Ballroom Dance > Have you fired a student?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by twnkltoz, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. Gorme

    Gorme Active Member

    The instructor could have so many clients that they have to make a priority on who they would teach. If all the clients want to take from the instructor, but some are more problematic than others, then the instructor can refuse their services to certain clients that do not meet certain criteria.
  2. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I don't think that anyone is question the practice of removing a student from your client list. I think the shock came from the use of the word "fire".

    However it IS the word we, on the teacher side of the fence, use. Even though that may seem ironic for those on the student side of the fence.
  3. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    yes, I was trying to be generous about a year later when he came back and made mad apologies and swore his temper was in check. It didn't last long the second time around before we were in the same boat as before.
  4. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    I like to think there's an implied "out of a cannon" after the term. :p
    dlliba10 and j_alexandra like this.
  5. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    I suppose it depends on the teacher. There are those teachers that through their behavior let you know just how privileged you are to have lessons with them.

    But on the topic of expelling students from class: there was a time early on in my dancing when a teacher expelled a student from an advanced class, and I was cheering inside myself. It's very frustrating to have the teacher review basics in an advanced class because somebody is taking classes two levels higher than their dance skills, and it is equally frustrating to have to dance with these people in class.

    A code of conduct for both students and teachers is IMO a good idea.
  6. suburbaknght

    suburbaknght Well-Known Member

    I've never fired a student but I've tried to have one fire me. They were an emergency wedding couple during the July-October wedding rush. I was teaching in-home lessons at the time and, so far as I knew, was the only professional teacher in my area doing so. This couple, like all wedding couples, didn't have much spare time before the wedding and nothing that worked into my two openings during regular hours in the four days before the wedding when they contacted me. The e-mails were very aggressive and insistent that I had to come teach them, even if it meant bumping my regular students, and weren't taking no for an answer. I decided the best way to handle them was to overcharge so much they'd give up on me, so I offered them an 11:00 PM to 1:00 AM lesson for three times what a former world champion charged for coaching.

    To my surprise they accepted and then, at the lesson were as pleasant and charming as could be.
    TinyDancer109 likes this.
  7. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    this is why my wife hates dance camps!! she gets stuck dancing with guys who think their level is much higher than it is
    dancelvr likes this.
  8. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Well, as I said I have tons and tons of patience for beginners or people who are trying their hardest but just aren't getting it yet. For those who don't listen, make excuses, aren't engaged, etc., I lose my patience and get bitchy. Although, I've had people tell me they didn't think I was bitchy at all, but I felt like I was. It's not always my intent to drive them off...most of the time, I really just want them to flip a switch and be a better student.

    Here are a couple examples (and I honestly don't care of these people stumble upon this forum and read this):

    1. Guy in a workshop was being painfully heavy with his left hand. I asked him to lighten up with it, and he heaved this big sigh and said every girl he dances with tells him something different. He'd been resistant to every correction I tried to make, such as how to do a syncopated break (making a smaller step, not going so far over your front foot, etc)...and I always explain WHY I make corrections so they understand it's not arbitrary. Anyway, he wouldn't look at me (while we were dancing) or acknowledge me after the arm thing, so I said, "Do you want me to help you? Because I'm trying to help you." He didn't answer. So, I wrote him off for the rest of the class. Two of the women in class refused to rotate to him so I danced with them instead. He hates me now. Whee!

    2. A few years ago, I took over another teacher's classes for a few months. Several people in the so-called intermediate class didn't even know or understand the basics. I was most exasperated when they weren't changing feet every step in Waltz...I mean, come on. That's fundamental. We were *trying* to do the 3/8 turn combination, and this one guy kept stepping with the wrong foot when he turned right. I tried to explain it in every way possible to get through to him. I showed him. I showed him what was wrong and what was right. I had him go slow so I could tell him where to change feet. I did everything in my bag of tricks and more. In fact, I spent way more time with him than I should have in a groupe class. By the way, he's the sort of student who talks and practices while you're explaining things to the class (my pet peeve). Anyway, after all that he tried the step again and STILL did it wrong. I said, "You just did it the exact same wrong way as you did before." He threw up his hands and said, "I'm trying!" How are you trying??? I said, "I'm trying to teach you, but if you don't do anything I tell you, I can't help." I never saw him again. I guess that's mean of me, but his partners shouldn't have to suffer because he doesn't listen.

