Should I Stay or Should I Go?
My thoughts about moving on is that if you are asking the question, it deserves a fair look. It probably means that you are not getting what you need. That doesn’t mean that you have a bad teacher. It doesn’t mean that your time wasn’t worthwhile. It doesn’t mean that it has to end badly. It doesn’t even mean that you can’t get what you where you are necessarily. But it does mean that you probably should take the time to see what you have, what you need, and how to best meet your needs.
Here is where I would draw the line. It might be time to go if…
- You feel invalidated. This can happen to anyone once. Anyone can stick their foot in their mouth or be misunderstood. However, if going to class leaves you feeling this way often, it might be time to move on.
- Your time is not respected. If you arrive on time and need to go on time due to child care, job or family obligations, it’s not fair for you to be there, pay, and not receive the full benefit of your class fees. If classes are randomly cancelled, rehearsals are not posted in a timely manner, or you are completely left out of updates, this also disrespects your time.
- You are not treated fairly. If there are different performance standards based on friendships, length of time in class, personality, or other things not related to skill, you may want to reconsider your investment in that class.
- You are no longer getting your learning needs met and have discussed this with your instructor. The instructor has to meet the needs of the student body. Sometimes this means that you will move faster than the rest of the class. Talk to your teacher about your concerns to see if something can be worked out. It could also be that your interpretation of your skill level is not the same as hers and you are at the appropriate level. This could help you to realize where your weak areas are and concentrate on building your skill.
- Your dance goals have changed. No teacher can meet the needs of every potential student. If your teacher is about having fun (for example) and your heart is set on being professional, it may be time to move on.
- Your dance style has changed. As we grow, it’s normal to want to try out different things or to settle on something that isn’t what you started with. If your teacher doesn’t teach this style, it may be appropriate to see someone who does. Keep in mind that you can do more than one class if your schedule and budget allow for that.
- It just doesn’t click. Sometimes styles or personalities just don’t match. Maybe she talks about competition all the time and you think that is the opposite of what dance is all about. Maybe she does a long yoga warm up that your young body doesn’t want or need. Maybe she uses goddessy visualizations that make you uncomfortable or just seem weird to you. You want a teacher who can keep you engaged and motivated. If you are tuned out half the time, this isn’t a good place for you.
Where everyone draws the line is a personal decision. If you decide to move on, have a conversation about it first if possible. There may be a way to work out your issues without leaving. You don’t want to leave on a sour note or burn bridges, but you do want to get value for your dollar and meet your training goals.