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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Oh Noooo! Good bye away from home SI


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Hi, I guess I need a " It's gona be OK" hug.

Due to a major client going under (due to the economy), my husband's business is folding.

After being a sahm to homeschool for the past 10 years, I am now job hunting. My dd will be a part time nanny for the summer, to pay for ballet classes (and pointe shoes) here at home.

Although she was planning on attending a fabulous SI, we simply can't afford it-even with a scholarship the travel,room and board is beyond our new budget.

The good news is that her home studio will have an SI. We are very thankful for this!

She will work very hard to get the most out of it, and have lots of fun this summer spending time with her non ballet friends too.

This is so hard, but we are facing the new challenges with confidence and optimism.

Any suggestion on how to economize are welcome.

Jet glue or other tips to extend the wearability of pointe shoes, instructional videos?

Cheap tights and leos?

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I will be more than happy to give you a hug :wub: ! My daughter received long-awaited acceptances to favorite SI's last year and we had to turn them all down because of financial reasons. It was heartbreaking, but she did the one at her pre-pro school, and it worked out o.k. You can only do so much, so try not to feel guilty. I hope you and your family have a great summer! :)

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Another Mom here who has been just where you are. The no SI after getting programs is a killer but we did that as well. One of my girls said she never knew life could change so much and it is still the truth. Digging out of a financial hole is something that takes time.


As with you the hometown SI was the solution. Don't despair, your daughter will find good things in the program. I can honestly say that ultimately for my DD's, staying home was the best thing that could have happened. You never know when little miracles can start happening and for my daugters staying home started their lives on very happy tracks.


As far as saving money, when it comes to ballet, that is almost an oximoron. I bit the bullet and applied for scholarships and was to a degree successful. I also learnt that bleaching tights gets the grey out and old tights can be made to look a lot better. We buy less of them than in the past. My DD's wear pointe shoes that are in pretty bad shape and get yelled at for it but they do it anyway. Even with many applications of jet glue, the lifespan of shoes is horribly short.


Regarding leo's and tights, don't presume that cheap is a financial saving. Quality sometimes ends up being worth the price. In our sturio we have a bin of old leo's and tights that dancers have outgrown or the leo is the wrong color for the upcoming years class. Free or close to free is the best price ever. I know that many studios have this practise. We also have a resale shelf of people who want to sell items on. Both work really well.


I know where you are and how hard it is. Your daughter helping pay for her own ballet will really help develop a new level of commitment to her classes. She will do better than you expect! Are planning on continuing to home school? That is probably going to be the biggest change in life she has to deal with!


Good luck in this very difficult time.

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I am so sorry for your financial crisis. I fear many other parents are going through the same thing either because of job loss caused by the economy or just the sheer fact that gas & higher grocery prices have eaten away at what was a year ago a workable budget and has now become a nightmare.


Many SI's are not having the larger numbers they are used to, some are even recruiting due to economic changes. There is just not extra money for those in the true middle class who have to live close to the edge.


I'm thankful your DD has an SI at home. Once the initial shock is over there may even be things you can think of to keep her dancing all summer without cost or in barter. Remember to privately discuss your situation with your home studio. They may be very willing to offer a different payment plan or work study type situation to your daughter. If they don't have ideas themselves, you can go in with a list of things that she might be able to do. At many studios around here, parents/students can barter for tuition either by working the front desk, cleaning the studio when it is closed, organizing costumes or making them and labor charges go toward tuition.

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Hugs, hugs!


Ebay for leotards and warm ups and even new pointe shoes. Often dance stores sell stock or a dancer quits leaving unused shoes, or buys a brand that don't fit or doesn't suit her. We get about 1/3 of my daughter's Freeds this way, for $20-30 a pair, instead of $60. Wearing old, worn out pointe shoes is too dangerous to condone, which is why teachers yell about it!


And remind your daughter, "home" studios are often delighted and grateful to students who stay home for the summer. They get a chance to do some more one-on-one work with her, see her in a "new" environment among other dancers, and sometimes even work on pieces for the coming year's performances. She will develop closer relationships with her teachers and the studio as a result.


