How do I handle this

(28 Posts)
Anniegoestotown Fri 10-Jan-14 11:58:53

Bit of a lurker but really need help. I also don't know if this shouldn't go in the AIBU section.

Back story is dd has for 7 years since the age of 8 been attending a performing arts class and she is quite talented. From the same PAS she has private dance lessons which are costing me a fortune but as she will be taking the first exam towards teaching the subject this summer I look on it as an investment in her future. I also pay for private singing lessons, which she is doing well in and has already had a couple of paid jobs. I am also paying for a few private drama lessons for a play she is in rehearsals for.

The show is coming up next month. Dd for the first time was given a solo in the show to show case her dance skills which again I have been paying the dance teacher to teach her the routine she has had 6 lessons and now is just going over to make it perfect. It is technically a pretty hard dance routine. Dd has been looking forward to getting on the stage on her own for a long time. She was always told she too young for a solo before. Anyway the crux of the problem is I arrived on Monday night to pick dd up and not for the first time I see another pupil in the "private" class with dd. the other pupil who has a lesson after dd is not taking part in the lesson but is still in with her, lay on the floor with her legs in the air playing on her phone. This annoyed me, but what followed made me hit the roof, it turns out that this girl has been also sitting in with dd during her private dance lesson and despite being several grades below dd the dance teacher has said it would look better if dd was accompanied during the routine and would dd teach this girl the routine during the week so she can catch up and will be joining dd in the last 3 classes I have paid for.

Dd said there is no way that this girl can do the routine let alone pick up the routine in 3 weeks but dance teacher is adamant that it is going to happen. One of my concerns is the teacher could with 3 weeks to go suddenly decide to alter the whole routine to help this other girl.

My question is how do I handle it. My points of concern is I am paying for private lessons that aren't private and dds solo dance routine which she has waited ages to do is no longer a solo.

TheFabulousIdiot Fri 10-Jan-14 12:00:49

I would ask that the lessons remain private or suggest that you remove her from the lessons.

Not much you can do about a show being changed though.

Anniegoestotown Fri 10-Jan-14 12:22:31

I have been paying for her to learn a particular routine, if it is changed then what the hell was I paying for. What was all the work dd put in learning the routine for if it going to be changed. Should say the girl has just done grade 1 and dds next exam will be at teaching level.

I have also paid for lessons which the teacher is now asking dd to pass on for free.

Middleagedmotheroftwo Fri 10-Jan-14 12:34:20

I feel your pain, but I don't think there's much you can do about it.

"Private" doesn't mean no-one else in the room, it simply means 1:1 tuition.
My DDs have "private" piano lessons, but the people after them often arrive early and sit in whilst they wait their turn. I don't have a problem with this. The alternative might be that your DD's lesson is short by a few minutes at the beginning and end for a changeover.

Anniegoestotown Fri 10-Jan-14 12:39:24

Middle, one thing coming in and sitting quietly for a few minutes quite another for them to be lay on the floor with legs in the air waving them about for the whole of the lesson.

Anniegoestotown Fri 10-Jan-14 12:40:24

Should have made it clear this girl sits in for the whole of the lessons

Optimist1 Fri 10-Jan-14 12:41:18

If the dance teacher is the one who determines the casting/format of the show, then it looks as though your daughter isn't going to be performing solo. Very bad form on the teacher's behalf, though, if she undertook the private lessons on the understanding that this was to prepare your daughter for her first solo. And if the other girl has had private lessons after your daughter's, why has the teacher not been preparing her for the routine the two of them are to perform?

Talk to the teacher - you wouldn't be unreasonable to say that it's not your daughter's job to teach, but would be unreasonable to sabotage the entire show by withdrawing your daughter.

Regrettably, it wounds like your daughter is going to have a few lessons to learn about individual vs group activities and how life isn't always fair. I sympathise!

Anniegoestotown Fri 10-Jan-14 12:52:35

The girl does not have a private dance lesson, she just sits in with my dd during her lesson. She has her private singing lesson after dd's.

Never said I was withdrawing dd from show.

Can I ask what you mean by individual v private activities? I am just going by what the teachers have planned for the show and paying out accordingly only to find that what I have paid for is not being canned in favour of a dance routine that dd didn't need private lessons to do.

Anniegoestotown Fri 10-Jan-14 12:55:06

Sorry should read "is being canned"

Optimist1 Fri 10-Jan-14 13:13:49

Sorry, didn't word it very clearly, OP. I meant that the current situation looks as though it's going to end up with your daughter being denied her solo role, in which case she would understandably be disappointed and may want to withdraw entirely from the production. If this was the case then the whole production would suffer from her withdrawal. Still not as clear as I'm thinking it!!

