StudioVeena.com Forums Discussions conflict of interest for instructor to visit competition?

  • conflict of interest for instructor to visit competition?

    Posted by Hoddska on January 8, 2010 at 3:16 am

    Hi there everybody :
    just wondering what the consensus is on the following…I teach intro pole at a nice place that focuses on movement more than tricks….which is great. I recently got a punch card ( I paid for this of course) to use the poles in another studio in town that happens to focus more on pole tricks. I am only going on my own time to use their poles which are a lot taller than the ones at my "home" Studio. My Boss thinks this is not appropriate …The Boss lady wants to forbid her teachers from visiting other places that teach pole. Does this seem like a good business practice?
    I value the opinions and advice of the forum users here at SV and would love some feedback,
    thanks,

    Alex

    litlbit replied 9 years, 12 months ago 24 Members · 52 Replies
  • 52 Replies
  • Charley

    Member
    January 8, 2010 at 3:23 am

    To be honest I am really torn on this. I think first off you have the right to learn from others and pay them for their knowledge. If the other school doesn’t mind that you teach someplace else I don’t see why your boss would be so upset about it. If the other school is more advanced and chances are you’ll be learning and gaining from them knowledge you can use to teach students…

    BUT I completely agree that it is a bit of a conflict of interest. You should be practicing at your studio – even if the poles are shorter. I can understand why she might be uncomfortable with this. What if you start talking cirriculum with another instructor?

  • Webmaster

    Administrator
    January 8, 2010 at 3:56 am

    This is confusing to me. Every place I’ve ever worked has encouraged me to shop the competition, it’s the easiest and cheapest way to do competitive analysis. It was always assumed I was smart enough not to disclose trade secrets.

  • Hoddska

    Member
    January 8, 2010 at 3:59 am

    Hi there…to be clear, I am not taking classes elsewhere; just using the poles. I’m pretty certain that I’ll be alone (except for office staff of course)when I am there. I feel that it is also important as an instructor to advance in my own practice too…plus I am a person outside of being a teacher. It may mean leaving the job to be able to grow as a person. Has anyone else experienced this?

  • Hoddska

    Member
    January 8, 2010 at 4:01 am

    oh and I do also practice at my own studio a lot; several times a week of course…

  • Mary Ellyn

    Member
    January 8, 2010 at 4:02 am

    Truthfully it sounds like your "boss" is either not very secure or doesn’t trust YOU.

    I not only encourage my instructors to learn elsewhere but my students as well. This is part of brining guest intructors into our studio from time to time.

    I tell students and instructors to visit other studios when they travel as well as locally. It doesn’t concern me and if they leave me to go elsewhere then I better question myself why and if it was just time for them to move on or wasn’t I providing something for them.

    The same goes for my instructors…if they left…why?

    If I don’t trust them not to disclose things about our methods…why?

    The only POSSIBLE concern would be not to teach what you learned elsewhere until I approved the move, method and technique.

  • Georgiapeach

    Member
    January 8, 2010 at 4:15 am

    It was always assumed I was smart enough not to disclose trade secrets.
    I think this pretty much sums it up. In My area we have and still do have especially One studio who have "snuck in so to say" , take our classes then promote what they took at our studio as thier own. Which is completely frusterating. Studio owners , as myself, I think would want thier own studio to be a reflection of themselves, thier own creativity and basically be a pc of them. So when other studios do this to each other it kinda makes you feel like someone is taking a pc of you and your hard work that you have put into it.
    That might be how your Studio Owner feels will happen etc…or she also might feel that you will like it over at the competition and is afraid she will lose you to them.

  • amcut

    Member
    January 8, 2010 at 5:47 am

    This is an interesting thought to me.
    I compared it to other things that pole was like, and thought about it from those angles.

    A yoga teacher attending the classes of another yoga teacher.
    Someone who works at a gym owning a membership to a different gym.
    Gallery curator visiting another gallery.
    Artist giving their works to different venues.
    A stripper working at two different clubs.
    A professor attending another prof’s lecture.
    A chef dining out elsewhere.


    It’s kind of like pole dancing is so many things, none of them private.. yet it has that strange trade-secret mentality that really only exists in places where things are -made-. It’s kooky if you ask me. Koooooky.