You might also consider day (or evening) trips to other studios in the area. Many schools will let you take a class to try them out, and these work as "master classes" in a way - new environment, new eyes looking at the dancer, trying a new teaching method. Also, gives an "away" experience in cheap, manageable doses. Check out schools in the area where any relatives live. If Grandma's house is in the same town as some nifty ballet school, they would probably let your kid take a day of classes while she visits Grandma for the weekend.


Staying home can be both fun and beneficial!

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Have your children go through their unwanted/outgrown personal items and clothes and help them sell them on eBay. Sell outgrown clothing as a lot, by size. Unused craft supplies and kits usually sell well too. This can produce some impressive income and it can replace allowances or money that you usually dole out for movies, swimming, etc. during the summer and help pay for new summer clothing or dance supplies. To get more ideas on what sells well, search eBay by keywords for ideas and pricing help.


Look for warehouse sales, clearance items on Discount Dance and other sales that sell high quality dance items for lower prices. Buying when things are on sale and the styles that are on sale, does make a huge difference in the cost of dancewear. Google can become your best friend if you regularly search for discount dance supplies. Amazing savings crop up from time to time, but they don't usually last long. WEaring less expensive tights for classes and saving the mesh convertible (highway robbery) tights for performances can also save a bundle!


By the same token, my grocery store has a small section in the Meat Dept. where they put meats discounted for quick sale due to impending expiration dates. Except for special occasions, we have long set our weekly menu based upon what is on sale. The quality is high and the prices can sometimes be unbelievably low! I freeze everything immediately to avoid any spoilage. They have a similar section for bakery items and I routinely pay $.69 for a loaf of bread and $.99 for specialty breads and rolls that are yummy and still fresh! I've learned what days and times my store puts new things in their 'Manager's Special' sections and I try to shop accordingly. One of the great recent finds was that the deli marks down all of their leftover heated items at a certain time each night. I stumbled upon the rotisserie chickens cooked that day (in several flavors) that were $1 last week. They also had quart containers of side dishes, potatoes and gravies marked down to $1. Anything that can be frozen or used the next night becomes an unbelievable bargain at these prices.


I've found that when you start looking for bargains, they tend to crop up all around you. The biggest change I've found that needs to be made when finances are pinched is to readjust your expectations and timeline and learn to buy what is on sale. Read the weekly flyers for grocery and discount stores (like Target, Walmart, etc.) and learn to wait to buy when things are on sale, rather than continuing with your current buying patterns. Once you move to this sale-based methodology, you will find that you can often buy the same products or same quality, if you are smart and patient. Moving from an 'immediate gratification' mode to careful and thoughtful buying will reap great savings.


One summer my daughter had to give up (at a late date) an SI to a prestigious program that had offered a generous scholarship, due to an impending move and the high cost of getting to and from her SI. There was just not enough money to do both. She ended up attending an SI of a well known company in a town within a short drive and staying with friends for free. Again, learning to think outside the box can yield some oportunities that you might never consider otherwise.


All the best to you. You are not alone! :grinning:

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And don't forget places like Danny's Warehouse for leotards. It is always better to follow up looking at the website with a call and you have to get past the strange models he has chosen, but you can occasionally find some gems. His things are only $10 and years ago we ordered $50 of what turned out to be Harmonie knitwear that DD still uses. And we've gotten Mirella leotards from them before as well. On the knitwear we ordered all that was wrong with each item was small holes in the seam where it didn't get stitched together. Now the $3.00 tights were another story, one leg was longer than the other although not enough to really matter they did end up in the trash. They are always very good about hinting at what brands the items are and what the general problem is with them.


And lots of places put their sale items on Amazon now. A year or so ago Mirella had their entire warehouse sale on Amazon. It was great!

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I really appreciate all the words of kindness and advice!

You ladies are wonderful.

Thank you so much.

I'll certainly follow up on your suggestions.

Thanks again. :grinning:

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