Ballroom Dance > Have you fired a student?

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

  1. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    Hmmmm... We choose our coaches based on their teaching skills not their dancing skills...
  2. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Also depends whether one is doing pro-am or not ;)
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  3. Standarddancer

    Standarddancer Well-Known Member

    A few years ago, a gentleman always criticize his partner in my private lessons, he asked me to travel to her house (where she has a small floor at home) to teach them to dance better, actually to just teach her to dance better bcs according to him, she's "heavy", "not able to move", he would spend first 15 minutes to talk and explain what he had been trying to teach her during the week, what steps he was trying to lead her thru but she couldn't follow at all, because of her dumbness, he had to drug her, etc. After I watched how they dance, I realized he was teaching her wrong steps, foot position and foot work, she had never learnt to hold standard position correctly due to lack of training and experience. As I tried my every effort in fixing her issues, he sat down at sofa near us to continue criticize her. I asked him to come try some figures with her as I correcting her, he was very reluctant, thinking he should not be corrected at that moment (at least not in front of her) since he danced longer time than her, more experienced; he thinks my job is to make sure she catches his "level", in fact, after watching the way he dances and leads, I strongly believe he is actually not any better than her, he difinitely needs to fix some fundamentals as well. He certainly not happy with what I told him that he needs work, argued with me multiple times and even said "I paid you to fix her, you can only work on me when she caught up to my level..." As I found increasingly difficult to "fix" her when she took position with him, he still does his terrible lead plus making negative and humiliating comments to her, I told him I can't work with his attitude, best luck finding someone else to "fix" her. I've never seen them again, and don't miss them. Just wondering how could she put up with him, as much as I understand how difficult to find partner, I'd still rather stop dancing than dealing with partner like this!

    In general, instructors won't fire any students who are slower in learning, slow in progressing, we are trained to be extremely patient to dealing with technical difficulties, I've only seen myself, DP and colleagues to fire students when the student to be negative, nasty, disrespectful or disruptive to our business or other students' well-being and progress, or threatening to leave if not lowering pro-am fees, or refuse to pay promised floor fees or their share of pro-am expenses during comp. This does not happen often, but once a while, each pro would experience one or two students like this which is normal.
  4. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Until they realize they don't have to, many people will put up with a lot of poor treatment in a relationship. Trying to address a situation like what you describe, Standarddancer, is way, way beyond the scope of a dance teacher.
  5. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    As to the skill level of the teacher, in a pro-am arrangement, if the teacher is not significantly better than the student as a dancer, it's going to end up being the teacher judged as much as the student in comps. If it is purely a teaching relationship, not pro-am, the teacher still should be more knowledgeable that the student, and I don't think a coach would make such sotto-voce comments if the knowledge were there, but not the ability to execute.
  6. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Exactly. That teacher had a long dance history and he had the ability to advance, if he'd wanted to. But he taught mostly beginner through bronze and didn't seem to think that a few students were worth the effort for him to learn (especially the technique) to be able to teach effectively at higher levels. He was probably right. IIRC, there's even a thread or two around here about whether dance teachers, in general, need to learn silver and above. I think it's a valid question for a lot of dance teachers, given how many people start dance and quit after getting to a certain level of progress.

    I suppose, if I'd made enough of a stink, he would eventually have had to fire me. *shrug* I chose to go away quietly. Live and learn.
  7. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    My first long term dance teacher was at a big studio who had a well developed program up through what they called "Bronze IV". Intended to be completed in no less than two years. That teacher is a six week wonder, still teaching now. When we would get coaching sessions from top teachers, I must admit I found it troubling to have my teacher getting instruction from the coach in a session that I had paid for.
    I stopped taking lessons after "graduating" Bronze IV in all 15 dances the studio was teaching. I had learned all the figures, but I wasn't getting any help in improving my technique. Life also intervened at that point, as we had just had a child. But that teacher was already on the way to being "fired" anyway, and it came back to me that she complained for months that she had lost her most advanced student, so I don't think she would have fired me any time soon.

    But it also makes me wonder, can a teacher in a franchise studio, or a studio managed like one, even entertain the idea of firing a student, regardless of their comparative levels.
  8. Gorme

    Gorme Active Member

    They can have the student transferred to another instructor in the studio. I've seen one student "fired" from the studio because she complains about every teacher that she is transferred to. Eventually, all the instructors had a shot at her and she was asked to leave.
  9. dancerman

    dancerman Active Member

    in my case (see post #91) I was excluded from a franchise and I did nothing more than dance at two studios. I showed up for my lessons, on time, I paid, always ahead, I competed and spent a ton of money. It was obvious the owner/manager was a control person and needed to be in charge of everything. This was a very bad experience and, although I would have left at the end of my lesson package, to have to tell friends (by phone) I would not be returning was pretty lousy. I decided, just to let her off the hook, to send her a thank you letter implying that I had decided to leave for personal reasons and wishing her well. Chivalry, by the way, is way overrated. I had many close friends who, 6 years later, I am still friends with from there, most of who do not dance there anymore either. I still dance and own one of the premier dance shoe retailers in New England. :)
  10. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Living well is the best revenge. :)
  11. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

  12. basicarita

    basicarita Member

    You know ... I've been thinking. I'm a complainer, but my teachers always laugh, because what they're asking us to do *is* hard. And I always work hard. And that's been acknowledged by teachers.

    But should I still be complaining less?
  13. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    I don't know the nature of your complaints, so I couldn't say.
    I have never complained that something is too hard. There are times, if a teacher presses me on some technique, I will remind them that this fat, old, stiff body simply can't do some things right now. ;-)
  14. basicarita

    basicarita Member

    LOL. Well, I've never put it that way exactly. I have a Pilates teacher who is a former dancer and simply brilliant, and what I told him once was "You're a natural athlete. Some of us have to work and think really hard in order to get what just comes to you naturally."

    Also, once in class we were doing Pilates and he put on a Jeff Buckley song called "Sleeper". He said he had no idea why he'd called it that, and I said that police had a "sleeper hold", and that was what the combination he was teaching us felt like. He always laughs when I say stuff like that, but he's always challenging us (even the students that are more advanced than I am say how tough he is) and so sometimes I just say "I'm trying, but this is really hard!"

    JANATHOME Well-Known Member

    Right. There is a big difference between the statement "this is TOO hard" and this is hard.
    I have made the this is hard statement more than once. It is not a complaint, an observation.

    One tells me I don't want to be taught this, too hard, while the other is this is hard and is going to need a lot of work.
  16. jump'n'jive

    jump'n'jive Well-Known Member

    Let me ask everyone this, what is the difference between bronze technique and silver technique( with the exception of passi g feet in smooth)?

    I'm truly interested in responses from nonprofessionals but any teachers please feel free to answer this.
  17. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    there is none
  18. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    there is only, hopefully, an improvement in proficiency
  19. jump'n'jive

    jump'n'jive Well-Known Member

    Welp that didn't take long LOL. Winner winner
    fascination likes this.
  20. freeageless

    freeageless Active Member

    Jump'n'jive, I have been taking bronze classes for about two years now. I am currently taking bronze classes in the forward twinkles or forward progressives in the waltz and foxtrot. I believe that feet pass in those steps. I don't know if this has anything to do with your question.

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