  • Hoddska

    Member
    January 8, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    well this is really really helpful to get such thoughtful feedback.
    @ Empyrean; sounds as if you have great communication with your teachers. I agree that it would be wrong to teach anything that you learned elsewhere; to your students at your own base studio, without reviewing that material with the owner .
    @Georgiapeach I think you have hit on the real issue here and I thank you, I believe there is that sense of being ripped off if I go elsewhere. IT doesn’t matter if I am just going to have a cup of tea at another studio! The truth is that my boss has really devoted to her life to creating her brand and so to her I am betraying that brand to step into another studio,……HOWEVER I still think that I need room to grow ! ha ha
    @ amcut I find the comparisons you made very interesting! I guess another factor is that here in Toronto the market for Pole Dance classes is really tiny. And…my Boss is trying to differentiate her "style" of Studio from any others in town. To be fair she is really hoping to bring it to a more mainstream clientelle .
    @Webmaster I have to admit I also am of the opinion that straight out comparison is a good thing if you are secure in what you have to offer
    @ charley so in the end that push/pull of personal growth vs loyalty to the home studio ends this way for me…(see below)

    Well, on this one I may have to just suck it up and forget working on longer poles. I think it would be ok to take an alternate aerial art to satisfy my craving for heights…so, silks and aerial hoop? How funny it would be if in the end I fell in love with that and ran off with the circus….
    thanks for the input; this has really been bugging me and I realize that whereas my boss may be bit insecure I still owe her loyalty and respect.

    thnx all SV people!

    Alex

  • GatorGirl4Life

    Member
    January 13, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    This is a very interesting thread and I think everyone’s opinions are great. It does sound to me like your boss is a wee bit insecure. What would she say if you told her you were watching a pole instructional DVD or videos on youtube and learned something new? Would you not be allowed to teach it in class even if it meant improving the instruction of the studio over all? I am constantly looking to learn new things for my studio, whether it was learned at another studio across the country or from a video on youtube. I always let my students know where I learned the trick and give other pole instructors credit as necessary. For example, I teach pole pirouettes the way I learned from Leigh Ann when I visited her studio a few years back. She is such an inspiration to me, and I love the way she dances. I have even referred students to her youtube channel and tell them that if they are ever in the LA area, to check her studio out. I hate how a lot of pole instructors and studio owners are so sketchy about not wanting to share their trademark moves because god forbid another studio uses it. If your style is unique enough, a good student will recognize it. I can tell sometimes when a dancer is inspired from other dancers or is trained by others. Look at all the girls from BeSpun? They all kind of dance like Leigh Ann…. I want my students to be as good as me, so I have no problem showing them things I may have come up with on my own. A good owner and teacher wants their students to succeed, and to me, that includes learning outside of the studio on their own time either at home, or traveling around to other studios. Anyone disagree with me?

  • amy

    Member
    January 13, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    This is a very interesting thread and I think everyone’s opinions are great. It does sound to me like your boss is a wee bit insecure. What would she say if you told her you were watching a pole instructional DVD or videos on youtube and learned something new? Would you not be allowed to teach it in class even if it meant improving the instruction of the studio over all? I am constantly looking to learn new things for my studio, whether it was learned at another studio across the country or from a video on youtube. I always let my students know where I learned the trick and give other pole instructors credit as necessary. For example, I teach pole pirouettes the way I learned from Leigh Ann when I visited her studio a few years back. She is such an inspiration to me, and I love the way she dances. I have even referred students to her youtube channel and tell them that if they are ever in the LA area, to check her studio out. I hate how a lot of pole instructors and studio owners are so sketchy about not wanting to share their trademark moves because god forbid another studio uses it. If your style is unique enough, a good student will recognize it. I can tell sometimes when a dancer is inspired from other dancers or is trained by others. Look at all the girls from BeSpun? They all kind of dance like Leigh Ann…. I want my students to be as good as me, so I have no problem showing them things I may have come up with on my own. A good owner and teacher wants their students to succeed, and to me, that includes learning outside of the studio on their own time either at home, or traveling around to other studios. Anyone disagree with me?

    i think you raise a lot of really good points gatorgirl! i have to say though… i hate it when people say "oh i can recognize your style as being from XX studio." i would like to think that part of being taught how to pole DANCE is to come up with your own kind of style that is unique and not just like your teacher’s…. that’s something that i’m trying to explore on my own and i am hoping that eventually, although my technique may be an amalgamation of dancers that i respect, that the way i move is not a cookie cutter of someone else. i realize that this comes in time, and is difficult to do, but i like to think that dance can, and should be, an expression of individuality.