Middleagedmotheroftwo Fri 10-Jan-14 13:16:16

I really don't see what's wrong with the other girl sitting in on the lesson if she's not being taught. It may be that her parents can only drop her off at a certain time or something.

I wouldn't count the learned but unused routine as a waste of time. Everything DD learns will improve her dancing and stand her in good stead in the long term.

I would, however, be pretty pissed off at DD not having her promised solo, but maybe the teacher thinks she's not up to the job after all?

I'd sit down and have a chat with the teacher without DD, and in a non-confrontational way to discuss your feelings.

Anniegoestotown Fri 10-Jan-14 13:21:48

No she won't be withdrawing but I should add that she is very very disappointed. By the time of the next show she will have left because she will be too old so this is her final show.

Anniegoestotown Fri 10-Jan-14 13:27:33

Middle, dd is at teaching level, this girl is grade 1, I have seen the routine, dd has been practising and it is step perfect.

Dd does enough dance routines to stand her in good stead for later on, I do not need to fork out more money for her to learn another.

I am still seething having slept on it for 4 days.

Anniegoestotown Fri 10-Jan-14 13:33:18

Middle the girl could go home if she chose to and there is a waiting room.

MysterySpots Fri 10-Jan-14 13:34:28

There is something very odd about a girl at a level that is so much lower joining your daughter at such short notice. I think in a very calm and rational way you need to ask the teacher why and how this has happened. She would have to acknowledge that it is very unusual. Do the girls parents have some kind of influence on the dance school?

Anniegoestotown Fri 10-Jan-14 13:45:18

Going in to have a word on Monday and see what happens. I am hopeless when it comes to confrontation, I either burst into tears or burn all my bridges.

IDontDoIroning Fri 10-Jan-14 13:51:26

Why is this girl sitting in on the lessons if there's no need ie it's not the same activity and there's room to wait elsewhere.

My dd has private latin dance lessons and there are often several couples having a lesson at the sane time in the studio space but random people coming in and disturbing the lessons is not encouraged and parents wait elsewhere usually.

I would be asking that she leaves and waits elsewhere in future.

I'm assuming this is ballet tap jazz or similar so it's a bit different to us.

However did you commission these lessons in order for the teacher to choreograph this routine and to teach your dd.

If so it's highly inappropriate and unprofessional in the teachers behalf. At the very least this girls parents should be paying half of the lessons and it's certainly not up to your dd to teach her the routine. I would tell the teacher that dd doesn't have the time (school work other activities etc) to do it. I'm assuming if it's the dance schools show then ultimately it's up to them who does what but it's also their responsibility to select the participants and choreograph -teach them.

MysterySpots Fri 10-Jan-14 13:54:57

Write down your three key points on a piece of and bring it with you. And practice beforehand what you want to say. There is something very fishy going on. You may never get to the bottom of it, but you can refuse for your daughter to teach the other girl the routine because of time constraints as suggested by previous poster.

Anniegoestotown Fri 10-Jan-14 15:19:27

Don't worry she is definitely not teaching the other girl the dance routine, what surprised my dd was in the routine there are some quite tricky jumps that dd has mastered over years of practice and she cannot see how this girl is going to be able to match her.

Anniegoestotown Fri 10-Jan-14 15:23:46

After 3 weeks.

Middleagedmotheroftwo Fri 10-Jan-14 15:31:39

What Mystery said - write your points down on a piece of paper so you don't forget anything, and pratise saying them clearly and calmly over the weekend.

Just a point - is it the teacher that's told you all this, or DD? Is there any chance DD could have misunderstood (I don't think you say how old she is). It does seem odd. There may be a perfectly reasonable explanation that DD hasn't grasped.

Whereisegg Fri 10-Jan-14 15:34:50

I would be wondering who this girl or her parents are too, as a pp said.

Anniegoestotown Fri 10-Jan-14 15:40:24

Both dd and girl are 15 and as we were leaving I stopped to have a quick chat with one of the other mums. I overheard girl asking dd to show her the opening steps to her routine. That is what made me question dd in the car as to why she wanted to know.

MysterySpots Fri 10-Jan-14 20:55:08

A 15 year old in a Grade 1 class? That seems a bit unlikely. My daughter did grade 1 when she was 7!

Anniegoestotown Sat 11-Jan-14 12:19:24

Sorry Mystery but Grade 1 classes are not the preserve of the very young. I have a friend who has just done her grade 1 tap and she is in her 30's.

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