This is a continuation of answering the big questions that have crossed my path in the dance world.
Do I change to a school that has been the competition for the school I attended for a decade?
This is another question that boils down to loyalty versus protection of your best interest. When you strip away your emotional attachment to a dance school, it can be seen that dance schools are a business. Admittedly, they are often not solidly run businesses based on common business practices. However, the owners have created the school to create a livelihood for themselves. No matter how much passion the owner has for dance, the school is still a business. It may have started as a passion that they figured they needed to share with the world. The best way was to create this place that would allow them to do so. This means that they want to keep their staff stable which means discouragement of teaching for other businesses. It means trying to keep business stable as well which means discouragement of learning from teachers at other businesses.
Some schools are more loyal to their students’ best interests than others. If you are part of one of those, that’s great. I do wish there were more of them around. Some schools want to withhold some information to be able to keep their students wanting more. It’s a good business strategy. Keep that carrot slightly out of reach and the bunny will keep chasing it. If a dance school can be more abundant and provide the students with all the information they have, it would be better for the students. In doing so, it would also push some members of the teaching staff to seek more knowledge to be able to keep a cutting edge of knowledge that keeps them ahead of other schools. Unfortunately, it is human nature to not push so hard. Coasting is easy. Cutting edge takes discipline, effort, and money.
If you are in a school where you feel like they are withholding information that can help you get ahead, you have your answer if you are wanting to move forward with your career. If you can tap into a teacher or a school who was not raised in their dance by the same community, or has at least ventured out for training beyond what the rest of the local community has, you will gain new information. Your local schools may not be able to give you everything you need, especially if you are in a smaller centre. There are usually teachers who had been founders of your community and they have often been around for a long time. Take advantage of the fact that they are accessible. Often these established teachers, though maybe not as trendy as others, are a wealth of knowledge and experience. They have foundational information that transcends genres and trends.