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Dance school - aibu or is teacher?

(36 Posts)
ejk10 Thu 12-Oct-17 22:32:45

My daughter aged 16 dances everyday. I do admin for the school in exchange for fee payment. We are doing a show in 2 weeks and there are a LOT of costumes and a group of about 5-6 mums plus teachers who all are helping with costumes. We needed pants from Primark to wear over some leotards and attaching a skirt to. I volunteered to drive into town centre to get pants from Primark and said I would take my daughter and her friend as they had a 2 1/2 hour gap between lessons. We bought the pants and needed food so called into Nando’s for 30 mins. We got back to dance class 15 mins late and the teacher refused to let girls into the lesson! I asked the teacher why and said we had gone into town for the costumes (which she knew). I had spent my money to park and my petrol and time. I couldn’t believe it! She said they couldn’t go in - and I said in that case I wouldn’t help with the costumes anymore and she accused me of blackmail... So - was I BU or was she??

Joinourclub Thu 12-Oct-17 22:44:30


You weren't late because of the costumes, you were late because of Nando's.

You weren't helping out because of your kind and generous personality, you were helping out because you don't pay fees.

Yes it seems a little mean to not let people in if they are late, but if those are her rules, those are her rules. You don't get special treatment.

Bambamber Thu 12-Oct-17 22:48:20


It's a disruption to the class and they probably missed warm up. Why should the others have their class disrupted because you went to nandos?

manicinsomniac Thu 12-Oct-17 22:49:05

Was it a punishment or just a practicality? If the girls were 15 minutes late they could have missed the whole warm up and could have been unsafe going straight into full out routines or corner exercises with cold muscles.

Personally, I'd let 16 year olds stretch themselves at the back then come and join in (especially 2 weeks before a show!) but I'm not strict. I suspect my daughters' dance school might have done the same as yours did.

arethereanyleftatall Thu 12-Oct-17 22:51:30

If you only had 15 minutes, why did you go to Nando's for food rather than an eg takeaway sandwich?

BarbarianMum Thu 12-Oct-17 22:52:08

At that age, no warm up, no dancing. And yes it's nice that you help but as you yourself have said, it's a mutually beneficial relationship.

Brokenbiscuit Thu 12-Oct-17 22:55:02

Sorry but I think ywbu. There was a 2.5 hour gap, so - assuming it's not a ridiculously long drive into town - you should have had enough time to do the shopping and get back. I don't really get why you spent half an hour in Nando's when you were obviously running late - couldn't you have grabbed something a bit quicker?

If it's a long drive into town or if you needed ages in the shop to get all of the stuff, then you probably should have left the girls at the dance school and gone without them. Or let them go and eat something while you did the shopping.

Being late for class is rude, and I don't think you had good reason. It's her class, her rules, I'm afraid. And I'd be careful about withdrawing your offer of help, as you might end up with a bill for the tuition fees!

LadyWire Thu 12-Oct-17 22:55:21

YWBU to go to Nandos if you didn't have time!

ejk10 Thu 12-Oct-17 23:07:01

Thanks everyone for putting it into perspective for me. We went to Nando’s because we were all starving and we left in what I thought was plenty of time to get back to dance. I was just taken aback because I only went into town for the things for the dance school - we wouldn’t have been in town otherwise. Just to be clear the admin side and the costume stuff is totally separate - me being admin staff has no bearing on helping with the costumes - that bit is purely voluntary. I have seen, glued, cut fabric etc for many hours with no form of payment. I also ‘work’ for far far less than minimum wage if I was paid hourly!!

I can see the tescher’s point of view now - like I said I did apologise to her if she took offence - but I think I just didn’t expect her reaction when we returned..

UrsulaPandress Thu 12-Oct-17 23:11:15

Well dancing is clearly a minefield of pitfalls.

YWNBU in my humble opinion and the dance teacher has a seriously inflated sense of her own importance.

arethereanyleftatall Thu 12-Oct-17 23:11:16

What I don't get about my dds dance school is this - owner is making an absolute mint, and yet parents are supposed to volunteer for shows. Why not pay your staff like any other business?
I can see why you're upset op but think that your favour of volunteering is separate from being allowed to join in after warm up.

putdownyourphone Thu 12-Oct-17 23:18:52

You weren't starving....why nandos over a sandwich in the car?

WhiteHorseWilliam Thu 12-Oct-17 23:24:03

And this sort of shit is why I was so glad when DD dropped dance and moved to drama. The dance school owner was an utter cow who terrorised the kids and was bloody rude to the parents, except the 'in favour' families who fawned over her and did all the shitwork for her so their kids got the best roles. Ugh.

ejk10 Thu 12-Oct-17 23:28:11

I didn’t have a sandwich in the car because my car got written off 3 weeks ago (someone ran into the back of me when I had to do an emergency stop when a boy ran into the road) and I have a brand new car (instead of my 8 year old Yaris) and I’m trying to keep it looking decent

Plus I have a surgical hernia after having emergency gallbladder surgery 4 months ago so I try very hard not to eat on the go - as I then get terrible stomach pains...

