Policy on admitting children to Dances, do you have?

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Cheryn in MS, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. Cheryn in MS

    Cheryn in MS New Member

    Does your dance organization have a policy on children being admitted to social dances (yes or no)? Whether it be young children (who are not dancers) or teenagers who are dancers? Our group is looking at this issue. If you do admit them do you have any special conditions, or do you charge a reduced admission fee for them, etc.?
    Thanks for your feedback.
  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I think children who dance (who have have ballroom lessons or whatever type of lessons for the dances that will be played) are a completely different issue than non-dancing children...

    unless there is a built-in childcare or other controlled kids activity, then I am a strong advocate of the answer being NO....

    first of all, it is simply unfair to expect those children to be entertained and non-disruptive while the adults in their lives are dancing.....if people can afford the social, they can afford the babysitter....the truth is, no matter how great a parent you are and how great your kid is, they will end up getting under foot and annoying therest of the clientele...

    now, kids who know how to do the dancing that is at the party?.....with the supervision of adults, I have no problem with that...as long as they know they are there to dance and that there are adults there to make sure it stays that way...rather than to simply dropping them off and not worrying about it for several hours....unless you have some sort of built in youth coordinator for that...as to charge, a person dancing is a person dancing.....I would make that fixed
    Loki likes this.
  3. coanamilove

    coanamilove Member

    Must say I'm not a fan of children in general, so I'd say no.

    Provided they're seated or not in the way, maybe.
  4. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    the problem is, it is unfair to ask them to stay seat for an hour and a half with nothing particularly interesting to do...so they usually don't stay seated....
  5. coanamilove

    coanamilove Member

    And? they need to learn the world isn't a fair place.

    That said, I simply go to another studio without children.
  6. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    sure, they also need parents who aren't self-absorbed and expect them to like sitting around for an hour or two in a place where there is nothing for them to do...obviously if you have a lesson and it is unavoidable, I am all for expecting children to learn that there is give and take in life...but a social is a choice...and, in my view, it is selfish to take your kid....it isn't fun for them and it isn't fun for those who have to deal with them tearing around playing hide and seek or dashing in and out of the bathroom or whatever it is that they end up having to do to amuse themselves....because, unless you have a child who will sit and play their phone apps the entire time, they are going to get into mischief below a certain age....I think the only exception to this is when an event is advertised as family friendly....then people who don't want to deal with children on a night out of dancing know to go elsewhere....and I think family events are awesome.....
    anntennis likes this.
  7. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    I think it depends a lot on the temperament and the number of the children. There are two families who sometimes bring their kids to my local community ballroom club dances, and that works fine. One is a single mother who regularly brings her 6-ish year-old daughter. This has been going on for several years now, and the daughter knows her basics and dances a good bit with various people, takes part in mixers, etc. She also spends time coloring or doing other quiet things at a table. Another family has occasionally brought their two elementary-school kids, who don't dance, but who are fine playing quietly at a table for the time that they're there. It seems to me that those parents tend not to stay as long if their kids are there; the parents are attentive to their kids' sitting stamina and take them out before they cause any trouble.

    Given that these kids don't cause trouble, the parents supervise them well, and the other dancers in the community seem happy to have them there, I wouldn't want to tell them they couldn't come. However, I also would not want to have to deal with children charging around the dancefloor endangering themselves and others. I think I'd vote for a policy statement that says that any children must be supervised, and any families whose children are impeding dancers will be asked to leave.

    On the question of entrance fees, I'm going back and forth, so I'll leave that issue to others.
    Loki, mjnemeth and danceronice like this.
  8. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    well, that is the thing...I would be fine with kids like that....but I find that it is too rare these days....and I find that usually, in the moment, when children are out of hand, most studios do not feel comfortable telling the parents....so, everyone ends up having to put up with it...I know a few kids who navigate a studio well because they have virtually grown up in them....but, unless you know the children involved, it would be, IMV, very risky to assume that you were going to get that optimal scenario....
  9. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    True, if you're going to set the policy as I suggested, you have to be ready to enforce the asking-to-leave part.
  10. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    I would operate on the policy "no one under X after 9pm" (or whenever socials are likely to be going on) and "no one under X unsupervised." I've found having a couple kids around while Mom takes a lesson (or teaches a couple, though NP's kids are different as obviously their parents were dancing and teaching before they were born, and possibly I'm biased as they're well-behaved, likewise another pro's daughter whom she brings in sometimes during the day. Diana would bring her daughter when she'd come to coach in Boston and I never saw her being in the way.) It's not always reasonable to expect parents taking lessons to constantly find childcare or have somewhere else for kids to be and if they're reasonable quiet it's no skin off my nose. Socials and parties are another matter--usually those are later in the evening, dark, lots of people coming and going...I wouldn't necessarily make it written in stone, but I think limits are very reasonable there.
  11. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    right...I think there is a big diff between a 45 minute lesson where not a lot of other people are impacted and a two hour party where the needs/preferences of many are equally in play.....and again children/pets of pros are usually very well acclimated to how to behave at a studio...so I have never seen that be an issue....another thing to consider is that some studios serve adult beverages at socials....not always in well distinguised punch bowls....another thing that someone beginning to consider these things should bear in mind
  12. Wannabee

