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Nutcracker participation expenses


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A friend of my daughter is at a ballet school with a lot more expected contributions than I am used to. Apparently, there is a participation fee, family has to buy/sell a certain amount of tickets, strong push to buy large or several small ads in program, photo opportunities, parent volunteer hours or buy your way out of it. Some of the parents say it costs approximately $800-1000 per child to participate.


What is the range of family participation/expenses in your Nutcracker?

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Required fees at our studio wouldn't top about $240 for a dancer, though there are always going to be additional, optional expenses (tickets, program ads, photos, etc) and we do require a certain number of volunteer hours to pull it all off. Costumes are owned by the company but dancers have to have their own tights, leotards, shoes, trunks, etc. as needed per role.

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We pay a $100 participation fee, or $175 if we want to opt out of our 15 hours of required volunteer time. We are also expected to get at least 1 $50 business ad.

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Do continue to discuss and gain answers that are current production fees. But if you'll also search using "cast fees" and "production fees" you'll find a couple of threads that discuss fees for some Nutcrackers but also other shows like Spring Shows.

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No participation fees. No costume fees. Options to purchase tickets at discounted rate. All parents expected to participate in at least one event. Shoes. tights, leos (typically pink/black/white canvas shoes, pink tights, pink leo- girls, black tights/shoes white t-shirt- boys under costume) are the responsibility of the parents.


Optional photo opportunities and optional yard sign rental.

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No participation fee

No costume fees

All under dressing is the responsibility of the dancer/parent, depending on role this can differ from normal class dance wear. Needs to be very specific, so an added expense if this is not what your child normally wears, plus at company level you really need to get all new stuff for Nuts anyways because it has to be pristine (tights/shoes)

Specific hair/makeup, varying between $35->100 (if dancer needs hairpiece, everyone must purchase makeup)

Commitment to sell X amount of fundraiser item (although nobody has been reprimanded for not making it as long as they try)

Tickets are not reduced

Volunteer commitment of basically working every night of production week except the one you are watching (I don't mind, I love it!)

Volunteer commitment leading up to production week can also be heavy, depending on what area you volunteer in. The above is minimum, you always have the option to do more.

Optional photos, apparel (sweatshirts etc with logo, year and cast names),flower deliveries at theater, DVD and action/performance photos (this year I spent around $150 on this, we didn't get apparel because they got new ones last year.)


I think that's about it. We have been told at pre-Nut meetings the fees that other studios charge, and sure, there are no actual fees for doing it but there are certainly costs involved. :) The more experienced parents always snicker when this is being said, but in a good-natured way.

I do love the Nut season, it's exhilarating to be honest, and I love volunteering for it because I truly enjoy what I help with. It's an amazing opportunity for the girls to be on stage, especially my oldest who is the dancer... my youngest skates along and gets smaller parts as a community dancer but she has a blast with it too.

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$35 audition fee, no required ticket sales and no required ad sales. Optional pictures, program ads, flowers, etc. Tickets are sold based on guild level so joining the guild is helpful if you're hoping for decent seats; but you can still get tickets if you don't join.

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125$ fee, no costume charges, each dancer must provide own undergarments, tights, shoes and a few additional items depending on part. volunteering is encouraged but not required.

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No participation fee, no costume fee. We had to volunteer a minimum of 4 times either at rehearsals or performances and bought new tights and shoes.

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$10 Audition Fee, $300 participation fee (financial aid, and discounts for college students and multiple children from same family are available). Volunteer activity is expected but not forced. Dancers supply own tights, nude leo, and most of the time - shoes.

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$125-450 (company) production fee per child

$150 min. fundraising sale per family

$35 min. membership fee per family

$25 audition fee per child

$85 min prgram ads per family


Volunteer time is expected as well as donations and attendence of fundraiser.

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$75.00 performance fee (includes 1 complimentary ticket)

$35.00 costume maintenance fee (per costume, max of 4)

Families cap out at two performance fees, eight costume fees.

We're adding in audition fees, ticket sale requirements, etc.

Volunteers are volunteers.

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At our studio, it is $200-$300 per child, depending on number of roles. We do our best not to turn anyone away due to cost, and work with families as we can to provide scholarships and fee reduction.

Parents must purchase their own tickets.

Parents are expected to volunteer, but there is no enforcement of this expectation. This year we had more volunteers than we needed, which was wonderful.

We are transitioning to the studio owning all of the costumes, so this year there was voluntary costume sponsorship.


At this point, Nutcracker is a labor of love and a break-even venture for us. Part of it is that we are newly acquiring costumes, which for many of the dancers significantly exceed their total participation fee. We are hoping that over time we will be able to reduce our costs in order to both reduce participation fees and increase the stipend paid to our faculty/choreographers.


I think of our Nutcracker as being on the expensive side to participate in, $1000 seems outgrageous to me! Is the production tiny? Are they wearing professional costumes? Hiring a lot of professional principals? Since I know exactly what our books look like (and frankly we spent a LOT on costumes this year), it's hard to imagine why you'd need to generate so much income per child.

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