Parents Running dive rolls, but only landing on dead mat? 😬

DON'T LURK... Join The Discussion!

Members see FEWER ads

BluePinkPanda

Proud Parent
Hello,

My DDs are not in gymnastics, but they have been doing competitive dance.

Their dance teachers recently had my older daughter (11) and her acro class doing running dive rolls over stacked mats between 3 & 4 feet tall. My DD is only 4.5 ft tall. This was a new to them skill; they had only ever done really basic standing dive rolls.

There are no viewing windows or cameras (which has always rubbed me the wrong way), but DD got in the car and told me her head was hurting. I assumed it was a headache, but she was fighting back tears. She said it was her head and neck, and that she had landed on her head and bounced on her head. Naturally, I asked what happened.

She then told me that they had them doing running dive rolls. I asked if there was any kind of crash mat on the other side to land on, and she said no; just the dead mat (roll out cheer mat). She said she hit her head hard every time, but she only bounced on her head the one time. She said she saw black spots and felt dizzy and light headed; she felt weird through the next day, and she had headaches for a few days after.

So I told her to ask if they could put down a crash mat or a softer mat of some kind. She said she didn’t want to ask for that because she didn’t want them to get mad at her and get in trouble. The emotional and psychological abuse they do to them has become apparent in the last year; I almost didn’t commit them to this year, and I wish I hadn’t.

Anyway, so DH wrote an email explaining the situation and said we told our kids not to do it without a crash mat or softer mat because we and they would feel more comfortable that way. He said we appreciated them understanding, providing that for them, and helping them learn this skill in a way that would be safer for them.

They required a meeting. it was clear the meeting had a different agenda (which I won’t get in to here), but they denied our request using a crash mat in the future, insinuated DD was lying and overreacting, they denied a spot even (which DH only asked about because they refused to put any other mat down for her to land on), and even rolled their eyes at my DH. One of them said, “Why did she keep doing it if she got hurt and it scared her?” DH said, “You were asking her to do it, and she’s a people pleaser; she didn’t want to not do it and disappoint any of you.” That’s where the eye roll came in. Their “solution” was to make her do it without a crash/softer mat or not at all, and if she doesn’t learn it, she can’t be in the recital acro dance.

My background is gymnastics, tumbling, and cheer, so I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this response. She likely wouldn’t have needed a crash mat for that long; just until she got the right form and wasn’t at risk of hitting her head each time or really hard again. There was even a comment made by one of them about how they’re just fine in class, so “there must be a problem at home.” That’s such an inappropriate and uncalled for comment. I couldn’t believe the nerve of her.

I told DH after all the mental abuse our kids have suffered, and then this…it’s the final straw, and I am done. I don’t even see how we can finish this season, as I’m acutely uncomfortable with their response and don’t trust them at all now.

Were we wrong in requesting a crash mat or softer mat? I don’t feel like it was unreasonable at all, but they seemed to think it was one of the worst things we could have done. I’m so lost, and I guess I just needed to vent more than anything.
 
Oh my gosh, no, you weren't wrong at all. I would be deeply uncomfortable with that training approach, and the lackadaisical concern for the safety and well-being of your child. Not to mention their attempts to gaslight and threatening your child's removal from the troupe.

Follow your gut, mama, and get them into another program that trains safely and sanely. You guys were totally reasonable in your requests, their response was definitely not.
 
Maybe somebody else can chime in here if I'm right but..
For future reference, if a kid hits her head and has blacked out, you may want to see or at least call a doctor. Especially if symptoms carry on even hours later. She may well have had a mild concussion, from what you're describing, and a doctor could help determine if that's the case and what to do about it if this ever happens again.
Also, I agree with the others here. These aren't warning signs of possible problems, these are problems already. They're not taking her physical safety seriously, they're not communicating in a respectful manner, they're not taking her or your needs and emotions seriously, and they seem to be gaslighting whether on purpose or not. I would leave fast.

I don’t feel like it was unreasonable at all, but they seemed to think it was one of the worst things we could have done. I’m so lost, and I guess I just needed to vent more than anything.

This is a very common and normal way to feel. We're supposed to trust coaches, so even though you're an adult they have an authority position. One of knowledge. We tend to feel we should trust them and are in the wrong when we disagree. Even more so when they communicate so infantilising. Usually, if you're at the point where you dare express worry, its a bad situation. I actually brought up a similar thing recently in a thread about abuse (https://chalkbucket.com/threads/abuse-at-metroplex.70409/#post-637599 if you're curious)

Good luck with your situation. I hope you can find better, safer places around that will teach your kids to express their needs rather than hide them.
 
You were not wrong and you need to pull her immediately. It is not a safe situation at all from what it sounds like, neither physically nor emotionally.
Thank you so much for your quick reply. We did make the decision to pull them, and I feel very relieved!
Maybe somebody else can chime in here if I'm right but..
For future reference, if a kid hits her head and has blacked out, you may want to see or at least call a doctor. Especially if symptoms carry on even hours later. She may well have had a mild concussion, from what you're describing, and a doctor could help determine if that's the case and what to do about it if this ever happens again.
Yes, I agree, and I so would have, but she didn't even realize the black spots were anything connected to it. She didn't tell me about it until after she was feeling better, and I asked if she saw stars or spots (I should have asked her that night, but I didn't; that was all my fault). Thankfully, she did not lose consciousness. I also didn't know about the headaches until after they had resolved; same with her feeling "weird" through the next day. She said she would get dizzy easily through the next day. This was all after the fact. Regardless, I should have taken her in the next day when she told me she landed on her head and bounced on her head. That is a lesson learned for me.

