A Dance Mom Gets Schooled by a Ballet Mistress Who Can Write

Someone using the handle “Simpcodancer mom” posted to a public email list at my daughter’s ballet school:

Just wondering when the cast list will finally be out. It is late. It was promised last week, and now it is almost October. We pay our fees on time. I teach my kids to always be on time where ever they go, especially dance. We received the email to donate to the school’s fundraiser this week on time. But no cast List. This is a teachable moment to demonstrate that being on time, especially when a promise is involved, is important.

About a half hour later, this response came from the school:


Creative Commons image by Peter Voerman. “Dance Perdormance.”

I understand that waiting for the cast list can be frustrating. Unfortunately for me and very fortunate for our dancers, it is my obsessive need to make every child as happy as possible, provide the most individualized educational experience possible and leave the best memories as possible and that can delay the process. Other factors such as illness, the last minute knowledge of some dancers not returning, staff suggestions all complicate matters. The cast list this season should have been easy but it has not. It has become a bit of a nightmare. Most parents are aware of the quality of our school, the dedication of myself and staff to their children and they fully appreciate the expertise behind everything we do, as well as every sacrifice and decision we make. Acknowledging those facts, they use moments such as these to teach patience, to reiterate that a delay in cast list is an indication of our genuine affection and dedication to our students and getting it as perfect for them as possible. Patience is definitely a virtue and you are correct in that this is a teaching moment.

I sent the list and a request for it to be posted on-line this afternoon but have rescinded that request. A hard copy would have been posted tomorrow at the studio but I’m not certain I can do that now either. It would seem as if I’m bowing to parental bullying and I’m definitely sure that is not the lesson I want to teach so I may have to wait until Monday to ensure the point.

Emailing a private request for the cast list release would have been more appropriate and a more reasonable, well thought out avenue for your frustration. Emailing and appearing to chastise me publically shows a genuine lack of knowledge, appreciation and respect. Emailing using an address we can not identify and failing to sign your email shows a lack of conviction. Failing to understand that it is a relatively easy thing to discover your identity through your IP address is another indication that your action was not thought through. If the lessons you wanted to teach here were your own ignorance, arrogance and cowardice, you’ve succeeded.


Judy Rae Tubbs
Resident Choreographer/Instructor
Laurel Ballet Theater