General Dance Discussion > Studio non-fraternization contracts, protecting whom?

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Gator, Aug 24, 2003.

  1. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    :nope: :nope: :nope:
  2. dancin_feet

    dancin_feet New Member

    The non fraternisation policies at my studio are quite strict, but have been bent and even broken at times with nothing said. There are other times however I have heard that students and instructors have been asked to leave because the rules were broken. I guess it comes down to whether the studio owner knows about and approves the break beforehand or not.

    All it says on the students contract is a brief paragraph about not fraternising with the instructors. The instructors though I believe have it spelled out in their contracts, to the point that they can't associate with any student for six months after they have left. I think even teaching dance privately is not allowed for six months either. It's even preferred that there are always two instructors present at the studio, though through illness and other unforseen circumstances, that has been broken a couple of times.

    I have no problem with it. I'm prepared to live within the rules, but I also take advantage of the opportunities to socialise with the instructors that are legitimately offered. I don't want them to think they are just a teacher to me. I want them to know that I appreciate what they do for me, but also I realise they are people too that just may not want to dance ALL the time. Other students expect to get a dance at these social functions and sometimes I see the instructors just going through the motions when they would much rather be sitting down and using the time to socialise with people they wouldn't normally be able to socialise with.
  3. love2swing

    love2swing New Member

    I have also been on both sides of the fence. As a student, I became close to my instructor. We hung out outside the studio a couple times a week. It was fun-- and we were just hanging out as friends. He never mentioned it to his boss and neither did I. Now I work at that same studio, and I'm thankful for the policy. I have several students that I think have some interest in me more so than friendship, and I'm glad that I have that to fall back on so I don't need to hurt anyone's feelings.
  4. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    The first studio I worked at was owned by a woman who had previously owned AM's. She had a non-fraternization policy in the teacher's contract. No student contract. She said it was because if your students got to know you too well, they wouldn't respect you enough to learn from you anymore. She wouldn't even allow me to tell students anything about my personal age, my family, nothing! When I gave my notice, she insisted that I tell my classes that I was going on a long, wild vacation. Uh...don't you think they're going to ask about that? I refused to lie.

    The studio I work at now has no such policy. In fact, one of the teachers is currently dating a student. No one seems to care.
  5. amrimi

    amrimi New Member

    I think this topic quite interesting. In Germany such a policy would be against the law because employers are not allowed to tell their employees what they can do in their private lives. The only exception is reletionships beween teachers and school students because they are mostly underage (coming of age at 18 here) and are in a special dependable situation. Right now there is a big scandal over here because Walmart is trying to impose their US-policy on their employees which says that relationships among employees are forbidden. This policy violates constitutional law ovr here.
  6. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    Why? If you were, say, a seller of sailboats... and your hubbie wanted one boat, wouldn't he come to you to get it? And wouldn't he pay for it???
  7. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member


    I just used to work there is all. I ran the front desk, lol!
  8. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member

    When I was a student, I became close to my teacher's godfather (a fellow student). We used to hang out a LOT since we lived fairly close to each other. The rub came when teacher would show up unexpectedly at his godfather's house.... I would generally beat a hasty reetreat but even THEN it was a problem with teacher's boss. UGH. She was NASTY to me about it. Even after he QUIT.
  9. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member

    Of course he wouldn't. :) The chicken gets the road for free. He already paid for it, lol! And he just keeps paying and paying, lol. The chicken gets perks I tell ya....
  10. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    Did the studio boss have any problem with the teacher fraternizing with his godfather, I wonder? :roll:
  11. alemana

    alemana New Member

    that german law makes so much sense. because of the way lawsuits have proliferated here in the US, you have this explosion of blatantly intrusive 'rules' and legislation - all this in a country supposedly founded on the sanctity of personal liberty.
  12. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    No such luck in the US. Did anybody besides me see the blurb on MSN yesterday about getting fired for your personal life? Actually, there was no new story. But they did compile a list of people fired over personal issues recently -- the famous smokers case we talked about here in another thread, and several others.

    In the US, people can get fired for all sorts of dumb reasons, and it's up to them to sue or get a new job. In the long run, it's probably easier and cheaper to just get a new job. Besides, who wants to work at a company where you can't put a politically oriented bumper-sticker on your car without getting fired, for example? Not me. :?
  13. ReneeJoan

    ReneeJoan New Member

    "In Germany such a policy would be against the law because employers are not allowed to tell their employees what they can do in their private lives."

    I think I'm moving to Germany. They've got the best tango dancers in the world there, anyway.

    Freedom of speech, religion, press and assembly, "the pursuit of happiness," due process, the presumption of innocence all seem to have gotten lost in the shuffle somewhere. Culture, a sense of refinement, a sense of history -- these are European social and cultural values. American Idol and The Apprentice seem to be the epitome of American culture. That and "supersized" fries.

