Q: I own a studio in a city that has a competitive dance market. I've seen other studios in my community put ads on Instagram and Facebook for open-call auditions in April, long before most studios have finished their competition season and year-end recitals. Is this fair?
A: Studios in our community do the same thing, and we absolutely hate it. In my personal opinion, this is unethical. Dancers who are registered at one studio should not be auditioning at other schools until after Nationals are over and they have fulfilled their commitment to their current studio.
Studio owners and dance teachers need to respect one another. We should hold ourselves to a higher standard. Soliciting another studio's dancers is unprofessional. You will always have dancers changing studios—it's the nature of the beast—but we should never chase or solicit a dancer ourselves. If I'm approached during the season, I will talk to the dancer and their parents, but I will under no circumstances allow them to audition or take a class until they have completed their commitment to their current studio. I have to be able to look at myself in the mirror, and I won't be able to do that if I compromise my integrity.