Also, I agree with the others here. These aren't warning signs of possible problems, these are problems already. They're not taking her physical safety seriously, they're not communicating in a respectful manner, they're not taking her or your needs and emotions seriously, and they seem to be gaslighting whether on purpose or not. I would leave fast.
Oh my gosh, you are so right. These are current problems and not warning signs. These are problems that have likely existed since before we were there, and they'll continue with us gone too. And yes! Gaslighting! That has been one of the biggest things they do. It's been really frustrating because they always say, "Come to us with any concerns," but they make it impossible to do so.

This is a very common and normal way to feel. We're supposed to trust coaches, so even though you're an adult they have an authority position. One of knowledge. We tend to feel we should trust them and are in the wrong when we disagree. Even more so when they communicate so infantilising. Usually, if you're at the point where you dare express worry, its a bad situation. I actually brought up a similar thing recently in a thread about abuse (https://chalkbucket.com/threads/abuse-at-metroplex.70409/#post-637599 if you're curious)
This is a really good way to put it. I read your post, and I feel both my daughters have felt the same way. The older daughter actually has always told me more, pretty much any time something happened (though sometimes not), even though the teachers always threaten them not to tell their parents things (another red flag...huge red flag!). She is much more intuitive and can tell when things are off or wrong, even when other kids might not notice. The younger daughter would keep things in, but I could always tell when things happened or bothered her just by her behavior when she would get in the car and things she would say; she often seems confused by "feedback," likely because it was given in such a horrible way. Recently though, when she decided she wanted to be finished with dance, she started to tell me it all. It's shocking everything she kept inside. They only both recently told me their teachers told them not to tell their parents things, and if I had heard that before now, I guarantee I wouldn't have committed them to this year. I'm glad you realized if there is anything you are questioning that it's something that needs to be discussed. Abuse of power really is a terrible thing. What made it worse with this studio is if we brought anything up, we were the villains, and then they would retaliate against our kids in class and everything.
Oh my gosh, no, you weren't wrong at all. I would be deeply uncomfortable with that training approach, and the lackadaisical concern for the safety and well-being of your child. Not to mention their attempts to gaslight and threatening your child's removal from the troupe.

Follow your gut, mama, and get them into another program that trains safely and sanely. You guys were totally reasonable in your requests, their response was definitely not.
Thank you so much! Definitely pulled them, and we have no regrets. Now we just have to navigate this transition.
 
Just to update all of you. Another mom pulled her daughter out around the same time frame as us (this past week). I had no idea until moms wrote me saying how sad they and their kids are that we are gone. Then they told me she also left. That mom said her daughter was extremely unhappy too.

I also found out some really really really shady things in the past of the owner’s husband/director’s dad. Yes, the current director is the daughter of the previous director (and still the owner). I’m talking…the business he was involved with was doing extremely dishonest and immoral things. It’s not common knowledge; pretty sure the person who told me has never told anyone before. I won’t go into the details here, but if I had known about this before, I would have never enrolled my kids in this studio. I feel so incredibly icky about it, and it makes me want to cry.

To say the least, I am even more relieved we pulled them out.

Thank y’all all so much for your responses!
 
Last edited:
Unfortunately, this is exceedingly common in many dance studios.

Acro has exploded in dance studios, especially since the dance mom’s TV show increased its popularity. But this was the case a few decanters ago, so many of the teachers are not trained in Acro and do not train in safe technique.

There is no governing body co trolling dance and the way it’s taught.

But in dance there is often pressure to put big skills on stage and kids are taught to do things without the appropriate prerequisites, often by teachers who don’t fully understand the risks of what they are teaching, without much by way of safety equipment.
 
But in dance there is often pressure to put big skills on stage and kids are taught to do things without the appropriate prerequisites, often by teachers who don’t fully understand the risks of what they are teaching, without much by way of safety equipment.
This! All of your post, really, but I just picked this part to quote. The owner hails herself as an acro technique “queen” and how she stresses the technique for “safety.” She often goes on and on about other studios not teaching things correctly and how it scares her.

Well, I always had my own thoughts. Dance specific acro, they did fine, but once kids started learning tumbling skills or acro tricks that aren’t dance specific, I cringed and it scared me. The BHS they teach are the literal worst, and many girls have gotten hurt doing them, even when they have been doing them for years because they all throw high and undercut so bad. They have actually told girls, “Throw up; not back,” and it would make me want to scream. Then they try to connect skills, and it’s a disaster.

That’s just one example, but your point was a good one. Thank you so much for bringing it up. I even told my husband there are like 60 skills that I remember to pass off to do a running dive roll…they definitely did not do that, especially when they said, “It’s not that hard; just do it.” Aye yai yai!
 

DON'T LURK... Join The Discussion!

Members see FEWER ads

Gymnaverse :: Recent Activity

College Gym News

Back