to say something to this dance teacher?(26 Posts)
Bit of background: DD is 3 and a few weeks ago started a weekend dance class which I thought she would enjoy as a few friends go. DD has been a bit reluctant, saying she doesn't want to go and crying once there, but I thought we should try it for a bit longer and see if she settles down.
Parents stay outside and cannot see in. Last week when DD came out the teacher informed she had been quite 'stubborn' and explained she had not joined in for about half of it.
This week, the teacher asked me to go in to settle DD, who was crying, clinging to me So, I stayed in the room but encouraged DD to join in with the group of about 10 little girls (all the same age, if anything DD is one of the eldest). I pretended to scan my phone as wanted DD to get bored with me and join in.
DD did begin to join in - moved away from me, did some steps, seemed happier. Then remembered and came back to my leg.. then the dance teacher seemed to change tactic. Came over, grabbed DD by the wrist and told her to come and join in, and (it all happened quite quickly) literally pulled her half way across the room. At which point DD was making herself stiff, sitting down and shouting for me - and still the teacher was trying to drag her before letting go. DD ran back to me.
At the time, I felt very uncomfortable, but as the class was still going on and runs straight into another one after that there was really no opportunity to discuss what happened. DD joined in at the end and left happily enough. I was just left with a sense that I as her parent would never have tried to coerce/force her into doing the class. If anything this is going to put her off. And was quite shocked that the teacher thought it was ok to pull her arm.
So question is - I want to stay on good terms with the teacher, but also want to know when I am out of the room that DD is ok and not comfortable with her being physically forced to do something in this way. AIBU to have a quiet word with the teacher before the next class?
For context, I think the teacher doesn't have children of her own, and is probably around age 30. Has plenty of classes and have heard no bad words from other parents.
I think you should ask for a refund as the teacher has acted so badly and remove your DD from the class. Maybe she's too young - 3 is quite little to deal with something like this for some kids.
Honestly I wouldn't be going to the next class. Your daughter isn't enjoying it, why are you putting both of you through something that's only causing stress? Leave it for a while and maybe in a years time she'll come back to it and enjoy it or find something else she enjoys.
The way the dance teacher acted was not appropriate, which is all the more reason to stop going to the class.
Why do you want to stay on good terms with this teacher who doesn’t seem to care about your daughter, except as someone who pays for a class? She’s clearly no interest in making your DD comfortable.
I wouldn’t be going back, and would be telling her why. At that ages, classes are pointless if they are a struggle. Some kids love them, some hate them.
Flip side to the argument.
If I had paid for my kid to be in the class, and the class kept being held up and time wasted by another child who wasn’t joining in I would expect the teacher to either make the child join in or send them out.
It sounds like your DD is not enjoying the class, why don't you leave it for a year or 2
The problem is YOU - forcing your dd to take part in something that she is clearly not happy or uncomfortable with.
This is a dance class - not nursery where you need to take the time to 'settle her in'.
Find her some other activity she actually wants to do
She's too little, give it up. Doesn't matter if the others are younger. Kids develop at different rates and she's clearly not ready for it. It's a waste of time and money and extra stress for everyone. What you should say to the dance teacher is it's not working out, good bye.
Why are you making her go? You thought she might enjoy it - she doesn't. Even without the manhandling I wouldn't take my child back. Dance classes aren't essential at any age let alone 3!
Thanks.. I have already been looking around for other things she might be more interested in, and considering waiting, so agree with pp about DD maybe not being ready for this sort of thing. It is supposed to be a 'fun' dance class though, rather than a regimented one. I chose it for this reason, because they don't push the children to do shows or anything. Which is why it's all the more suprising the teacher handled it the way she did. I feel guilty, if I had been quicker off the mark I could/should have said on the spot that it wasn't ok.
At least half of the girls have cried going in, so my DD was no different. Is this not normal, a bit of separation anxiety? There have been a couple of weeks where DD has made no fuss at all (that I know of) and I thought she was ok, then a couple of weeks of tears. Maybe we are all wrong as parents and expecting too much of our children.. but the others do seem to be going in fine and enjoying the class.
I would hope there's a difference between me taking her for a couple weeks more to see if she enjoys it too, and forcing her to join in - which I would not / did not do. But ok, IABU points taken.
Just don't go again! Dance classes are not nursery, most offer a few trial sessions first. My dcs have been to various classes and none of the teachers would have tolerated more than an initial few nervous tears (or any other distraction) before suggesting you left! All great teachers and classes btw - but they really are for children who enjoy them, not for childcare / friend making etc.
I made the same mistake as the OP, thinking that because did enjoyed jigging around at home she was ready for dance class. The class was a pre-elementary one and the oldest child was just under 4. Dd at 3 was the same age as most of them.
