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Date Posted: Mon, Dec 10 2018, 13:55:59"
Author: Dismayed Parent
Subject: Dance School Changes

I am writing to express my disappointment in the rumours and gossip emanating from private and confidential conversations between parents and teachers, about dancers who choose to change dance schools. I have witnessed this too many times after nationals for so many years. It is time to stop.

Changing a dance school is a serious, difficult, sensitive and well thought out decision - for parents & students. These decisions are not made lightly or easily & involve many discussions, weighing up factors that go well beyond where a student places in competitions. Time, value for money, travel & other family commitments are all drivers for these decisions. These are decisions - made by a family as a collective - and as such, deserve respect, if only for that fact. A family’s very personal decision does not deserve to be the subject of gossip. They are made in the family's honest belief that it is in the best interests of their child.

Gossip (often untrue) & rumours have no place in creating a positive, mentally healthy environment for our children to dance in. We are all responsible for that environment.

It is not appropriate for a former, or any prospective teacher(s), to share that private and discreet conversation, with any other teacher (or parent or student). Parents who discuss a move from or to a school, with a teacher are entitled to their privacy. Sharing the details is wrong and it only provides fodder for negativity. It is destructive and serves to divide the Irish dance community rather than unite it. Sadly too, human nature means that what is shared is most often neither an accurate nor full account of what has transpired.

This sort of gossip, if particularly negative or untrue, can (not unreasonably) cause for those the subject of the gossip, to defend themselves from perceived untruths by responding publicly (via social media or even this platform). This would not be in any ones’ interest and would only escalate the problem. Our community can do better than that.

More importantly, it runs a very serious risk of making dancers the subject of hurtful gossip which we all know can be very damaging.

I would like to see our community respect all dancers’ privacy, their decisions, and engender a community where they are supported, encouraged and valued.

Above all, if a dancer displays the maturity & courage to change dance school it must not be maligned, no matter our personal view of their decision.

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