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I need some opinions...PLEASE!

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Okay. So last year I began running a small rec gym program for the owner of a dance studio in my town. She was upset that she was losing young students to other sports, especially gymnastics. To alleviate this problem, she decided to open a small gym in her dance studio. When I started with her, she was very upfront about her lack of knowledge of the sport. She hired me under the guideline that I would run the entire gym program alone. I worked the entire year with no parent complaints...thankfully. She had approx. 220 students throughout the dance & gym program...112 of them were gym students. I carried this amount of students by myself while the other half were spread out among herself & 4 other dance teachers. So, this is my problem: Now that the new season is about to begin, she's telling me that I'll be in charge of the gym program again...that's fine. The thing is that I'm trying to structure classes & ratio appropriately to be productive and effective and she's trying to cram kids of diff. ages & skill levels in the same class just so she doesn't have to pay me to teach more hours. This is SO FRUSTRATING!! I know that this is not going to work! I don't want her making me look like a bad coach because I'm teaching overcrowded classes....and they're unorganized!! I've already approached her several times...nicely...and no changes have been made. What should I do??


May 21, 2008
I would personally threaten to leave. You clearly cannot run a gym like that not only is it unfair to yourself it is unfair to the children and the parents paying.

I think you should tell her to either hirer a few more coaches to help you out--or spread the classes out appropriately so you can do it-- and if she declines then tell her you are leaving!

I dont think anyone else would be willing to do what she is asking so if she doesnt have you she wont have anyone-then the students will start leaving.


Jul 21, 2008
New Zealand
That'a a tough one. I'm in a similar situation at the moment. I've had everyone throw their two cents worth in, and it all comes down to money (not what's best for the kids). I'm still waiting for people to realise that if the classes aren't run well that numbers will drop and then the programme actually loses money. :( Not to mention that you as the coach look incompetent, when really it's the system that has been thrust upon you that is at fault.

Have you talked to the owner about why it's not a good idea? Surely she wouldn't put children of different levels into dance classes - if she does, then that's probably not something that you'll be able to fix. However, if she runs the classes according to ability, you may be able to reason with her.

Do you have other coaches to help? If not, then a ratio of 1:8 is considered safe and a ratio of 1:10 is really borderline for rec classes (this is my opinion). I'm really lucky in that I have another coach with me and a bunch of parents who are willing to help (and listen to instructions). The parents don't do anything technical, just help keep the younger kids on track (we have a lot of younger kids). Where we are, the kids don't start classes without an adult until they're 5, so it takes a lot of getting used to - anyway, I got sidetracked.

You sound as though you are committed to running a good programme, and that in itself is great because you won't back down. I feel that communication is the best way to go, but if you don't get listened to, then you may have to call it quits (or at least threaten to). I don't really like this option because it makes the relationship between you and the owner quite tense, and leaves them questioning whether you might just pack your bags and leave.

Anyway, hope that helps. Let me know how you get on.:)


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Jan 4, 2008
It is her studio, she has the right to make classes the way she wants (as long as its legal), if you aren't able to do things the way she wants and she is not willing to change then resign.


Mar 3, 2009
Mississippi currently
It may be her studio, but she also said that she doesn't know anything about gymnastics and how everything works. For the safety of the kids and the liability of the gym/dance studio it is neccessary that you do need more time for classes or more coaches to help out. If I were you I would look for another place that would be willing to be open to the growth of a gymnastics program in their dance studio or another place of that nature.
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