction. We can imagine cases in which social relationships and business relationships coexist yet are separate; but I think those are cases (a) with greater-than-usual maturity and (b) in which trust has been established over a period of time.
  2. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    I should like to hear other teachers chime in on this.
  3. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Of course maintaining their business should be the number-one priority. But I don't think it's a case where EVERY SINGLE TEACHER EVER needs to be desperate to cling to every student who throws a tantrum because they can't separate paid from unpaid time.

    The ONLY time of my teacher's to which I'm actually *entitled* and where I have a legitimate reason to complain if I'm not getting my 'fair share' is the time for which I'm literally paying. If NP wanted to go socialize with another student on his own time, that is absolutely none of my business. If he wanted to socialize with me, that wouldn't be anyone else's business. If a pro wants to socialize with ALL his students who care to, not my business. If they use a fake name, lie about their address, and wear a fake mustache and wig while teaching to avoid having ANY interaction outside the studio even by accident, okay, that's weird, but it's their prerogative. All of that is true, provided that the students get the only time they are actually paying for, their lesson, or their actual rounds on the floor at a competition or in a showcase. A student who complains what a pro does with anyone on time that they have NOT paid for is not in fact expressing a legitimate complaint, they're acting like a whiny toddler who didn't get invited to a classmate's birthday party (and no, that's not a legitimate thing to complain about either once you're past the age of, say, five.)

    When I teach, I have kids I like better than others. At work, I have coworkers I like better than others. Everyone has preferences. Off the clock, everyone is entitled to express them. If you're not paying your pro, they are off your clock and their behavior is not your problem.
  4. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Wannabee, I understand what you meant. And my post was only to highlight a situation that "could" occur. I did not intend to imply that you always go to dinner with your coach, and flip everyone else the bird. I actually have no idea at all how much you socialize with them. And if you say it had been only once, then I wholeheartedly believe you.
    Wannabee likes this.
  5. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    The rest of you, very mature reasonable adults with far too much in your lives than to be overly concerned with what your teacher is doing... should set up workshops and teach the rest of the wild savages how to always behave in your utopian world where everyone is perfectly accepting...

    Because the reality of what we live is students who count the number of times their teacher dances or talks to another woman, and then lets him know that he did not give her equal time. There are times when a man holds his hand out to me to dance at a social and when I say no "thank you" he points to the floor sharply and then taps his watch... as in "you owe me and I wanna go home soon." Savages, I tell ya.

    What works for me is to treat everyone absolutely equal, no exceptions. I will talk to any couple not just my own. I was at USDC eating dinner with my student and my husband, and a student from another teacher walked by slightly disappointed becausw she could not find her studio group for dinner, we scootched over and made room for her. I will dance with absolutely ANYONE at a social, but only once... (because the moment anyone there who cries foul that "Joe got 2 dances and Mike got 3, but I only got one" I simply wanna stop attending dances altogether)

    I do not mean I never socialize, but when I do, everyone is welcome... everyone. And as one generally cannot maintain that kind of open door policy every moment during every aspect of their life... I close the door securely when it is time. I guess kudos to the teaches who live and breathe their students, eat with them always, shop with them, room with them, date them, have everyone in their home for parties all the time, get drunk with them, fly with them everywhere, borrow money from them, take them to pro parties, marry them... I can't do that however. I don't find it very professional.
  6. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    well...here's the thing on this.....and let me have it if you wish, BUT...there are lots and lots of people, particularly women, who will never let on for a moment that they are po-ed about something to their pro, but stew and fester and complain elsewhere about percieved inequities, all of which can eventually lead to less business for that pro...SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, just because someone looks like they are handling things well doesn't AT ALL mean that they are...should it be the pro's problem? NO...is it ? you betcha...and any pro that is too dense to have not already figured this out....will.

    I have been in ballroom for 8 years and I see it all the time....all.the.time
    freeageless likes this.
  7. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    If that's what I had to content with in your shoes, I'm pretty sure I'd make the same decision as you...
  8. freeageless

    freeageless Active Member

    You are right, and it is not just women. A couple of weeks ago at the studio I go to, I noticed right before my group classes a new young female teacher with a student. It looked like she was not dancing with the student, but standing next to him showing or trying to show him how to keep time with the music. I saw this on maybe four or five different occasions. All of a sudden, I noticed that I did not see him anymore taking those private lessons. Later on I saw him at a dance. We got into a conversation, and I asked him if he was still taking private lessons with the teacher. He said no, because he stated other people told him that she should be showing him how to keep time with the music by dancing with him. I stated, did you tell her that? He said no, that he felt like she did not want to dance with him-and he did not want to take private lessons from someone who did not want to dance with him. About a week later, I overheard the teacher tell one of the administrators that she needed private lesson students. The lesson for teachers, be sensitive to the students-if you want to have them.
  9. Wannabee

