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

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

  1. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Sure I see that.

    It was ok for me to accept the students gifts... until I get to wierded out by it, then the clause was there for me use as I saw fit. :wink:

    I do see the opportunity for the rules to be used for less than ethical means. But the stereotype that studios and teachers use it soley for their benefit or for studios to mainpulate teachers and students is rather unfair.

    Some people (teachers and students) need these rules otherwise it is a free-for-all. (and I have seen some scary situations!!!) Basically these rules are needed for greener teachers and students. Learn the rules first, break them later. Since later on as teachers and students move on to become more self-sufficient and independant they have generally had time to establish themselves and their boundaries, learning how to avoid the pitfalls that come with unwanted attention.

    We all speed when it suits us. But that doesn't mean the speeding limit is a bad thing or that it is only there to give money to the town when you are caught. It is there to protect everyone. And everyone bends the rules sometimes.
  2. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member

    let's just say she tolerated it because the godfather came first and brough teacher to the studio as a guest who became a trainee and then a no-experience needed teacher.
  3. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Great follow up Larinda, you won't be getting any arguments from me!
  4. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    Nice story DM! :)

    Did you ever ask her about those light caresses on the wrist? ;)
  5. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    Well, there must be a good story behind this. Is DM the one that can tell it or is there someone else? ;)
  6. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    :lol: :lol: :lol:

    This is cute DancingMoomy. :D

    See tsb, another reason to beware of chickens. ;) :lol:
  7. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    Well, I was going to stay away from this, but I didn't start this hijack, so ...

    I'll still take America. Granted, justice in our country can be very slow, but eventually it does happen more often then not. Our process of government in America is one of slow and deliberate change to protect against radical change. And this is permeated out into our businesses, non-profit groups, and social communities as well.

    However, I can't stand it when I walk into a Barnes & Noble or CVS or whomever, and they ask me if I have a membership card (or whatever it is they call it) to track my purchases. I pay full price to protect my privacy and that's what I tell them. Those that have seen me enough have stopped asking, thank goodness.

    And then there is the movie theater folks that tell me for a dollar more I can get twice as much ... if I wanted twice as much then I would have asked for it. ;)

    (DP, be careful, this is a thread on fraternization policies.)

    Ayuh, I know.
  8. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    Larinda, I like how you covered all your bases. Yes, the rules are there to protect the teachers and the students, so perhaps there is not just a self interest by the studios in protecting themselves, and I'm glad the rules can protect both. And since the studios are protecting their own interests first, then that would include protecting their customers as well, and if they keep this in mind, then the rules can be used appropriately.

    On another side note, it is good that you didn't adhere to your own personal rules about the "friendly and family" events with everyone. Because dancing is such a social and intimate activity, it almost seems like part of the business to associate with your customers. The bonds that are formed through dance are meaningful to your customers, and at the same time you are correct in being picky and choosy with your time. I suspect you explain, and I'm sure it can be difficult, your appreciation for their invites, and take them up occasionally, but not just everyone of them from every student all the time, and let them know this. If you are truthful with them and sincere, they will understand. Leaders, like you in any community, are always juggling their time and responsibilities to the community with their private time, and I know this isn't easy, and there will always be someone who doesn't take it well, but do what you can without overdoing it. I don't say this critically of you and Steve, I'm really trying to relate it and review it to share my understanding because I've experienced it from a similar perspective, and perhaps it will help in some way.
  9. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    No DP I didn't take your post as critical. And heck if I can't weather people taking pop shots at me... I certainly wouldn't be posting on the internet, anyway.

    But I think it does come down to "maturity" in my profession. I have learned how (and earned the right) to make decisions on how and who to spend my time with. I still think teachers that are newer haven't had time to develope the skills that allow them to cultivate great interaction and communication between themselves and students without giving mixed signals as to what is ok and what is not. It certainly took me a little while to get it right, how to make a student know they are worthy and special without it beeing seen as an invitation cross the professional boundaries.

    And that is really why I think those no-frat clauses exist. It gives people a "training period" to learn how to sort through things. At first there is a concrete rule for everyone to follow. Then slowly you test the waters to see what happens.

    "Gee I went to student A's summer BBQ, but I didn't go to student B's BBQ, and now B feels slighted and made a hurt remark about me liking A better."

    Is certainly a different scenario than:

    "Wow, Student C just found out they have breast cancer and thinks they are going to die, I think I can go to their house and meet the other people that they feel have made a difference in their life."

    I know that a lot of times dancing (and therefore myself and Steve) is a huge part of peoples lives. I would never want someone to think that I don't care to be around them or that I don't appreciate the offers. Or worse yet that I only want to be around them when I am getting paid to do so. And anyone that knows me can tell the difference.

    But sometimes it is not that easy. It is best to just not mix business with pleasure sometimes. That way no one gets upset, or intruded upon, or feels neglected/slighted. And it keeps the situation fair so we all can down to doing what we love. Dancing.
  10. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Me too... I hate those things. I don't have a single one on my keychain, and am proud of it.
  11. love2swing

    love2swing New Member

    Very well put Larinda. I remember a previous thread about this, and that's the point I was trying to make, only you wrote in much nicer.
  12. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    Yes, you strike me has having a strong sense of emotional stability.

