This was an interesting topic of conversation that recently came up during the iTap Teacher Training Program. One of our teachers was discussing the struggle and frustration of having her classes live-streamed to the waiting area and the different complaints that her studio owner would receive from parents, and therefore the feedback she would then receive from her studio owner.

I’ve seen this at studios before, and I felt the need to take a moment and talk about this issue.

Parents don’t get it… they can see a teacher talking, and giving corrections, and they’ll say, I don’t pay for my child to stand there and listen, I pay for them to dance.

Sound familiar? These cameras create a huge tension in the in-studio learning environment.

A 3-year old cries and the parent busts through the door to scoop them up. They think they’re helping, but little do they know, that now their child can’t cope without them, they’re learning that every time they cry that mom will come. Not to mention that the entire learning environment was just disrupted and every other little kid in that room who was focused, and being a good listener, their attention is gone. And now, the teacher has to start over from square one again.

Imagine how a kid feels, knowing that their every move in class can be viewed by their parents in the waiting area and all their friends who are waiting for their class, and what that does to them and the way they approach their dance class knowing that they’re being watched.

And the pressure that teachers must feel, to keep things constantly moving! Afraid to take a bite of their granola bar and run music off their laptop because a parent might claim the teacher was hanging out looking like they were on a coffee break rather than teaching…

I understand how studio owners got there, how they got to the point where they were live-streaming classes in the waiting area. I’m a studio owner myself, so I get it. We have cameras in the studio, but they’re private security cameras to protect our students and our teachers. We don’t live stream. We have viewing windows instead, but our viewing windows have blinds, and we only open them for the last few minutes of class. 

Parents have recommended to us, why not do a 2-way film over the window so we can see in and you can’t see out, and I didn’t like that any better than live streaming.

Why?

Because we need to protect the learning environment. We need to build a sense of trust, a sense of trust that makes a parent say, my child is safe, my child is in good hands, and my child is receiving a quality dance education.

If you work at a studio where they’re live streaming of your classes and you’re not comfortable with it, I recommend that you have an open conversation with your studio owner. Bring up these points about the negative effects that these cameras have on the learning environment, the integrity of the program, the trust between families and the studio. See what they say. Most studio owners I’ve talked to, wish they never put those live-streaming cameras in, so you might find that you and your studio owner are on the same page, and maybe, you guys can come together to enact a positive change that results in an up-level of the trust and integrity of the program, as well as the learning environment. 

As always, I want to hear from you! Do you work at a studio where the cameras are live-streaming into the waiting area? Does it bother you? Or are you a teacher who LOVES the lobby live-stream? Comment below and share!