After 8 years, we have decided to change dance studios. Its difficult after you've been at the same place for so long, but my frustration with the studio has grown year after year and I had finally had enough.
The director just didn't have any respect for the families - this was her life and she expected the world to revolve around her for us too. Never mind that we have other sports and music and family lives to manage. We can't drop everything to do an event, run all over town to find shoes or accessories at the last minute, and drop lots of money on a whim.
Our new studio is a bit further away (since, of course, the last one was here in our neighborhood) but I'm very impressed with it. All of their instructors were formerly professional dancers or have degrees in dance or dance instruction (our former one danced in high school and was a Redskins Cheerleader wannabe). The kids who are younger than Samantha with fewer years of instruction are already quite impressive. Their approach is really nice AND we won't be having to do competitions anymore - and we will have fewer hours a week at the studio.
Sounds like a win-win to me! Just wish I had changed sooner