Another thought occurred to me about this thread. Unless a student had a pretty open conversation about it with the first teacher, they might accidentally chose a second teacher that the original one had some kind of issue with...perhaps that the teacher didn't want to talk about. I could see a teacher having full desire to be professional about the whole thing, but--being human--ending up having issues about it.
well, unless a student has an infinite amount of money or both pros involved have all of the work they need, I would imagine there could be some concern about sharing the resources and about a student being less dependent/bonded to themselves alone....it's the same with not wanting to take a student to a comp where you suspect their chances are quite bad....you don't want to really say it, but you also know that, often when students suffer a really bad comp, that is when they decide they've had enough....I would imagine that unless a pro is fairly detached/ambivalent about a student or their own finances, they are not going to be comfortable with circumstances which may cause a student to feel less committed solely to them.
I could see this however if a pro had a student in my age and skill level who had seniority and was determined to dance most of the events that I wanted to dance...although I wouldn't likely have chosen that pro to begin with unless I didn't care about competing or was certain that the person didn't compete that often....
I will try- if I understand- what you mean is that a dance teacher can feel concerned about sharing a student with another teacher- unless they know the student has unlimited resources. I don't disagree with this. However, is this not true in other lines of work- everyone is in essence competing for clients or customers in their jobs/ business? So dance is no different really- the teachers are competing among each other to get and retain students.
Sorry if I'm not articulating that well...
I have two teachers, both of whom I met at the franchise where I started ballroom (and both of whom are independent now). They know about each other (that I dance with the other one too).
I know that dancing with more than one teacher has helped me to develop as a dancer. I don't "belong" to one person in terms of style and understanding. I can ask one for his viewpoint on what the other tried to teach me. ;-)
Given time and money (ha!) I'd like to be able to take the occasional lesson with another teacher or two. I expect to stay with the two that I have now for the long term (unless somebody decides to move to another state). I like the thought of dancing with someone for years to come.
I didn't want to start a new thread on my little thing, so i'll use this one. I split between two excellent teachers at two studios, both in the same franchise (please, no independent/franchise battle here). One studio is under new ownership and does things much differently than the way it used to. The other studio runs the way I am used to (5 yrs or so at these) - flexibility, openness to working with my requests, handles business items well, but they have their rules that need to be followed. First studio has become a land of my way or the high way - no flexibility with anything at all, and they have been treating me and the other long-time students rather poorly. They don't acknowledge my efforts to be part of the studio, they barely acknowledge that i've tried very hard to fit into the new rules and atmosphere at the studio. The only reason I am there is that the teacher really is incredible - imported from eastern europe, with substantial placements from his pro career under his belt, and is a great teacher too. I've watched my smooth dancing grow leaps and bounds - with placements at independent comps that validate my improvement. But I am so frustrated with the new owners - they can't do basic things, it seems, like getting my payments right, honor their own policies around guests, and a litany of other items. I'm not really sure how the owners keep two other studios running! At other studio, however, there is not a smooth guy. There are incredible dancers and teachers, but they are rhythm and latin specialists - they can do smooth, and i will get better, but i've danced smooth there, and it was a little less than first studio.
TL;DR - when does studio ownership and management outweigh teaching prowess? when would you be willing to take a lesser teacher for a more flexible and welcoming environment?
You're choosing between two unpleasant options: 1) Take from a less-skilled teacher and presumably improve less as a result or 2) Put up with irritating nonsense from new studio management to get access to the more skilled teacher.
You need to pick the one that you believe will cause you less unhappiness in the long run. The impression I got from your post is that you've pretty much picked #2 and need validation that you chose correctly. For what it's worth, I'd pick that option in your shoes.
Since you mention that this is a franchise, there is a potential for 3) Escalate to the franchise owner's regional head i.e. the studio owner's boss. Not granting you the flexibility you're used to isn't something a regional director would do anything about, but failing to process your payments correctly or inconsistently enforcing their guest rules probably are. This is a bit of a "nuclear" option though, so proceed with caution.
Hmmm.... I think it's hard to give up the better teacher and be happy. One option is to stay with the smooth teacher you like and limit your involvement with the studio. Don't try to be a part of it, don't fight them, etc. Come in, dance, leave..... You've let your teacher know how unhappy you are?
Oh, I've already gone to the regional head, above the studio owner. There was a financial issue a bit ago and I got that resolved immediately. I have no problems escalating. Perhaps I do just need validation that I've made the right choice, but I also wanted to hear other experiences and thoughts, truly. The lessons and teacher are wonderful. I haven't figured out my limit with the studio irritations, was looking to hear from others.
I am doing exactly what you suggest, RiseandFall! And they are all aware, I write excellent but polite complaint letters. (My mom is queen of the polite but firm complaint letter and taught me). I keep thinking they'll at least make no more mistakes, and then something new happens! Le sigh. I suppose we'll find out my limit.
The feedback from you all has been helpful, though, thank you!
If I were only at the studio for the odd lesson with that instructor, I'd be inclined to stick it out but restrict my presence (and support) to those lessons only, dealing with the pro I was there to see and not the studio staff. And document everything to do with payment, because their systems are obvi unreliable!
If it were my primary studio, where I spent hours each day, and the issues were turning it into a place that I didn't want to be and impacting my dancing... well, then it becomes a fix it (to a tolerable level, not necessarily to perfect) or leave situation, because even the most amazing pro can't make the stress of a toxic environment worth it for me. Dance is supposed to be fun, not induce panic attacks in the car because you have to go inside the studio!
"Panic attacks" might be an exaggeration. There was somebody working at the studio for a while who I had a physical reaction to dealing with. Once I realized what (who) was causing it, I figured out how to not deal with her. She was reasonably avoidable, however. I could see more people like her, or people like her who I couldn't avoid, ruining the experience for me.