    I like your opinion on why the no-frat clauses should exist, so my next comment doesn't refer to that, but more towards the concept of leadership in a community.

    I'm sure you have more experience dealing with this sort of thing in the dance community then me, and that's why your view point is valuable. Just becareful about viewing it as a "right", because that's when actions could possibly be perceived the wrong way as well.

    True, yet as a leader, there is the possibility of going to one person's BBQ one year, and another the next, and explaining the limits of time to both. However, drawing a No BBQ line, or whatever, is certainly understandable when you carry on the kind of schedule that leader's often do.

    See, now this is the Larinda I suspected existed anyway because real leader's who are worth following have these traits. :D

    I do understand what you are getting at, and I suspect you probably balance this better then most.
  13. johns

    johns New Member

    The studio where I study has a strict non-fraternization policy. When discussing it with some other students, most of the points already raised in the thread came up, so I'll only mention the ones I haven't seen discussed yet.

    Some of the students are married and come without their spouses. Their husbands or wives aren't interested in dancing. Given the very close interactions during lessons, I imagine it's easier on the spouse to know that nothing more can, or at least should, be going on with the teacher. The official policy contributes to a safe learning environment.

    One situation that has been hard on people is when a student transitions to teaching. All of a sudden, spending time with their close friends has to stop, as this would violate the student-teacher fraternization policy. It is difficult for the friends, and I imagine it can be quite lonely for the new teacher.

    - John
  14. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    Thank God I live in Romania! We are still free!

    My school has no such rules... in fact, I encourage my instructors to mingle with the students... we hang out together not only in Salsa events but outside as well...

    About protection of the instructors: well, you don't wanna mess with me! Really... If I hear that one of the instructors is harrassed, that student is OUT OF THE DOOR NOW! Right that very moment! I don't care about his money... Also, I expect my instructors to be able to deal with harrassement and not come to me or my partner every time a student asks them out! They are grown ups and if they are still immature, well, life is tough... it's time to learn and grow up!

    About protecting the students: they are grown ups as well or should be (see above). So sleeping with an instructor or a fellow student is entirely their choice. I've had a student in love with one of the instructors and wanting to leave... I talked him out of it... I have another student who had a relationship with one of the new students and they broke up and now one of them wants to quit coming for a while... let him do so! Life is hard... I am not there to pamper people... I can listen and try to be honest about things... but Mother Teresa - I've never been her nor do I want to be!

    I've been hurt deeply by one of my instructors, then by a fellow student... I had a nervous breakdown... but now I'm fine... part of my "growing up" process... What doesn't kill you makes you stronger...

    I am sorry if I seem so blunt and uncaring... I've witnessed hurt and mess and love and pain and everything... I've lived them myself... but I don't want some stupid rule to tell me who to date...! If I am a vulnerable being and sleep with a bastard... well, I have to live by it!

    If an instructor makes the lives of my students miserable, out of the door he goes! I can train another one and I don't care how good they are! Really!
  15. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Wow. You are tough, squirrel.

    I can relate to where you may be coming from. This is a way old thread, which I'm too lazy to re-read. So I have no idea what I said before. I suspect I'm more mellow now. :lol:

    I really think that the bulk of the reason behind this policies is more about protecting studio revenues and protecting studios from law suits, than anything else.

    Studio revenues -- teacher leaves and takes students with him/her to a competitor or teacher falls in love with student and starts teaching them (a former paying student) gratis or failed love affair causes student to leave in a huff taking thousands of dollars in business with her/him

    Law suits -- teacher or student feels sexually or emotionally harassed and decides to sue the studio

    Also, ballroom studios, most of which have these policies, have a VERY checkered past in the US. There were huge scandals a few decades ago in which studios were accused of all sorts of emotional abuse and manipulation of students. Maybe these policies are in place as an outcome of all that past ugliness.

    Eh. This is America. Land of the free. Home of the litigious. What can I say? :? *shrug*
  16. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    excetp ya know if you have private students who are always cancelling and you have hard working dedicated students who never cancel and who you know are going to go to've got to be a fool not to give them priority and who could fault you?
  17. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    a policy will never stop a hormone
  18. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Thanks for resurrecting one of my fave threads, fascination. It'll be interesting to see if we get any new perspectives on the topic. 8)

    And oh, btw, you're right. A policy never stopped a hormone, that I know of. :lol: :lol:
  19. ratherbdancing

    ratherbdancing New Member

    For the people who go to studios with these policies: are their pro/am competitors at these studios because I don't see how a policy like that could really stay in-tact with competitors?
  20. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hmm. Why do you say that, rbd? How are competitors different, in your view? Meaning, a couple of franchise studios have both non-fraternization contracts and internal competitions. So I'm not quite sure what you're getting at. :?

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