Bittersweet Symphony

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Tonight the curtain will come down on my time with Kid T.

We got a chance to chat a bit before last night’s lesson.  I’m not good with the spoken word.  With the written word, I do OK.  With the spoken word, the words I think sometimes don’t make it to what I say.  Its like something gets lost in the translation.  This is why I prefer writing any day.  Plus, when you write a card or a note, you don’t have to see the other’s person reaction and that makes it easier.

I told her that I thought she was a great teacher and that I was sad to see her go.  I mentioned the routines that we did and how she gave me a chance to be “out there”.  Just talked about how much fun it had been and how I’m going to miss it.  And how I might just unexpectedly break down on our lesson.

I realize that one problem with not using words and keeping feelings to yourself is that people don’t often know how much you appreciate them.  I figured they could just read my brain waves and figure it out but I guess sometimes they need words.  I know she appreciated hearing it.  I have to admit that she seemed happier than she’s been and I know this is the right decision for her.  Even though she is a great teacher, it is hard to continue doing something if your heart isn’t in it and that appears to be the case.

So we did all of our open routines last night.  We started doing the closed routines and having OwnerGuy video them but then he said that the closed were all school figures and they were written down so he could figure them out.  But the open were more choreography and writing it down wasn’t going to help so he wanted us to do those.  That was a bit of a challenge since we hadn’t really touched them sing the last Showcase.  So we’d run through a dance a couple of times and then call him over to video it.  Tonight we do the same thing with the Rhythm dances so at least everything will be on video somewhere.  That is actually a good thing since it means those routines aren’t going to die completely as I thought they might.

Talked briefly with OwnerGuy and need to do some more with him tonight.  I guess we will work together on Thursday and then he’s figuring out a plan for the future.  I told him I’ve got three standing times already and we just need to make two of them work since I’ll be down to two lessons a week for a time.  I told him I wanted to take next week off and, at first, he seemed a little puzzled but then he realized that it would be best if I did because Z is out for a few days next week and without her and Kid T, he’s going to be in serious scramble mode to reschedule lessons.

I have no idea how the studio business really works.  On the one hand, students like me must have some value since we are pretty much steady guaranteed income.  And we’re the type who are going to do studio events and are the type who do more heats at Showcase.  And more heats means a bigger fee and more money.

But, if you get a collection of students who are lifers like me and move up in the syllabus levels, then you need to have instructors available.  But how many instructors can you keep for long periods of time?  If you don’t have experienced instructors, then the Franchisee has to do more teaching and that cuts down on time they could spend doing other studio business or exploring other options.  OwnerGuy does go and judge other Showcases and Medal Balls but if he has to come back and help teach students like me, then it cuts into the amount of time he can spend doing those things.  And I’m sure that can cause some problems down the road.

I suppose the surrounding area makes a difference.  I’m sure there are places where dance instructors grow on trees and you just pluck one off whenever someone leaves (leafs?).  And, if you have a busy studio, then you have a need for more instructors and you can probably better afford to have instructors at various levels so that you create a little pipeline when the experienced ones decide they’ve had enough dancing.  If your studio isn’t crowded, then you probably can’t afford to hire instructors if they are going to be idle all the time but then you end up like OwnerGuy is now with a big hole blown in the studio and everyone scrambling to patch it.

Not sure why I’m spending so much time speculating on the business side that I know nothing about.  Guess I’m just trying to figure out why OwnerGuy didn’t really seem to learn his lesson after the great exodus of a couple of years ago when I ended up with Kid T in the first place.  Then again, maybe he did and our area is just not a dancing hot bed so getting qualified and interested instructors is problematic.

Oh, at the end of the lesson, OwnerGuy asks me how I’m doing.  I know he’s expressing some concern here but he again seemed a bit taken aback when I said how difficult this was.  Again, I get that the studio has their whole “No Fraternization” thing and they don’t guarantee you an instructor but do they really assume that any of that keeps your from forming close ties with your instructor?  Heck, even people who don’t routinely work with Kid T were broken up at the party last week because she’s just a genuinely nice person to be around.  I give the Famous Franchise credit for creating a welcoming environment that kind of feels like family.  Then, why should they be shocked when you are heartbroken because a family member is leaving.

I haven’t yet told him about my plans for Showcase and how my first thought is that I’m not planning on doing it because I don’t want to add any more pressure to me or NewestGirl.  As a person, he might get it.  As a studio owner, he probably wants me there so I’ll have to fight him a bit on that.  I think his attitude is also more to just jump right back into the pool but that’s not really who I am.

Before I sound like I’m coming down too hard on him, I give him credit because he is trying to make a plan and he does seem totally serious about working with me.  We’ll just have to see how it goes.



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