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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Tuition costs: Dollars for Dance

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Great news, vagansmom! :sweating:


I, too, don't want to know the exact amount that we spend on dance. I think that we've had it pretty easy compared to most of the others who have posted, but I think we paid around $6-8000 per year for everything (tuition, SI, shoes, etc.) :yes: .

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Yes, congratulations to vagansmom's daughter! :bouncing::clover::sweating::flowers: And I hope you'll tell us more about it as it unfolds.:yes:


Our daughter's tuition at her ballet program for one year comes to $7,560 - this does not cover the same amount that Nutmeg offers, but is for 6 days a week: technique class 6 days and pointe/variations 5 days (an option for an additional earlier technique class three days a week), as well as one modern and one pilates class a week. (This also includes the spring performance for which there is no fee.)


This program is in New York City, so that probably adds on to the cost. I know that we have had a thread that described students' schedules at their various programs...and will try to look that up so as to supply a link to it on this thread. Obviously the part of the country (in the USA) where one lives and studies has an impact, as does whether or not it is a partially "state" funded or nationally funded program, as is more often the case in countries other than the United States.


Here is that link to dancer's intermediate to advanced schedules just to help people get an overview.

Edited by BW
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Congratulaions to vagansmom and daughter! I'm glad to hear things are working out for her! Hope to hear more about her exciting oppurtunity!


In the Mid-West things are a little less expensive. Tuition runs about $3000 for unlimited classes. Plus other things pointe shoes, leos, pilates, coaching, etc. Then add the SI.

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Our tuition from Sept. to June will be $2000. That seems like a deal compared to what some of you are paying! This does not include the jazz and lyrical classes she will pick up at another studio.

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Yes, things are cheaper out here in the midwest! My daughter's tuition is around $3,500/year. This does not include master classes or other classes she might pick up here and there. Nor does it include any supplies. Fortunately, because our school is attached to a pro company, there are no performance costs or costuming fees.


The big additional cost is, of course, the summer program! The cost of the program itself can often be reduced through scholarships or financial aid, but the big bite for us always seems to be the cost of travel. Often the programs she has attended do not lend themselves to putting her on a plane alone, so I must also factor in the cost of my travel, hotels, food, etc. in order to take and pick her up. These can substantially add to the cost of the program and I am always wincing from the final total (when I am brave enough to actually add it all up :wacko:)


When talking with my friends whose children compete in a variety of sports, cheerleading, etc. their day-to-day costs are not significantly lower than mine (although the pointe shoes always seem to make them gulp). The big difference always comes when they hear about how expensive SIs are. Only those student athletes who are seriously looking at pro careers or are Olympic hopefuls seem to come close to matching the extra training costs that ballet students incur when attending summer programs.


For us, summer programs have exceeded the cost of private schooling and so one of them had to go. I am sure that you will not be surprised to know that the line item for summer programs was NOT the one we removed from our budget this school year! :nopity:


The other item that really adds up for us is the cost of auditioning. I won't even go into the cost of creating a video and getting acceptable audition photos, as I believe this has been covered on previous threads. But, it is a sizeable chunk of change! However, for those of us who do not live in a typical audition city, the winter months can become extremely pricey. In addition to the audition fees (which do add up) we also must add in gas, lodging, food, etc. each time we travel to an audition site. Coming right after the holiday season, these expenses are a huge bite out of my budget, only to be closely followed by the due date for the selected summer program's deposit :speechless:!


Vagansmom, I'm so happy for you and your daughter. :) What an exciting adventure she is about to embark upon! Please let us know how things go for her during the upcoming months.

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This is a great topic for this forum. One I sorely needed several years ago when we had a student dancer still at home. We were unusually lucky that her studio provided everything for about $1000 a year. And, I don't think it has changed much since then (6 years ago). She had a partial scholarship, as did many of the other students, which required a weekly task around the studio and saved us about $500 a year off the tuition mentioned above. A steal, I know!


So, as you can see, I was really in the dark about the actual cost of ballet lessons, for years, until she moved past the beginner level of pointe work. At that time I was expecting to buy a pair of pointe shoes every 4-6 weeks. You can imagine my embarassment the first time I had to buy a pair of pointe shoes after less than 3 weeks and quietly complained to the owner of the store.


ME: "There must be something wrong with these shoes, they didn't even last 3 weeks!"


OWNER: (And, demonstrating a great deal of patience toward my ignorance, leaned toward me and filled me in.) "I think you need to know you're daughter has chosen a very expensive sport." She graciously filled in my blanks.


It was a defining moment for me. After that I figured it out quickly, especially the two remaining years at her prepro school with all classes, rehearsals and performances on pointe adding up to a monthly pointe shoe bill of about $600 and this went on for 2 years!


Dance was also a line item which was never deleted from our annual budget even when many a crisis should have obliterated it. We just kept going.


A picture is truly worth a thousand words. One of my favorite memories after she became a professional dancer was staying at her neat-as-a-pin apartment and seeing the perfectly created pyramid of dead shoes she had stacked against one of her walls. I took enormous pleasure knowing that her father and I had not purchased one pair of those shoes in that 50+ pair pyramid!! :) I took a picture of that pyramid and it holds a place of honor in her album and in my memory.


This way to the light at the end of the tunnel. :wacko::nopity:

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Yes, ballet is an expensive investment. Between ballet school tuition, two summer intensives, pointe shoes and ballet attire, gas, tolls, and a few private lessons, I must have spent close to $20,000 this year. But it is her passion, she is very dedicated and I support her determination to make it in the ballet world.


Seeing her improve and the glow that comes from within, makes it all worthwhile.


So we eat a little more pasta again this week and mom makes due with last years sneakers.

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  • 1 year later...

I'd like to know what others pay yearround for their dance programs. It was mentioned what the cost for the Onassis school was,which some thought"Ouch."

We pay the same at our school for a release time program.It would be helpful to compare.

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The actual dance part is only a small part of the overall cost for full time training exceeded by other things such as pointe shoes and residence fees. The total including travel for a residential school is in excess of $20,000.00 per year of which ballet tuition is approximately $2500.00 for the full year and $1100.00 for mandatory summer school tuition. :)

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Tuition for 2 kids, one 3 days a week, the other 6 is about $4000. As mentioned above, tuition seems to be the small part of the equation.

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Tuition only for Sept's through the end of May's worth of classes for one student, 6 days a week, for non residential program two years ago was just about $4,000. :sweating: - in NYC. Today this program is approximately $4,900. :firedevil:


P.S. Not wanting to repeat myself :wink: - one MUST bear in mind what part of the country or world these programs are - location, location and economics comes into play for sure.

Edited by BW
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We're in the Midwest and familiar with two programs' costs. For 4 days/week during the Sept.-June academic year, one program would charge $2400, and the other $1800. And we add to that about $800/year for privates.

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Lesson Tuition only for daughter, 5 days a week, 2 1/2 hrs.a day, at 11 months-$1800.

We are in a small mountain community so while this sounds like a deal the real expense

will be residential in the next few years to come. The old saying seems to apply-"location, location, location!" especially pertinant for good ballet training-relocation for a family member

will drain our pocket book in the future. :wink:

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Tuition = $1,800/yr (about 20 hours a week of dancing...that's between classes and rehearsals)

Pre-pro group conference and expenses (traveling/guest choreographers) = $1,200/yr

Privates = about $180/year depending on what she's working on

Leos, tights, point shoes, bobby pins, etc. = I'd hate to add it up...

Filling the gas tank to take her to and fro = oh gosh...


The look on her face when she's dancing on stage = priceless

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