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Q about dance company


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My daughter has been in ballet for several years and wants to go to the next level (she is 10 and pre-pointe). She recently auditioned for a fancy studio in town for their dance company (to perform and compete regionally). Well, she got in and we are very proud.

However, they said they would set up an appointment with us to discuss time commitment, price, etc. My question is can anyone give me an idea of how much this type of thing costs? I am fine with the time commitment, just the cost might get us. I realize it varies all over the country but if anyone could give me an idea of what they have been through I would really appreciate. I just don't want to go to this parent meeting and have my jaw drop to the floor when they explain prices to me.

Thanks for your help, I want to give her the best!

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Please read a lot on this forum before you open your pocket book. It sounds like this "Fancy School" may be a competition school. In general those types of schools are not known for providing excellent training. I am very leery of this school based on the little you've posted. I suggest you do a search here on "Dinkle" to read about unprofessional schools. Also the moderators on this board do not generally recommend participating in competitions except for a small few. Particularly Youth America Grand Prix, International Ballet Competition and Prix de Luzianne. If they are doing a lot of competitions other than these I'd recommend a second look and keep the wallet closed. Search this board for "competition" and you'll find a great deal of discussion about competition schools.


The problem with many competition schools is that much of the student's class time is spent learning and rehearsing routines rather than learning good technique. Learning good technique is important not just for aesthetics but also safety. Poor technical habits learned in youth haunt a dancer much later on.


I've tried to find a sticky about how to judge the quality of a school but I haven't had any luck. Hopefully a moderator will post and give you a link. Also if you post area of SC (low country, piedmont ect.) maybe someone can give suggestions of quality schools.



LOL I did forget the word not.

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Hello rayne, welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers :)


I'm sure they really vary a lot, but competition schools can indeed be very expensive because of the cost of going to the competitions, and the costumes, along with the classes and rehearsals. There may be some parents who can give you more information on that, however, because we are a ballet board, most of us are concerned more with classical ballet schools than with the kinds of schools who do competitive dancing. We do have schools represented here who send students to the Youth America Grand Prix, which is an annual Ballet Competition, with the finals in NYC. But the other kinds of competitions, where they do all kinds of dance, are not really discussed much here.


Vicarious, excellent post. We were posting at same time. Check your third sentence, because I think you need a NOT in there! :yucky:

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You are right about the costs being variable, as well as a little obscure. Dd competed for about 1 1/2 years, and in general, the costs were something like this:


Cost to join a competition team- Ours was $0 - other schools up to $200

Cost for stuff - the matching jackets, bags, t shirts, etc - probably $150

Cost for choreography - $50 to $100 per competition dance (depending on how many girls are in the number)

Cost for costumes - about $100 per dance at our old school, but up to $300

Cost for conventions - about $150 per convention (for tuition only, not counting transportation and the inevitable shopping that happens when dd sees all the vendors, videos, etc.) Most competition schools around here require girls to attend at least one convention yearly.

Cost for competitions - about $30 per dance, but solos/duets/trios are quite a bit more

Cost for travel - this is HUGE if your competitions are out of town because of hotels! The gas is also something to consider.

Cost to sanity - be careful please :yucky: Quite a few teachers/parents/dancers get stressed - especially before each competition - and it might not be pretty.

Cost in time - The month before we quit, dd had 27 rehearsals during a three week period and they probably averaged 2 hours each. This was often in addition to the regular dance class schedule. I know of several girls who missed school so that they would have the energy to dance at night. I am serious. BTW, dd was 10 years old. :blink:

Cost in modesty - Wow! Was I surprised at the costumes that were mainly bikinis with rhinestones - on elementary aged girls. It is hard for 10 year olds to be around all that and dress modestly elsewhere. :)

Cost in technique - Those flinging legs look great on stage, but at a traditional ballet school they sure do seem out of place. I must admit she's lost some height on her leaps since the change to a traditional ballet school, but I wouldn't go back for the world!


I've written you a book here, but as you can tell, I have strong feelings on the topic. Our costs weren't all financial. There was a bigger price tag which was never discussed at a meeting. Think about it very, very carefully.

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Bit different over here in the UK but just to give you the other end of the spectrum....


Students need a uniform in addition to their usual dancewear, this probably costs about £50. They have a rehearsal about once a fortnight for 1.25 hours which costs £5. This money covers loan of all the group costumes but if they are doing solos/duos/trios they either buy their costume or can hire one from the school for about a third of it's value. We don't travel far as a group so travel costs aren't usually involved. Competition fees are about £10 per person but if it's a group it's about £20-£30 per group so that's only about £4 each usually. We run our 'troupe' as a non-profit group and have occasional fund-raising things to help out with costumes etc.


We're not a big competition school, we only do a few and other demonstrations etc. I think most competition schools rehearse a lot more than us and pay for all their own costumes etc.


I think we keep the cost to the parents really low but parents do still complain about it sometimes!

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Thanks for the welcome and great answers. After reading your answers and around the other posts, I am no longer concerned about the costs. I am now concerned about what it would do to her future in ballet. She originally auditioned because we thought it would entail a lot of ballet dancing and give her more time on stage. We did not realize competitions hardly ever include ballet. While the school is a classical ballet school and has been for many years, they just started this "competition" side. I think perhaps to diversify and bring in more business? Anyway, DD definitely wants to go the classical ballet route. She has talked of nothing else since she was very small. Obviously, I know nothing about the dancer's life, but somehow she has this amazing talent that I am trying to help her with. Anyway, I read on another forum geared to general dance more of what competitions entail, and paired with all of your replies, we will definitely give them a "thanks but no thanks" answer. Since she is 10 she is on the cusp of getting really serious, en pointe etc. so I would hate to mess that up. Thanks for all your great answers and I am glad I found this forum so I can educate myself more.

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