Q: I have had terrible issues with a particular family. The kids come to class without appropriate clothes or shoes. They are lazy and don’t seem to want to be there. And the parent is rude to my instructors. How do you tell a family or student that you would not welcome them back?
A: There are times when you will encounter a student or family that becomes uncooperative and disrespectful to the point where the disruption requires you to take action. First, be sure you’ve done all you can to remind them of your studio’s policies and procedures. Encourage your faculty to routinely address desired behavior in class as a helpful reminder for all students. And we recommend attempting to resolve the dress-code problems directly with the parents by reminding them of why it is necessary, where they can get the proper dancewear and your policy on the consequences of coming to class unprepared.
If it is clear that they are not willing to comply, you may decide to request their withdrawal in writing, such as:
"There have been ongoing challenges in regards to your child's participation at our studio. Our faculty and staff have made the effort to create an environment that supported each of our goals, and we have done our very best to serve you. After assessing the choices made regarding the policies and concerns addressed in the past, it is our request that you seek another studio or school for future dance training. It is in the best interest for all concerned that we discontinue our association. We wish you future success and happiness."
Have the courage to make the right decision for the future of your studio. Don’t let the fear of any perceived negative consequences hold you back from maintaining a safe and respectful place for your students to learn and grow.
Kathy Blake is the owner of Kathy Blake Dance Studios in Amherst, New Hampshire. She and Suzanne Blake Gerety are the co-founders of DanceStudioOwner.com.