This topic contains 12 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by Anonymous 4 years ago.
I have a student who is very challenged and unaware of how hard she struggles. She was in Level 2 for a very long time. In the fall, I caved and let her into Level 3. I felt pressured but I really had hopes that with her private lessons, at home exercises I assigned for her, and taking class twice a week (Level 2 and 3), that things would start to click. Unfortunately, things haven't clicked. Now I feel that the healthy thing to do for the rest of Level 3 gals is to take her out.Has anyone had to do this? What did you say? How did it turn out? Thanks in advance!
I just had to bump a student back into Level 1. :- Shes been with the studio for YEARS and learning ATS from other people for a long long LONG time (since 2006 is what i'm told,then she took a long hiatus in 2009 and just returned to dancing). She started with me this passed summer into a kind of open level ATS class and My level one. We started Level 2 and She asked to be let in so i did let her in on the condition that she'd continue with her Fundamentals, drill etc because she needed a lot of improvement and “refreshing”. She has yet to really improve and still has a hard time with level 2 movement. At the end of our session in Level 1 and 2, all students get an eval so they know what to work on and whether or not it is suggested for them to move forward into the next level.... I had to bump her back to level 1. She took it well, still comes to class and I hope she'll get it, it'll sink in and she'll be ready. It's hard though, her previous "ATS" instructor had her performing and everything, but to be honest she wasn't ready. She doesn't get that she wasn't ready....:shrug: I say just be plain about it; "you need a little more work in XYZ things, I suggest for your own growth as an ATS dancer, that you return to level 2. Once that's complete we'll see how you're doing to get into Level 3 again in the future"
This is tough one. If things went as planned, chronologically, students would come to class, learn to dance and move up through the levels gracefully. Meaning that time spent means skills gained.Unfortunately, that linear path does not work for all students. As teachers and business people, we want to encourage students and move them up in a timely manner. But at some point, the non-linear student becomes a "drag" for the other students, and it's time to take them out of that class. I usually give it a try, but if Ms Non-Linear is going to cause Ms` Linears to stop attending or become frustrated, they have to go.I've had mixed results with this process. In my experience the sooner you can pull them out, the better. The longer they stay in the upper level class, the harder they will take it. Feelings get hurt, self-esteem is effected and bitterness can ensue (yuk!)Let us know how it goes.
Well, that didn't go well. I spoke with her just a few minutes ago and she is very upset. She took it very personally. She brought up other people in class who she thinks she is better than and asked why they were allowed to stay in. I explained that it is not at all personal and has nothing to do with my fondness for her as a woman and acquaintance. She said there are friend circles in class that she is not a part of and that's why. I said friendships in class have no baring on my decision making. She stormed out.I mentioned above that a student a couple of years ago gave me an ultimatum and quit classes altogether. She proceeded to spread some very false accusations around the dance community.In my current case, should I do any damage control with other students or just not say anything and hope that she doesn't do the same?
Follow up to my follow up:A couple hours after she stormed out, I did email her, and said shortly " If you have further questions for me I'm happy to answer them, or if you would like some closure I'm here to talk." and pretty much left it at that.In the last 48 hours, many students have been contacting me. Their basic message is, "this student told us what happened, I'm sure that was hard for you" "you made the right decision" etc. I haven't gone into detail with anyone other than my troupe mates, who helped council me on this in advance. I've just responded to my other students with "thank you"My guess is that she is done.
I'm sorry for your student's delicate ego and inability to see the big picture. One of the things that I think many students don't get when entering this land of ATS is that it is never about them, individually (unless they cause problems), but how everyone is with each other and if that doesn't work out, the individual has to be dealt with.Sounds like you knew it could go either way and were prepared for it. Pat-on-the-back for sticking to your guns.
Right, it's tough. If you are getting support from the majority of the students, that's where the $$ is. I'm sorry that she feels hurt, but some people can't stand in the light and hear what's real.
I think it is important to be clear up front about what it takes to move through the levels, to become a part of the performance troupe, etc. If the director takes time to explain the steps and what s/he is looking for, then there is less mystery. Movement of some and not others can't be taken so personally. I am lucky that I have a videographer, and I regularly create DVDs of formal and informal dance situations to share with my students. When they see the film footage, and compare their skills with the lengthy list I generated of self-evaluative questions, it is a little more apparent where their weaknesses are.
Can you share the Self Eval list? I've been mulling over doing this for a while but have not been able to settle on the approach – a short ” what 3 to 5 things do you feel you need to work on most” to a list of specific items. When do you implement – once a month, towards the end of a series, something else?
This is a REALLY tough one. I have students that were taking ATS from another instructor whom did not give them constructive criticism on their form and just moved them up to level 3 so that they didn't feel 'left out' (regretfully, as she told me that she was not wanting to have the 'back to level 1 talk' with said student whom is now in MY class). All new students are required to take level 1 or my level 1 intensive so that I can make the call of wether or not they are actually ie. "level 3" etc. Some new students have a hard time with this, mainly due to ego- but it has saved me a world of problems. I emphasize to ALL my students that if they are invited to level 2, they need to know the level 1 moves intimately and that I have the right to suggest they go back to level 1 to get 'refreshed'. As long as they understand that it's not about them personally, but most importantly understanding form, knowing the vocabulary, and cues. I pretty much 'keep it real' in the most loving way possible. I have had 2 inquiries from new students wanting to come to my class but stating that they are not level 1 - Rules are rules, and in my house I will make that call. I would much rather have the students with the big egos go have their egos massaged elsewhere. If the said new students show up, they at least know what to expect. I like to inform all my students that NO ONE is EVER 'too good' for level 1. I bet you kinda feel relieved, now that it's over? I bet your students are relieved too. 😉Maybe she will be back when she is done licking her wounds.
Thanks everyone!I feel like am clear about expectations, but we can say until we're blue in the face "you are not proficient in xyz" and a student with a complete lack of self-awareness will say that they are. She was in level 1 for one year, level 2 for two and 1/2 years. I took a gamble moving her up, and it didn't work out. Other times, I've taken a gamble moving a student up and it has worked out. It's all so relative to the student and their situation.
Complete 180. She finally contacted me and heard me out about why exactly I made my decision and to hear what her options are. She apologized for reacting so strongly and childishly. She apologized for taking it so personally. At first we agreed, that maybe ATS® isn't the best fit for her because she does take things too personally. Then, she contacted me again and said she wanted to come back to class (Level 2).I didn't see that one coming. What a roller coaster.
Wow, that's awesome! It happens that some people need to process outwardly more than others. It's fatiguing, but it can provide learning experiences with dealing with people.
That's great news, Carrie. Rollercoaster, indeed. It's nice to hear about the positive direction this situation has taken.
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