BackforGood Thu 12-Oct-17 23:35:03

YWBU. As others have said, you were ate because you went out for a meal instead of doing what you went into town to do and getting a sandwich /wrap / salad / or even a takeaway to eat on the go.

BackforGood Thu 12-Oct-17 23:37:35

Okay, x-posted with the drip feed, but you could still have brought something back for you to eat once you were back.

LadyWithLapdog Thu 12-Oct-17 23:42:09

I thought warm ups were supposed to be over-rated, as in no huge benefit to them, especially in young and very active people. I would see the need if I were to suddenly be doing the splits. I think both were unreasonable, more so the teacher IMO.

Iamagreyhoundhearmeroar Thu 12-Oct-17 23:55:31

Wow, you have very good reasons for not eating in the car, don’t you? grin

Italiangreyhound Thu 12-Oct-17 23:58:35

She was being un-reasonable and rather up herself for not letting you back in. Life is way too short for this type of attitude. If the girls couldn't have stretched successfully at the back of the class what have they been learning all these years?

dancinfeet Fri 13-Oct-17 00:03:18

I would be cross if someone was late into my class 2 weeks before a show unless a dire emergency had occurred. Yes you were doing the teacher a favour, but could have gone somewhere with quicker food service than Nandos if you didn't have much time left! Being late in is disruptive to the rehearsal and they likely missed a warm up. (teacher may not be covered on their insurance if your child sustains an injury and hasn't participated in a warm up as part of the class). However, I would have expected two 16 year olds to be able to warm themselves up and would have sent them to the back of the studio or out into the hallway to warm up before returning to class. I recently turned a younger child (and parent) away from class who was 15 mins late to Acro, because she missed the warm up. (however I forwarded her class fee for that session onto another class). It just wasn't worth the risk of an injury and not fair on the other students to have to repeat the warm up.

This kind of attitude is why I try hard not to ask favours of dance parents unless I really have to- I would rather sit up sewing until 2 or 3am many nights in a row than ask for help (which I often do, close to a performance). I usually put a sign up before a show asking if anyone would like to help out with costumes, and if anyone volunteers and requests a sewing job I will happily delegate something, but I never request it of anyone.

Just to ask arethreanyleftatall - how do you know that your dds dance teacher is making a mint? Do you have detailed information on how much the teacher pays each week/month for her venue/hall hire? Insurance, annual teaching membership (many teachers belong to more than one teaching society), PRS, PPL, shoes (often several pairs a year), teaching materials (books, music etc) CPD courses (most dance teachers with recognised societies have to complete several hours of CPD - Continued Professional Development each year to maintain their membership status)- these are are all additional costs. Just like a self employed childminder, first aid and safeguarding courses have to be paid for and attended, and a DBS every 3 years, not to mention the endless extra bits and bobs such as stationery etc that is all part and parcel of the outgoings of a small business. The 'mint' often has to be stretched over 13-15 weeks of school holidays, as many dance schools are termtime only. It may be that your dds teacher is very good at running her business, and does make a good profit, but for many dance teachers it is not the lucrative business that it possibly appears on the surface, and there are many additional outgoings and overheads. I am sure that many dance teachers would be happy to pay all of their volunteers - but just like any other business, these costs would have to be passed back on to the customers, so lessons, costumes, dancewear and exams would therefore cost more.

NikiBabe Fri 13-Oct-17 00:12:14

Plus I have a surgical hernia after having emergency gallbladder surgery 4 months ago so I try very hard not to eat on the go - as I then get terrible stomach pains...

But you were able to wait to get seated and served and chow down a nandos and pay all in the space of 30mins. if that is not eating quickly, what is?

LellyMcKelly Fri 13-Oct-17 00:28:05

YABU. Her dance school, her rules. Dance is about discipline, and showing up prepared and on time, and you should know that, given you work there. What if everyone started wandering in whenever they felt like it because they were late back from Nando's!

Beeziekn33ze Fri 13-Oct-17 00:43:15

Not very professional for a member of staff to take 2 pupils out of school and bring them back late.

HarrietVane99 Fri 13-Oct-17 00:58:28

What was the girls' attitude? Were they anxious about being made late because you wanted to go to Nandos? In which case, I think both they and the teacher are owed an apology.

Or were they not bothered about being late? In which case, I think it's for the teacher to deal with as she sees fit.

ejk10 Fri 13-Oct-17 03:15:06

Thank you everyone for your input. I was BU and I can see that now. I think I was a bit shocked at the time as when we got back to the dance school I was genuinely happy and pleased that we had managed to get what was needed - and I was not prepared for the girls being shouted at.

I just want to clarify - my daughter and I love the dance school. I was not on ‘duty’ yesterday so I didn’t leave my post to go into town - I did it in my role as ‘volunteer’ and dance Mum.

As I said - the show is in 2 weeks so we are all feeling the stress! I won’t even get to see the show as due to lack of other volunteers I am chaperoning both afternoon and evening performances!!

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