Changing Studios

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From My Inbox:  Changing Studios

Dear A,

I need some advice from an objective party.  We are changing studios.  This has been a decision that we have put a lot of thought into.  My dancer has fallen in love with dance and after going to many competitions and conventions and seeing some really talented dancers, she would like to attend a studio that will allow her to spend more time at the studio, take more ballet, become a better dancer and compete at a higher level.  We have been at our studio for years and it has been a good fit, but now we feel like it is time to move on.  We would like to tell the Studio Owner after Nationals, but am now feeling like I should tell her before.  What would be the best way to go about this.  As friends and fellow dancers start talking about next year, it is hard.  We want to do the right thing, we don’t want to upset anyone, and we don’t want drama before Nationals.  This is so much harder than I thought it would be.  Any words of wisdom?

Changing Studios

Dear K,

A studio change is not easy and I can understand why you may be feeling a little anxious about letting your studio owner know your plans for next year.  First of all, I commend you for your plans to finish out your commitment to the team for Nationals.  It is a great lesson for your dancer and one that team members and dance teachers will appreciate.  I would recommend setting up an appointment with your Studio Owner so you can discuss your plans with her face to face.  This will not be easy.  I have been there and although it was not an easy thing to do, in the end, it was the right thing to do.

When you speak with your Studio Owner, ask her how she would like to handle the news.  Also, give her a moment to process what you are telling her.  Accept that she may be completely surprised and sad to hear you will be leaving so allow her to process all of that information.  I would ask her if she would prefer that you keep the information to yourself until after Nationals.  Let her make the decision on that.  She may be the one who wants to let other team members know or she may leave that up to you.  Once the two of you develop a plan on how you will move forward, stick to that plan.    If you feel you may be put in situations where lots of questions will be asked to both you and your dancer about next year – teams, auditions, carpool etc., make the Studio Owner aware of that.  While you don’t want to cause drama with your news, you also don’t want to have to lie or avoid answering questions – that will lead to hurt feelings by team members and their Moms.  It’s not worth it.  Continue to be a team player and just as supportive of the dancers as you have been all year.

Two things to remember in all of this is that 1.  the studio has been a good fit and 2. your daughter has fallen in love with dance.  Those two things are huge compliments to the studio and the teachers.

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