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There are two sides to every story. Can’t stress this enough. But where there is smoke there is usually fire. And the Yelp reviews for Revive Dance Xchange in Beverly are overwhelming negative, and echo similar complaints – uncertified instructors, charging credit cards without authorization, fraudulent GoFundMe’s for her brain disease, lavish trips after the fact….
Not showing up for private lessons….
Making kids cry, slapping them in the back of the head, making them pay for classes they didn’t go to….
Bad mouthing parents to other parents….
Non stop added costs, such as extra practices and required costumes…..
Dishonest business practices…..
Hour long classes that were only 45 minutes, and Candy only showed up for 18 of them….
Unaccounted for scholarship money….
Lackadaisical accounting practices and shutting down Facebook reviews after receiving negative reviews….
Cutting corners by combining classes and throwing older kids in with younger kids, without proper instructors…
Giving her daughter more solo dances at recitals that other parents have to sit through….
Over and over and over again….
Notice they come in sporadically so you can tell it’s not an organized campaign someone started one day. These are consistently bad reviews that contain lots of details, many of which are echoed in other client’s complaints. Same with the Google reviews:
However, there are a some good reviews…..
They just come from the same people….
And they almost always come after a barrage of negative reviews, coincidentally addressing complaints in the negative reviews. Like how she “gracefully handled unjust defamation of character from angry clients,” “keeps herself completely up to date on dance training and teacher training by attending professional classes and workshops” and “coming in the day after a major surgery”:
This particular review comes from a current instructor, and we are told is one of the only ones who is certified. Except this violates Yelp’s policies – you can’t leave reviews if you work there. Duh!
A former employee told us that she was prompted to leave a 5 star review to help save RDX’s online reputation after we messaged Candy a couple weeks ago:
And quite frankly, all of the 5 star reviews sounds suspicious, and specifically address allegations that have been raised. Candy shared a link to one on Facebook:
Here’s what the review said:
What kind of customer would EVER mention the dance studio’s “financial sustainability?” How would they even know that? This sounds like an investment pitch, not a parent talking about her kid’s dancing experience. Sounds legit.
Others on Yelp are shady ones like this:
Which many believe are Candy Dennis herself. Notice that this is the only review that “Nicole B” has ever left. And “Simply the best, better than all the rest” is a stolen Toyota Camry jingle:
Nicole B also happened to make an appearance on the Google reviews as well. She once again specifically addressed complaints that have been raised, including the overpriced costumes….
Do we have proof this is actually Candy? No. But if it is, this is insane behavior.
Why would any legitimate customer on their own say that the costume fees are not outrageous, unless they were previously told to say that? Imagine eating at a restaurant, really liking the food, finding the prices fair, and leaving a review. Would you say, “The prices are good,” or “The prices are not outrageous?” Which one sounds like an authentic review, and which one sounds like a coached response to a specific allegation?
Either way, sources we spoke with who have done business there for years have no idea who “Nicole B” is, which they would be able to do for someone who allegedly had done business there for 12 years.
Yelp catches on to fraudulent reviews, and all of these 5 star reviews have been removed, and all of them on the same exact day:
Notice many of them have 1 or no reviews besides this one. And Ben D is her husband Ben Dennis. She frequently posts under his name as well. Nothing shady about that.
Or this one that calls out a “very small group of people” who have created “fake” accounts, as if any criticism is fake:
Two other things that stand out in that review:
- There is always a well-trained teacher in charge of the class. This addresses a frequent complaint about RDX – there is a lack of properly trained teachers is one of the biggest complaints.
- “Candy’s scholarship program is absolutely a real thing.” Who would ever randomly just say that? “Absolutely a real thing?” LOL. It’s specifically a response to the allegation that the scholarships are not real, but yet the poster does nothing to convince the reader that they’re actually legit, besides say they are “absolutely a real thing.” I’m sold!!
Oh, and Olivia is also a former student instructor.
Here’s a long negative review. Check out the last sentence:
“Revive has reached out to out of state studios to give 5 star reviews in order to boost ratings.”
Here’s a review from a woman named Dawn O’Reilly, alleging that negative reviews are inauthentic:
Dawn O’Reilly works for a dance studio……..in Ontario, Canada!!
How could someone working at a studio in another country give a real review of a dance studio in Beverly? Here’s what a former employee tells us:
The bottom line is that as an unbiased observer here, it certainly looks like the negative reviews are legitimate. They are remarkably consistent over a long period of time. They come from real people using their real names. Meanwhile, the postive reviews are from employees, Canadians, her husband, and “Nicole B.” And all of their responses seem extremely coached, as a reaction to negative but authentic reviews she was getting.
Next up in Part 3 we will examine and look into some of the more serious complaints, specifically Candy’s b