    Wannabee Well-Known Member

    We have parents that bring their kid(s) with them and have them sit and color or do homework, etc. during their lesson. Most of the time the kid is just as content to ignore me as I am the kid. One lady brings her 12 y/o daughter for lessons. Mom also brings the daughter's 4 siblings (ranging in age from about 10 down to 2-ish). This is quite disruptive, even though Mom is there on hand. Kids are kids and especially 4 other little ones running around while their older sibling is taking a lesson. I understand it would be difficult to find childcare for 4 little ones, and that mom likely wants to see her daughter's lessons, but as a client who has put up with a lesson during the same time frame, I'd much prefer mom drop off the daughter and then go entertain the other 4 somewhere else. Perhaps that is harsh but it is how I feel. The single kid here and there, coloring or playing games on the phone doesn't bother me.

    Another lady has a daughter about 7 or 8 that takes lessons. Sometimes she will bring her daughter to the socials. I have no problem with this either. I still conduct myself the way I would if she weren't there (a glass of wine, etc.), as does everyone else. She dances the dances she knows and she is cute as a button. Mom supervises everything and they leave early. I enjoy seeing her there. If Mom were insistent that everyone else make it a kid-friendly enviroment by asking us to not have a glass of wine, etc, I would feel differently.
  13. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    At my studio, children are allowed if supervised. When my daughter was little, we often brought her to social dances or lessons. It wasn't that we couldn't afford a babysitter; we often had trouble finding someone available on a Saturday night we trusted. DD was supervised, brought toys or coloring books to stay amused, and I never heard any complaints. At the time, there was no charge for her, but I think there is a charge for children now--partly because they take a chair and often eat the snacks just like the adults do. If they're caught running around/being rowdy, we speak to them.

    Teachers often have kids there while they're working, and it's never been a problem.
  14. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Active Member

    We had one young boy (6?) coming for a while that was personable, well-behaved, and up for trying any dance (and very teachable) A lot of the women were disappointed when he stopped coming.
    Larinda McRaven likes this.
  15. sbrnsmith

    sbrnsmith Active Member

    I don't know about admitting children to dance events, parties , showcases etc. I do know that at my previous studio, the instructors kids ran all over during my private lesson and interfered in my ability to focus and learn. I get that often there are no cheap safe options available for daycare, however, if your kids are running around and clinging to your legs during a lesson, it can be safely said that it is not an optimal environment for learning.
    Larinda McRaven likes this.
  16. anntennis

    anntennis Active Member

    NO, no, no!

    Please introduce separate social for children with pizza and entertainment, but keep social for adults as an enjoyable outlet to relax after work week without children!!
    coanamilove likes this.
  17. anntennis

    anntennis Active Member

    My health/ fitness club offers Saturday nights that they call “Children Night Out” when parents can drop in kids for 4 hours and have some Saturday nights to themselves. Kids watch movies and food is provided and there is a swimming pool. As far as I know it is about $15/child for 4 hrs. I am sure that many clubs offer similar services.
  18. anntennis

    anntennis Active Member

    I would say that for many dancing adults going to social on Saturday or Friday nights is a way to unwind, to be in the stress free environment, to have a glass of wine or two... Just like most cocktail receptions or even museum dancing nights are specifically created for adults over 21 (ok, 16 is fine!!). I agree with the post that if the policy will allow children or family socials, let it be known to other customers so they can go elsewhere.
  19. mjnemeth

    mjnemeth Member

    I run a social dance organization; I encourage students to come with a discount rate with student id, if Im charging. None one really address Teens here. In the organization, I went to in NJ they had teen at the swing dances and offered discounts. What I saw there was the teens
    want to be there and came with out adults . Never saw a behavior issue.
    As far children, Ive no policy. Ive had some small children at my tea dances, they were either
    well behaved or well control.

    Two points I would like to make about children. I suspect the ill behaved/ill watched belong to
    dancers I don't want at my dance because they just as inconsiderate on the floor as off.
    Its great exposure to partner dance for children! Better(???) then them sitting at home watching MTV! I'm a bit older so was exposed to a lot of waltzes and polka at family functions so later in life was interested in learn more dance.
  20. Loki

    Loki Active Member

    The last child at a social I attended turned out to be a Junior Champion. She outdanced most of the adults. LOL.
    Larinda McRaven likes this.

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