It’s high time I wrote down another review, and since my recent experience with a local dance studio stood out, did its thing, and took a bow, it was fresh fodder for blogging material (forgive me, I now live in the country).
Unfortunately, due to the nature of the review, I will not be stating the name of the studio, as I don’t want to get sued. Let’s do one of those “names have been changed to protect the innocent” (or not so innocent), and call them… ummmm… let’s call them “Lowering the Standard Dance Studio.”
Okay, enough intro.
Finding a new dance studio for: my kids first, and potentially for me to teach at second, is always a chore for so very many reasons. 1-I’m a dancer, and a super picky dancer at that when it comes to quality training. I’ve trained from the best and don’t want to put my kids at risk of, at best, wasting their time and my money, and at worst, injury and a future of terrible dancing. 2-I’m a mother of FIVE. Jim Gaffigan said it best: “You know what it’s like having a fourth kid? Imagine you’re drowning, then someone hands you a baby.” Yeah. FIVE. So, that means I REALLY just want the most incredible studio to be five minutes from my house. So, every time I move, I check out the studio that is within 10 minutes first. Enter Lowering the Standard Dance Studio.
The first time I went there, the owner is outside the front door where all of the dancers and parents come in and out, smoking. Okay, reserving judgment because maybe that’s the only available spot for her. Then I took my 2 oldest to a ballet class there. This class was taught by an old-ish man that on first glance was HILARIOUS. He kept the kids laughing the whole time.
By making fun of them.
Okay, well, they do look like they are having fun….. (still REALLY wanting this to work….. did I mention FIVE?)
Next, I take the 3 and 7 year old to a class the following day. Ten minutes in to the 7 year old’s class, I wonder why it hasn’t started. I ask, and find out that the sub just didn’t show up. No one came and told me, even though I’m one of 2 parents there in the lobby, just standing around waiting with my son. They casually suggested that maybe they could hold it in an hour and combine with another class. No, thank you, my kids need to go to bed (and I don’t want to be here for 2 hours…. FIVE.) So, I remind them (I’d already shared my resume and willingness to sub), “I can teach….” “Oh yeah! You can, do you mind??” Well, it’s better than wasting my time and the fact that my boy was willing to wear ballet tights for the day, so I jumped in and taught. This happened again the following week. Thankfully THAT time, they decided it would be a good idea to pay me.
Still doing okay, I know it’s not our forever studio, but for summer maybe it will do.
Then came our last and final class there EVER. FOR ETERNITY. 1)Owner still smoking outside. 2)I start to pay more attention to male ballet teacher. He swears multiple times (and words) in class, and often tells them not to dance like a “retard” – after which he mimics what that would look like. He also hits them with a baseball bat. Not kidding. 3)2 year old there at the studio, his mom at one end, and ALL THREE STUDIO OWNERS AT THE OTHER, and he is running back and forth yelling “F___ YOU!” Does mom notice??? No. Do the OWNERS notice? No. All of THE OWNERS KIDS and the kid’s SISTER notice and start laughing their heads off. Finally he stops, the owners teenage boy is sitting down the bench from me and keeps repeating what he had said, AS IF ANYONE AROUND COULDN’T HEAR HIM. I finally said, hey, don’t need to hear it over and over thanks. He looks at me like I was an insane grandma telling him he needs to turn his music down, and spends the next half hour moping with his youtube videos turned up as loud as possible.
When I was a studio owner I hated the phrase I am about to use, because it was MISused so often, but I have never been in such an UNPROFESSIONAL dance atmosphere in my entire life. I REALLY don’t care what your personal habits are when it comes to things like smoking and language. But dance is an art. Dance is beauty. Dance teaches us self control, presentation, RESPECT, professionalism, and a whole host of other qualities that give us the tools to function in society. I can be in any studio anywhere, surrounded by people with different values and lifestyles than I have, and we will love the heck out of each other because we were all trained with those same things. Not if you go to Lowering the Standard Dance Studio. Nosiree.
So, we are done, $100 or so of unused classes down the drain. But I will keep my self respect, thank you. And I will pull up my boot straps and drive to wherever I need to to preserve the sanctity of this art I hold so sacred. Five kids and all.