    I'm packing my bags.
  14. dTas

    dTas New Member

    all these rules... for the most part they don't apply if you are a honest moral person. but its the dis-honest, im-moral person that takes advantage of a good situation that breaks the system for all of us.

    people who belive that its all about them and what they can get from everyone else. :x

    and then when someone gets hurt they want retribution... they don't realize that "it takes two to tango".

    in a perfect world there shouldn't be "non-fratrinization contracts" but we don't live in a perfect world. and there are a lot of less than mostly perfect people out there.
  15. Laura

    Laura New Member

    "American Idol" was originally a very successful British TV show called "Pop Idol." So don't blame the Americans for that one. No the nadir of American pop culture was super-crap like "Joe Millionaire" and "Bachelorettes in Alaska". And I watched them both, so I know from first-hand experience :)

    Anyway, I think dTas has hit the nail on the head with what was just posted.
  16. amrimi

    amrimi New Member

    Sorry to have to disappoint you but this "Big Brother is watching you" mentality which is developing for some time now in the US is starting to swap over the Atlantic. Only this week there was a law passed that abolishes the banking confidentiality (hope I found the correct term). So now every government instution (Tax authorities, social welfare, federal student loans ... etc.) can ask the banks to see your accounts without any specific reasons.
  17. ReneeJoan

    ReneeJoan New Member

    Oh, pooh. Just when I saw libertee, egalitee, et fraternitee waving to me on the horizon.

    I guess I better just lie back and let Wal*Mart put an electronic tracking dot on my skin and enjoy it.
  18. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I think the rules are there to protect everyone.

    When I first started teaching, I would see one of my students hanging out on my university campus near the building where I spent the majority of my hours. It was kinda creepy. Then one day he was mowing my lawn when I came home. Then I saw him in a nightclub and quickly introduced him TO MY BOYFRIEND. He proceeded to corner me and tell me that with all of the money he was spending on lesson he could easily take me out to a really nice dinner instead.

    That studio did not have a no-frat contract. But when I told my boss about it, she quickly told me that I could say I had signed a contract not to date students. It was an easy out for me. He was assigned to another teacher immediately. I think he only lasted for a few more lessons before he disappeared. Good riddance.

    Another student used to bring me roses on the anniversary of our first lesson. He bought me expensive gifts for my birthday or Xmas. I told him the gifts were nice but quite unneccesary, and that they kinda made me uneasy. He said it was just a way to show his appreciation for all I do for him. Pretty much everyone else just looked the other way. I felt completely alone and unable to find help. Again there was no formal contract anyone had signed. And several teachers at that studio did date and marry students. But one time the staff and a few students were out at nightclub and he cornered me and told me he would go on the Cruise that the studio was selling...IF there was something in it for him. WHAT? :shock: Funny thing is, boyfriend at that time, was there too. (What is it with these guys trying to pick me up in front of my boyfriends?)

    BAM! I put an end to that. I told him in no uncertain terms that there was NOTHING between us except teacher and student. I told he him needed to find a different way to drive home at night, since the route he was taking lead him past my house. And I was certainly was more than willing to find him a new teacher. He is to this day is a very loyal and good student. He got his act together and learned that there is a line that cannot be crossed. And now I only recieve a card and a small gift certificate on Xmas. And I like it that way.

    And NO it was not about him conserving his money so he could buy more lessons... it was about me not having to deal with a student crossing the line and giving me the creeps.

    Even though all of my students understand our line, we still recieve invitations everyday to do activities with them. "Come to my house and go swimming this summer"... "Let us take you to Brunch on New Years"... "We are having a cocktail party, for my friends and family, please come"... "Come to my retirement party". It is non-stop.
    And only under the most of extreme circumstances will we accept an invitation. One student had breast cancer and wanted to throw herself a party before she began treatment. Another really long time (8 years) student of Steve's was moving. We went and had brunch at her house before she left. Other than that we simply don't have time and energy to attend and be "friends and family" to all of our students. Yes we enjoy them as students (or they wouldn't be on our schedule at all) but if we attend one "friendly" function we are obligated to attend them all.

    Anyway these are reasons it protects ME.

    Now how does it protect the STUDENTS?

    There is a teacher that I used to work with that slept with TONS of students. Then they would all go crying to our boss that he was being unfaithful to them. If we had a no-frat contract this could have been avoided. Unfortunately our boss expected us to all be grown ups and take care of our self and keep our pants on. But it just wasn't working. Women were lining up like sheep to sleep with this guy. And he was loving it. But these women were miserable. They felt used, and boy were they nasty to each other. One time a student (not sleeping with him) went flying into our bosses office to complain that the teacher was too "excited" after his last lesson and she refused to have her lesson with him. It finally came to a head when he started sleeping with a 17 year old student.... this teacher is well into his late 40s. The other students threw a fit. He finally was fired.

    Now imagine all of that chaos and turmoil could have been avoided if we just would understand that there is a reason for us to keep a professional distance.

    And yes ultimately it does protect the STUDIO by providing a healthy friendly atmosphere where teachers and students alike can attend without the negativity and jealousy that so often goes hand and hand with blurred lines. Who wants to go to a studio where the teachers are hitting on you, or who wants to teach a student that is stalking past your house on the weekends. And what student wants to go to a studio where other women are catty and name-calling?

    But some people just don't get it and need to be given clear rules/contracts to abide by. That way we ALL ARE PROTECTED from getting hurt.
  19. cl5814

    cl5814 New Member

    Thanks for explaining everything so well, L.
  20. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    First, BRAVO Larinda!

    All of the issues you mention are real and important! The problem that I have seen is that in *some* circumstances, certain instructors/studios use deliberately emotional selling tactics but then run and "hide" between non-frat clauses. Which doesn't negate any part of what you say, of course, just points out how non-frats can be misused as well... :(

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