It was awful- did wouldn't participate properly and I could see a few of the other mums, whose children were waiting around while the teacher chased after did, starting to get riled. And quite rightly. I stopped going after a few weeks.
I don't know if the teacher had children or not because it's irrelevant. My child was disturbing the smooth running of things and I removed her. The OP's child sounds pretty similar. No criticism, but a dance class is a dance class no matter how ludic in approach and the teacher is not there to chase after kids who shouldn't be there.
I signed my Dd up for ballet when she was 2. The first lesson I was allowed to sit in the hall to watch and help.
After that it was sit in the reception area.
We went for about 3 weeks and each time my Dd cried and refused to do anything.
So the teacher told us that maybe we should come back when she is older. Not in a nasty way but in a way that made sense
So we waited a year and took her back at 3.
The first couple of lessons she was a bit teary but a year and half later, she has preformed in one small show, one major show and signed up for another class-acrobatic arts.
Give your Dd time. Take her away and try again in maybe 6 months
I've found 3 a difficult age for classes, they all want the kids to go by themselves which is fine for some. Plus if I'm paying for something I'd like to actually see my child enjoy it, until they're old enough to tell me about it properly anyway. I had a similar situation with a football class, and DS hid under a chair for the remainder. We didn't go back!
A few things from a dance teacher's point of view!
Firstly, no child should be dragged into the class to participate, this is wrong, and I don't think the teacher approached this well in your case.
Even though it is a fun class (as most pre-school dance classes are anyway) it is no fun for the other children in the group if one child is disrupting the session and taking all of the teacher's attention, and it is annoying for the other parents who are also paying for the class.
I think your little one probably does love dancing if she dances a lot at home and I would advise you continue to encourage her to dance at home for now. Put different kinds of music on and let her run, skip, wiggle and twirl to her hearts content or make tapping noises on a hard floor in her outdoor shoes, use props such as a pretty ribbon, chiffon scarf or sparkly pom poms (supervise when using though) and let her be creative and improvise in her own way for now.
It's the instructor led class setting that she is not ready for, try her again in six months to a year. You are unlikely to find a dance class where the teacher just puts on the music and lets the kids do what the heck they like - even recreational classes are usually teacher led and rely on the children to cooperate and participate to a degree, with the little ones trying to copy the movements or instructions of the teacher. If your child is unwilling to join in with the teacher and the other children, then they just aren't ready, and as others have said all children develop at different rates. Keep encouraging her love of dance and music, and try again when she is a bit older.
Thank you. She does still seem to love dancing! I took her to a party with a DJ at the weekend and she can copy 'disco' type moves very well for someone her age, and will just stay on the dance floor for hours with so much energy. She was making a lot of people laugh.
I don't want to spoil her enjoyment of anything by coercion, or spoil the experience for anyone else. So may just opt not to say much to the teacher, and explain we may return a a later date.
Enjoying "disco" it dancing at parties doesn't mean she's cut out for actual dancing.
She clearly doesn't enjoy it as much as you want to. Pull her put and try something new.
It's not that I want her to enjoy any one thing over another, not sure how my posts would have given that impression. Just trying some various clubs to see what she might like, don't other parents do this? Take your child to something for a few weeks, see how it goes? Some strange responses on here today.
I don't think that formal dance classes really suit that many three year olds. My middle daughter hated them, my son enjoyed his at three but by five had moved onto football because he wanted to do what the other boys did. There are lots of movement classes for little ones that are more 'toddler friendly' or that you can do together that she might prefer.
IMO 3 is too young for a class where parents can’t come in. DD would be similarly reluctant and panicky even though she goes to pre school and nursery. I have found when I have booked any kind of class or lesson for her she just hasn’t understood instructions properly and freezes a bit.
As others have said try again later.
From my experience (this was years ago though) dance teachers are a lot more 'hands on' than a normal teacher. It was quite common for us to be dragged into place or have a leg/bottom slapped for not being placed properly. It's probably all changed now though!
Seriously at the age of 3 she does not need to be finding a "club".
There is plenty of time for that when she is older Rainbows, Brownies, Beavers, Karate, Gymnastics etc when she is old enough to know what they are and ask to do them.
She'll burn out if you start too young and so will you.
The one thing I would encourage from an early age is swimming!
I would definitely not be sending my daughter again, I would have maybe done two classes and if she was still upset called it a day. I don't like how you can't see into the class though, this would have made me very uncomfortable. And for the way she grabbed your daughter!!! I would have screamed at her there and then and took my daughter straight home, no way could I watch my daughter in distress being dragged away to join in something that she clearly didn't want to do. I would not be going back.
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