The ‘he’ (or ‘she’) we’re thinking about is your ballroom dance instructor. Everything about your teacher is perfect. Don’t you love how he calls to remind you that you’ll see each other soon? When you get to the studio, the first thing out of his mouth is, “Don’t you look nice tonight!” It makes you feel so good. He holds you close and looks you straight in the eye as he gently guides you through the moves. The best thing is that he asks you questions about your life and your work. And, of course, he hangs on to your every word. No wonder you’re crazy about him and want to know, “Does he love me?*” This is where non-fraternization comes into play.
*This post speaks from the perspective of a female student and male instructor. Most certainly, it can be the other way around, as well.
Where do these fabulous instructors come from?
It’s easy for those of us in the business to understand how you feel. After all, candidates for a teaching position in a ballroom dance studio are required to have one thing. That’s a love of people. They have to be friendly, outgoing, cheerful, and warm.
Anyway, that’s why you’re so comfortable with your teacher. He’s genuinely nice. On the other hand, what if your teacher was incredibly knowledgeable, but aloof, shy, distant, and never cracked a smile? Do you think you’d stay with him long enough to become a good dancer? Doubtful.
Honor the policy of no fraternizing in the student-teacher relationship.
It’s no surprise that you have a crush on your instructor. That’s why the studio has a rule about getting together outside of the studio.
What exactly is it?
The idea of no fraternizing rules in business is quite common. In some cases it means co-workers are not to get involved in a personal relationship other than what’s required at work. In the ballroom dance industry it refers to students and teachers not socializing outside of the studio. That means no trips, dinners, or nights out dancing just for the two of you. Students and instuctors are discouraged from using private social media to follow and communicate when they’re not at the studio.
This rule is meant to protect the the student, the instructor, and the studio.
- If you’re lending money to instructors, it might get awkward when it’s time to pay it back.
- You may be tempted to give expensive gifts if you’re involved in a personal relationship.
- An emotional attachment to your instructor makes it uncomfortable when it’s time to change teachers.
- A crush may go too far.
- A student might request lessons outside the studio for a break on the rate.
- When other students find out you’re fraternizing outside the studio, they’ll want you to hang out with them, too. The result is the loss of personal time. Basically, you’re constanting working.
- Because student/teacher entanglements are rarely successful, the studio loses staff, students, and revenue.
What about studio sponsored activities outside the studio?
Non-fraternization clauses aren’t in effect when you’re out and about enjoying studio sponsored activities. These include:
- Competitions and Showcases
- A ‘night out on the town’
- A studio picnic or day at the beach
Basically, non-fraternization clauses in your contract are there to protect the student, the teacher, and, of course, the studio. Knowing that may not stop you from crushing on your instructor, but keeping it professional will prevent any undesirable situations.