This morning, my eldest daughter had a dance exam. She took her freestyle exam (I’m ashamed to say I have no idea what grade). I’m very excited that she’s progressing in her dance training, something I wish I had done as a child. She’s not really bothered – to her it’s just one dance. Nothing to be majorly excited about.
I’m hoping as she gets older that she appreciates the time and money that we’ve put into her doing something she says she enjoys (although often complains on dance night). In case you’re not acquainted with how much a child’s hobby can cost, here’s a breakdown:
1. The lessons.
Probably the most important requirement for a child wanting to learn to dance is finding the right dance school. Moogle attends the same dance school where I briefly learnt adult tap ( I did one show when I was 6 and a half months pregnant and couldn’t even tie my own tap shoes). She currently does 4 classes – tap, ballet, freestyle and gymnastics which last 30 minutes each.
Total Cost: £40 per month for the lot. She also has the option to pick up theatre craft after Christmas, which would increase the cost by £3 a week.
2. The uniform.
Each student at the dance school has to having a matching pink ballet dress, with socks and a matching cardigan. The school has just changed to new uniforms which consist of darker pink ballet leotard and leggings. The school aren’t pressuring us to get the new uniform but I know I won’t be able to avoid it for much longer.
Total Cost: I’m anticipating about £30-40.
3. The shoes
At the moment we only require two pairs of special shoes for Moogle’s dancing – her ballet and tap shoes. The only trouble is little feet grow fast. We’ve already been through two pairs of tap shoes, although we were lucky enough to be given some ballet shoes from an older student.
Total cost: When the time comes I’m probably looking at between £30-40 for both pairs
4. The exams
There are usually two or three exam sessions over the course of the year, and Moogle can be required to do 2-3 exams a time. In this recent round Moogle only had one exam but there’s already another round booked in for November.
Total cost: £11.75 for one exam
5. The dance show costumes.
Moogle’s dance teacher is actually very considerate and only puts on one show every two years. This is in part to help the student’s learn their dances well and still have time to take exams in between. It’s also to help parents with the cost as Miss Debbie appreciates it can be hard to find the money for the costumes. As Moogle does four classes, she will have four costumes, each costing around £30. They are beautifully made, and we get to keep them afterwards, but it adds up quickly.
Total cost: £120 approx for one show
6. The tickets
Obviously, if your little girl is performing in a dance show then you’re probably going to want to buy a ticket or two, eh? As there’s only one show every two years the whole family likes to attend. It’s a fabulous show so it’s well worth it. Plus, we always want to buy the show DVD so we can watch again and again.
Total Cost: £9.25 per ticket plus £20 for the dvd
7. The end result
Moogle’s been dancing for 3 years now and the improvement is phenomenal. Her confidence is growing all the time and from one show to the next I could see she had more control and discipline. The lessons help her to learn about commitment and perseverance. Although I know she sometimes finds it tough going to class every week, I hope she grows up to love the thrill of performing as much as I do.
Watching her on stage is one of my favourite things in the world. I grin from ear to ear when she’s performing and possibly even shed a tear or two. You’ll never found a prouder mummy than me.
Total Cost: Priceless.