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Tuition costs: Dollars for Dance

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I was just wondering what some people might spend yearly on dance training, and what type of schools do your children attend.


We used to be in a "pre-professional" ballet program on Long Island. They had a work/study program so an unlimited number of classes only cost $75. per month. However, you had to work the desk, work the concession stands during performances, attend rehearsals, assistant teach and perform anywhere in the tri-state area. :helpsmilie: My daughter is 12 and wants to dance professionally.


We have recently switched studios and I am finding that good ballet training is expensive. We will be attending an outstanding studio, and it will cost $1500 for 2 ballet and 2 pointe classes a week. This $1500 is payable at registration. Since 2 classes a week are not enough we are also going to another studio that has decent training but they charge $100 a month for 2 ballet/pointe and 1 modern class, which is manageable.


The ride into Manhattan to attend Steps, Ballet Academy East, or Bway Dance would make the cost prohibitive. What's a Mom to do??? How do other parents afford this?

P.S. My daughter also attends private school which may be why it all seems so expensive. :rolleyes:

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It is very expensive and the more advanced the dancer becomes, the more the cost of dancing goes up. When a parent starts out with their little child in "Creative Movement", they have no idea that eventually they'll be paying between up to $90 for a pair of pointe shoes and that those shoes will be "dead" within, sometimes, a week! :helpsmilie:


I wish I could offer you some helpful hints... I know we've discussed this sort of thing before on the board...but perhaps some of the newer posters will have some fresh insights to bring to the discussion? Or even the "old timers"? :rolleyes:

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Guest Cristina



There is no doubt dance training is expensive. question - The $1,500 is for a school year?


I think ours runs nearly this for maybe one or two more classes a week. However, we are in a small town, near a large city in a part of the country where things are not terribly expensive when compared to other places.


For me the tuition is manageable. The expensive part is everything else that goes with ballet. My dd daughter is two years into pointe, and we still have not found our shoe. This is a very expensive process. SI's add another layer of cost that makes the tuition seem like a piece of cake. Then there's the cost of additional workshop opportunities that come up during the year. Oh, and did I mention outgrowing leo's and tights before they wear out???


However, as discussed in other threads, we do this for our dd because she has such incredible passion about dancing, and has for many years. DD saves her birthday money, does odd jobs to earn some money, and very willingly offers assistance in paying for some of the extra stuff. At 12, she paid for nearly 10% of this summer's SI. She also used her money for some of the spending money she needed for activities during the SI. I don't mean that we are making earn her keep. But she knows the cost involved, and she wants to help.


There are other threads that discuss how many classes per week a child your dd's age should be getting. I cannot speak to this technicality, but that should certainly enter into your decision about how many places you need to drive each week.


I wish you luck in sorting it out. For us there are not really any choices because of our location. We are fortunate to have a good, small school here. They do a good job of providing performance opportunities through their non-profit company, and provide good special opportunities for enhanced instruction.



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Guest fille'smom
:rolleyes: I was trying to add up in my head just last night what we spend per year on dance for my 14 year old daughter. I decided to stop adding when I got to around $7000.....it was making my head ache.
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Yearly total, tuition alone, is about $7500/year for a 17 yo...this includes 6 days a week during the school year at a pre-professional school connected to a regional company and SI at a major summer intensive that she commuted to...room and board would have added a couple thousand to this total...Also at least $100/month in pointe shoes...pilates when we have the cash, at least $20 a pop...$130 per appointment with orthopedic surgeon + x-rays (the doc that has dance knowledge is not in my insurance plan)...this is a very expensive undertaking...my advice: always ask for financial assistance...many studio owners are very generous, especially if your child has talent...expect your child to contribute as she can...birthday money, babysitting money can pay for shoes, leotards, SI expenses...

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Yes, Christina, the $1500 is for the school year.

And we too have the problem with finding the perfect pointe shoe. We have tried many and the cost at the local stores is about $70 or so a pair. We always think we have found "the ones", I order additional pairs over the internet, and before they arrive, my dd says these are NOT "the ones". :helpsmilie:


My daughter also contributes birthday money, etc. but has had little time to earn any additional money because the schedule last year was all consuming.


And did I mention she also horseback rides, another passion! Maybe that is why we seem to have so little money :rolleyes:


I know that it is certainly worth it, but I am amazed at what some studios charge. We have looked at really bad studios that average about $20 per class when you divide it up over the year.

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I hate to be the bearer of discouraging news, but $1500 a year for two ballet and two pointe classes each week may a bargain!!