    On the other hand, I've had people who I could have sworn would hate me because I was hard on them, and they keep coming back. They seem to like it. There's just no telling. :)
    pygmalion likes this.
  9. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    DW's version of bitchy (in her mind) is ridiculously solicitous and cordial to my lights. My version of cordial and solicitous is a bit too forthright to her mind, and we won't even talk about what she thinks of my comportment when I'm pissed off. ;)
    pygmalion and twnkltoz like this.
  10. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    Re; Larinda's cuts both ways
  11. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    Eh, "expel" suggests enrollment or membership, which is not the case for most ballroom dance students. Sure, they're students, but that's just in the sense that they're being taught.

    From a business standpoint, the relationship is much closer to freelancer/client than teacher/student. In a traditional school, a teacher can't just expel a student; the school (i.e. the management) expels them. Freelancers fire unwanted clients.

    I can only see "expel" applying to heavily structured, contract/enrollment based classes, which are popular in other dance styles (tap, jazz, ballet) but not ballroom.
    debmc likes this.
  12. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    tomato tomatoe:)
    chomsky likes this.
  13. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Well, as the student it is your job to be the student and learn from me, the teacher. So if I discharge you from your position as my student, I've fired you. :)
    pygmalion likes this.
  14. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    Desperate people do desperate things...
    ajiboyet, chomsky and pygmalion like this.
  15. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    i think fired is a valid term

    the student is an apprentice paying for the right to train with the master

    like the painters and sculptors of old

    an apprentice can be fired just ask Donald Trump LOL
  16. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Oops double post
  17. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Thanks for taking the time to write such a thoughtful response. That clears things up for me. :)

    My take? I never have understood how so many teachers (particularly ones who are employed by a studio rather than independent) manage to smile while putting up with so much ungodly crap from students. Some students need and DESERVE to be fired. IMV, three of the scenarios that have been mentioned in this thread are great grounds for firing. The crazies, the cancellers and the don't wanna learners.** If you can't be respectful of the teacher and her/his time, then what the heck are you doing there? That applies to the first two. And the third scenario is a waste of everybody's time. If you don't want to learn, leave. If you want to learn, develop a little humility and *try to* learn. Otherwise, why torture everybody?

    There are probably other scenarios in which firing would be deserved. Just haven't thought of all the possibilities.

    ** I might be a little more merciful on a don't want to learner who was the reluctant half of a couple. That situation has a whole bunch of complications involved.
    chomsky and Bailamosdance like this.
  18. Mengu

    Mengu Well-Known Member

    My post was also mostly tongue in cheek, I fully understand why it might be better to call it "firing" a student. You could also "give them the sack", or "kick them to the curb". Saying you have "terminated your arrangement" or "decline any future services" probably doesn't feel quite as satisfying, as saying you have "fired" a student. I thought "expelled" was also a sufficiently satisfactory word, though I have a particular liking for that word partly due to Hermione's words "we could have been killed, or worse, expelled!" And sorry about veering fifteen miles off topic.
    chomsky likes this.
  19. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    I think I have a problem with the term 'fired' because it can be used to scare students into submission with difficult pros. Students are often taught at the beginning of their pro am journey...'make your pro happy, don't piss him off or he might fire you'. Instead, I think both parties...student or teacher can choose to terminate the partnership if it is not working out.
    chomsky likes this.
  20. Jananananana

    Jananananana Active Member

    I totally read "Give them back" as in return them... like an unwanted Christmas present.
    chomsky and dbk like this.

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