    Wannabee Well-Known Member

    This is undeniably true. 50 year olds can and do act like 5 year olds, be vindictive and passive-aggressive (or heck, even just aggressive). I get that. And like I said, I even agree that limiting non-dance related social engagements with students is the wisest course of action. No doubt about it. My entire point was just that if instructors choose not to do that and want to interact socially with their students, that a) they are well aware of the plethora of problems that may arise (unless they are deaf, dumb, and blind) and b) they have determined that such a course of action is worth the risk, and this part could include because they just don't see the point in trying to manage a meltdown from an insecure divorcee or that they believe they have students mature enough to handle it, or some combination, or maybe just that their personal lives are none of anyone else's business. I'm simply saying that I don't think I'd be telling them anything new if I were to say "hey, student A is bad-mouthing you and potentially driving away business because you are hanging out with student B&C all the time without inviting student A. Some still choose to do it. That is the part I'm defending. Not the choice itself, but the freedom to choose.

    Don't get me wrong, if I were in their shoes, I would be reluctant to hang out socially with my students unless it was a studio-type event where everyone was welcome. To do anything other than that is opening a can of worms that I wouldn't want to deal with.
  10. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    you and I agree...I will only add however, that not every person who is upset is even remotely noticibly upset...sometimes pros don't even know what happens until the person simply isn't there anymore... my only point is that it isn't always a matter of being something that they should visibly have picked up on...sure, everyone has a right to do whatever, within the law...but for those who have to take care to pay their bills (and that is a majority of dance teachers), they need to be mindful of not only what they might reasonably predict but also of what they never would have imagined
  11. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    A dance teacher, or any teacher, is in a funny position. We have it drilled into us as kids to respect authority, and teachers represent authority, never mind that it is reasonable to have a different expectation when I am paying the teacher.

    People who have learned not to challenge authority will not confront their teacher. If they are unhappy, they will vote with their wallet, back-bite, gossip, etc.
    chomsky likes this.
  12. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Wow. This thread has really grown since I've checked in. Been thinking about it and come to the conclusion that, *for me* seeking to date or befriend a dance teacher is similar to using family/friends/acquaintances for big dollar business transactions.

    In the abstract, it seems like a good idea (doing business with someone you know and trust, that is.) But, if things go sour, there's, IMHO, a much bigger downside potential that there is an upside potential, if things go well. IMV, it's much better for me to sign a contract with a complete stranger (who has a good rating on Angie's list lol.) That way, everything is clearly spelled out and any disputes have minimal fallout.

    Same deal with personal relationships between teachers and students. There's waaaay too much downside potential for my taste. It's much simpler to befriend some of the other six billion people on the planet -- people I don't have to be in body contact with next week. ;)


    So I guess I'm with Wannabee on people's right to choose which way they want to approach these things. But I'm with Larinda on what my own choice would be, particularly if I were the teacher.
  13. basicarita

    basicarita Member


    What I think is really interesting about this whole dialogue you seem to be having with yourself is that I don't see much thought in it at all about how she might feel about it ... or how it might affect her.
    It seems to be all about you. And any relationship, no matter how casual, is about both people.

    For just that reason, I'd advise against it.
  14. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Isn´t that alright, básicarita? You find yourself here in a partner dance forum! The percentage of relational disturbed people or people with a feel of self importance is higher than in the world around. You are swimming among sharks (ok, of the more sympathetic ones, because the majority does not post in a forum...). By the way, my hobby is climbing. Do you know why? Because I suffer from acrophobia!
    chomsky likes this.
  15. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I think it is quite the opposite...if one is talking about successful dancers...maintaining a good partnership requires relational skills....lots of them
  16. basicarita

    basicarita Member

    This is probably what I was getting at ... except fascination said it better.
  17. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Well, you put it into a psychological context, that´s reason why I did answer.
    @ fascination: Totally disagree: it´s all technique, you can make use of it without soul. (But actually better if done with soul.)
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  18. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I am aware that the most critical element to being a good dancer is having good technique...I was was responding to what seemed to be the inference that most partner dancers have probably got horrible relational skills...if that was the inference, I disagree with it...and, particularly among those who are the best...as that does require a sensitivity to partner
  19. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    I think having started in a collegiate environment has a lot to do with it. In a collegiate environment, the couples are composed of two students and don't include the coach, so having dinner with a coach is more likely to be a casual social thing that isn't likely to be mistaken as a date by anyone.
  20. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    Yes, exactly. I'd go even further and say it's not just a 'two students' thing, but an entire group.
    chomsky and Bailamosdance like this.

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