Is there ever a situation when, giving your dance instructor a birthday gift is out of line?

#1
So I was in a group class today and a student asked him if his birthday was coming up soon and he said it was. He's going to his home country for Christmas and New Years but I thought it might be nice to get him something for his birthday when he got back. Nothing much, maybe a gift card from Itunes or a gift card from some clothing store where he can buy a tie or a bow tie, but then maybe I would add a little more so he could buy a shirt. I wouldn't want to come across as frugal either.

Anyway, I haven't heard of a policy where it said giving gifts to teachers were unacceptable. I'm at Arthur Murray so if anyone from there could also chime in, that would be great. I know that giving a gift isn't something a dance instructor is expecting from us but is it in anyway ever considered out of line or inappropriate?

I would have gotten a bow tie instead if I knew which color to get and etc. But I also think that if he had to turn down my gift, a gift card would be less awkward than some bow tie in a box.

At the end of the day, He is mainly my private dance instructor and not only is he very nice but he is also very patient with me too and that is something I really appreciate although I know that patience is just a part of his job. So I just wanted to do something nice because of those reasons.

Another concern is, I'm worried I might upset the other dance instructors If I just give him something but not everyone else. Now that my instructors traveling for two weeks, I will be having private dance lessons with two of the dance instructors at the studio. Should I get them something since I will be learning from them in the two weeks he is gone? If yes, that's were it gets weird because that will leave out another dance instructor who has never taught me before. Do I get her a present too? and if so that leaves out the receptionist as well as the manager.

I'm not christian so I'm not that accustomed to Christmas gift etiquette's and I'm certainly not opposed to giving people Christmas presents due to the fact that I have a different religion but I just don't want to start pissing people off now when I initially wanted to get my dance instructor a birthday gift which is coincidentally lies around Christmas. It only seems fair that I give something to the the instructors ill be with in the two weeks But I don't know if I should give something to everyone as well. I just don't want it to get weird, I'm pretty shy when it comes to things turning awkward.

Do you think I'm being a Grinch for not wanting to give everybody something? Should I even give my dance instructor something for his Birthday?

Sorry for the essay guys :)
 

3wishes

Well-Known Member
#2
Welcome to DF Shanae_87.
This is a query of previous poster(s). It is perfectly ok to give a birthday card(s) to whomever you chose. It certainly is not necessary to include everyone in the studio or otherwise. If you decide that a small token like an ITunes gift card is something you want to give, place it in the card, seal envelope, give.
It's not considered weird or otherwise in my little corner of the world. We do this frequently.
 
#3
Thanks 3wishes. Where I live, the culture of giving each other Christmas presents isn't as common unless you are good friends or family. I don't think its weird either but I know that studios try to keep a certain boundary between students and teachers and if an instructor has a complex of having students cross a certain boundary it may be awkward for them to accept a gift and I'm the type of person who really hates these awkward moments. But I don't think that's the case.
 
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sbrnsmith

Well-Known Member
#6
I give my instructor a gift for Christmas and usually something after a comp, as I do about 3 comps a year and I want to thank him for his effort. I do not give a birthday gift. This year I also gave a small gift to the other instructor at the studio who did a few lessons with me over the last couple of months. I don't think a gift given in appreciation is inappropriate as long as it is not something too personal. I usually stick with gift cards.
 

3wishes

Well-Known Member
#8
Thanks 3wishes. Where I live, the culture of giving each other Christmas presents isn't as common unless you are good friends or family. I don't think its weird either but I know that studios try to keep a certain boundary between students and teachers and if an instructor has a complex of having students cross a certain boundary it may be awkward for them to accept a gift and I'm the type of person who really hates these awkward moments. But I don't think that's the case.
As the other posts have suggested. A minimal $ gift like ITunes,,,(I don't buy them for myself but I understand a dance instructors need for music, new music, etc), or a coffee shop card, or favorite food store that teacher accesses and brings to work or goes to afterwards, etc.
Also, check with the studio owners/management. We always check first, that said, we don't buy clothing or accessories - rather something that can be deemed as neutral.
This is a great forum for suggestions and otherwise.
Sidenote: As an instructor in my own sport - I do receive small gifts from my students (regardless of age) - although we too have rules....the management sees this as "from the heart and spirit" of the student. I tend to receive minimal $ items I would need or donations to a charity in my name which is always deeply appreciated.
 

twnkltoz

Well-Known Member
#9
If you're worried, you can ask the manager if there's a studio policy against it, but otherwise I see nothing wrong with getting your instructor a gift and no one else.
 
#10
If you're worried, you can ask the manager if there's a studio policy against it, but otherwise I see nothing wrong with getting your instructor a gift and no one else.
I would think it's expected you would only gift your instructor and no one else. Maybe if you're doing a Christmas thing you could give your instructor a gift just for them and then bake cookies for the studio staff as a whole (if baking's your thing) to avoid them feeling left out, but even that would be only if you want to.

My only experience on the instructor's end was teaching youth swim lessons back in high school, and no one thought it was weird when a kid only gave their instructor a gift card (it was rare, but it was soooo cute when it happened!).
 
#11
Thanks for all the great advice guys! I'll definitely take what each and everyone of you said into consideration. This really is a helpful forum and I do not feel as awkward about it anymore :). I'm aware that this was originally a long post and I tried keeping it to the point and only mentioned what I thought needed to be known to answer this properly. But if a portion of it was in fact irrelevant and just took up space, I apologize but thanks for reading the whole thing anyway!
 

raindance

Well-Known Member
#12
Since you are at a franchise, it would probably be a good idea to check with the manager about any studio rules about gifts. From what I gather some studios have strict policies about gifts.
 

bluslu

Active Member
#13
I would double check with the studio about their rules but I see no harm in giving a small gift card as a gift. One girl on our team gave our instructor a 12 pack of Mountain Dew after he made mambo make sense to her 4 days before a comp.
 

RiseNFall

Well-Known Member
#15
Anything that is deliberately suggestive MAY be out of line like a sexy negligee. Especially if your teacher is a guy.
:rolleyes: This of course has me trying to decide if my teacher--yes, a guy--would look better in a black or a red negligé…. All in all, not an appealing image.
 

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