Yes this is an expensive passion. Yes, the cost goes up as they advance and "need more." But you do have to look at the other ways you are saving money. Many teens are expensive when they are not filling their time with class. They shop. OR the go to the movies alot. Or they eat. All at the mall. And it adds up. I know exactly where my two are every day ( one preteen and one teen). Sports teams are just as expensive, the dance/drill teams that my daughters friends participate in travel and have shoes and costumes that run up.


When you have a daughter with a passion for dance, it seems to come from somewhere. I have a career and would consider myself lucky, but I have a disabled spouse and with only one income I took on a second job evenings on my computer to pay for the classes and pointe shoes and summer intensives for two. Luckily only my oldest has that passion/need/drive and it is becoming more recreational for my younger daughter after this summer's intensive. I think I will only be sending one away next year.


I think that it HAS to be a passion for parents to do what we do to pay for it all. And drive to it all. Crazy, isn't it. :rolleyes:

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rljdance, I'm putting on my 'pro/teacher' hat here, so Ms. Leigh, please remove this if you feel my response is in any inappropriate...



rljdance', you mentioned several things in your posts, in addition to the financial concerns, that perhaps should be addressed. Finances are extremely important, and they are an issue for you, therefore there are several 'red flags' I would look at if your daughter is truly serious about a pro career: first, 2 ballet classes and 2 pointe classes seems like a 'bare bones' schedule for a 12 year old on the 'pro track'. It is unclear whether she is taking class 4 days per week, or 2 days (with the pointeclass following the regular technique class). Usually a 12yo will do the latter, however that would mean that your daughter is only dancing 2 days a week... Many dancers of her age are taking at least one class 5-6 days a week with several of those days supplemented with an additional of varying types.


The second area of concern is the horseback riding. Though she may not need to choose right away, you should be aware that the muscles developed in riding can often interfere with the muscles and proper development of 'line' in ballet. If she continues with both, this might become more of an issue in the next few years.

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I think everyone that has replied to this question already is really lucky! The cost for my daughter's training this "school year" is going to be $1260 a month for tuition alone. She is in a wonderful program that we have come up with for her that would probably qualify as a pre-pro program and we are fortunate to have some outstanding teachers available for her. I don't even want to think about the costs of the driving/shoes/etc. (or summer intensives either). And I wouldn't have time for a first job, let alone a second one -- I'm too busy driving her around and home-schooling her. But she absolutely LOVES to train and to dance and she works extremely hard at it. We are very blessed to have the resources and teachers available to help her reach her goals. Does anyone have a wealthy uncle that can adopt me?

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Yes, I know that the horseback riding may interfere, not only in the muscles developed but in the time alloted and the cost. Frankly, I am not too keen on the riding thing at all. If she rode around in a circle forever, and never jumped I would be quite content, besides I hate flies.


As to the schedule, my daughter is taking 2 ballet classes followed by pointe on 2 days of the week (that is at the well known "professional" school - by that I mean that they also have a professional company and the founder worked with Balanchine).

The other days of the week she is taking ballet, pointe, theater jazz and modern at the "other" less expensive school. That makes 5 ballet classes a week (all followed by 1/2 hour of pointe) 1 modern and 1 theater jazz.


Also, I didn't include the cost for summer intensives, this year it was $1450 for 3 weeks, but we were able to drive there and back. Another $700 was spent on 2 weeks of a summer workshop.


I think if I can't get adopted by a rich uncle I might have to consider the homeschool option since private school just adds to the cost. :yes:

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She is a ballet instructor in the Boston area--former soloist with Boston Ballet. Then went on to dance on Broadway. My daughter picked up this phrase while she had her as an instructor at summer intensive. Just something I think says alot in just four words. Seems to apply to many things in life. Maybe Ms Woodies did not originate it, but it her mantra. I will check with her and see if there is a source.

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My daughter's tuition at a pre-pro school last year was $8,000 from Sept. to June and I hear that it's gone up this year. This included basically unlimited classes. Shoes, clothing, etc. were extra as was an SI each summer. Ballet truly is an expensive passion for a student.


But I am happy to say that, as parents, my husband and I are finally, mostly, on the other side of it all. For at least a little while this year, daughter will be actually be earning money for her dancing :yes: . And so suddenly it all seems more than worthwhile :sweating:


Hang in there folks.

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rljdance, unfortunately it is very expensive. My yearly cost w/o leotards, tights and shoes is around 6600. 00 a year. This includes: unlimited classes and a private coach. In addition, Walnut Hill has offered her a opening at their school and my cost will be going up when she attends next year. Even though they offered her a merit and financial scholarship for the next school year, my cost will inflate from there. You asked what is a parent to do? Sadly, not much. I never thought I would have to use my teaching degree, but under the circumstances, I have chosen to work part-time. Good luck and best of wishes to you.

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