  • amcut

    Member
    January 13, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Ooooh!

    Amy, that’s one of my favorite topics! Ever!

    I actually think you have to part from the studio and have your own pole to get your own style- yeah, you can take those great parts that you love- but I don’t think that if I’m spending all day doing a dance choreographed by Michula of Antix fitness, that I’m going to have anything but an ugly version of her style. (Of course, plenty of people would have a similar, goodlooking version, but I’d have an ugly one).

    Or Alethea and Angela Seikman, who are be spun women, but… don’t even flip their hair like Leigh Ann.

    ..I think it’s a compliment, though! Like, if you were apprenticed under a master carpenter, or a protege of a philosopher and you were recognizable as a student or disciple of their learning? What’s wrong with that! Nothing! It’s not saying you’re a clone, just.. someone who picked up some styles and that they’re identifiable! And then when your style is so freaking crazy that you have no discernible former studio, someone will apprentice under you. Mm!

    It’s exciting to think of!

  • GatorGirl4Life

    Member
    January 13, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    i think you raise a lot of really good points gatorgirl! i have to say though… i hate it when people say "oh i can recognize your style as being from XX studio." i would like to think that part of being taught how to pole DANCE is to come up with your own kind of style that is unique and not just like your teacher’s…. that’s something that i’m trying to explore on my own and i am hoping that eventually, although my technique may be an amalgamation of dancers that i respect, that the way i move is not a cookie cutter of someone else. i realize that this comes in time, and is difficult to do, but i like to think that dance can, and should be, an expression of individuality.

    I understand what you mean, but a lot of non-dancers who want to learn how to pole dance seem to find it hard to just develop your "own style" from scratch. My goal is that by showing them these tricks that I know, they take them a step further and add their own flair to it. After a while you should be able to find your own style, but sometimes it just takes a little inspiration from others to get started.

  • amy

    Member
    January 13, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    i think you raise a lot of really good points gatorgirl! i have to say though… i hate it when people say "oh i can recognize your style as being from XX studio." i would like to think that part of being taught how to pole DANCE is to come up with your own kind of style that is unique and not just like your teacher’s…. that’s something that i’m trying to explore on my own and i am hoping that eventually, although my technique may be an amalgamation of dancers that i respect, that the way i move is not a cookie cutter of someone else. i realize that this comes in time, and is difficult to do, but i like to think that dance can, and should be, an expression of individuality.

    I understand what you mean, but a lot of non-dancers who want to learn how to pole dance seem to find it hard to just develop your "own style" from scratch. My goal is that by showing them these tricks that I know, they take them a step further and add their own flair to it. After a while you should be able to find your own style, but sometimes it just takes a little inspiration from others to get started.

    absolutely. which is why i said… it comes in time and is difficult to do! =) not for beginners but part of coming into your own.

  • Angel1201

    Member
    January 14, 2010 at 2:00 am

    Gator Girl I’m with you on this one. As a teacher, I was constantly striving to bring new things into class to keep it fresh. My students were paying money to have the best class possible and I owed it to them to keep them on their toes. I always gave props as to where I picked it up from. I did visit the competion and what I found, I loved. Perhaps the owners are afraid you’ll leave. I also watch videos, and take workshops as often as possible. My studio owner doesn’t dance at all, so she isn’t worried about a particular style or trademark moves. I guess it depends on where you work and what the culture is there. I believe though that if you stay enclosed in a bubble and ignore the outside world that growth is limited. I wouldn’t want to work at a place like that. There is a wonderful pole world out there and dancers need to embrace each other rather than ignore one another.

    Hoddska, it sounds to me like you aren’t doing anything wrong. You are a free human being who should be allowed to do whatever the hell you please while you are off the clock as long as you aren’t slandering or hurting your boss. Are Pizza Hut workers banned from getting Dominos?? Silly.

  • Hoddska

    Member
    January 14, 2010 at 3:24 am

    I am so interested in the continued discussion on this topic..I am still kind of working through this internally and hearing the opinions and thoughtful voices of the SV community is very important to me!!! ….I am working through something of a pesonal challenge here…I am listening to you all,and processing it…..
    perhaps I am at a point of personal growth and may need to stand up for my own needs and desire to learn a lot more that may require me to explore other studios and teachers too??….
    we shall see….

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