Dance and Ballet lessons are by no means cheap extracurricular activities to pursue. In the beginning, paying for one lesson a week, a leotard some tights and a pair of ballet shoes may not break the bank, but as your child progresses so will the amount of zero’s you type into your internet banking transfers.
The average cost dance studios across America charge for one-hour group dance lessons taken once a week by a child or teenager is $61 billed on a monthly basis (based on 2019-2020 advertised fees).
Most schools only offer monthly payment plans with discounts for attending multiple lessons. Some schools create fee caps, meaning you will only pay a certain amount for an unlimited amount of lessons each month. Some of these plans start for as little as $200 a month and can go all the way up to $500 per month.
Are you paying more or less than the average or are wondering how one school can cap individual students fees at $200 per month when another charges $500 – read on as we explain the reasons for the differences…
here are the official numbers that helped us get that magical $61 average monthly class fee!
How much do dance classes cost?
We compared the costs of lessons at over 50 schools, with at least one coming from each state in the US!
The following tables compare the current costs of dance classes for the 2019-2020 dance school year at various dance schools across America. If you are on a desktop you can click here to go to the end of this post where we have the full table that can easily be viewed on a large screen (there is a link there to pop back here so you don’t lose your reading spot!)
We have created a few different tables below to make it easier to compare costs in general as different schools charge in different ways for their dance lessons as you will see (mini tables like these are also easier to read on a mobile – yes you are welcome!)
Most schools in the US bill monthly for their dance lessons. A few of those dance studios work out how much you pay every month based on how many actual hours or lessons were attended in that month taking into account months that have 4 compared to 5 weeks and lesson length – we didn’t get any info from some of those schools as we needed a set hourly cost to work out an average for you. Most schools bill the same amount every month, having distributed the class cost over the 9-10 month dance season so that you pay the same every month for every class or total number of hours that your child is enrolled into.
Some schools calculate their monthly fees based on the number of classes taken each month regardless of the class length. Other schools have differing fee structures based on the length of the lessons your child is taking and then there are schools that base your fee based on how many minutes and hours of lessons you choose to enroll your child into.
There is no best method, although having a set consistent monthly fee allows parents to know in advance exactly what they will be paying over the year.
The first table shows us a list of schools that bill per month per class regardless of the length of the lesson. Although this may sound unfair, the average of only these schools tuition fees for a weekly lesson was actually lower than the overall average coming in at $59 per month for a lesson per week! These schools give multiclass discounts.
|Dance School||Location||Billed Monthly: 1 lesson per week|
|Dance Academy USA||California||$88|
|Dance Arts Studio||North Carolina||$58|
|Royal Academy of Ballet and Dance||New York||$50|
|Pizazz Dance Studio||Massachusetts||$50|
|Pointe of Grace Dance Studio||Texas||$72|
|Concord Dance Academy||New Hampshire||$70|
|Carolyn Dutra Dance Studio||Rhode Island||$55|
|The Dance Academy||Idaho||$40|
|Applause Dance Academy||Louisiana||$60|
|Casco Bay Movers||Maine||$66|
|Van Metre School of Dance||Tennessee||$60|
|JMB Dance Academy||Florida||$43|
|AVERAGE COST:||$59 per month on average|
The second table shows us a list of schools that bill per month based on the length of the classes taken by students. For the purposes of this post, we only looked at how much they charged for their hourly lessons – all schools had less expensive fees for classes of shorter duration and it cost more for longer classes. On average when the schools billed in this manner the average price of one hourly lesson a week came to $64 billed per month. Again these schools also offer multiclass discounts.
|Dance School||Location||Billed Monthly: One, 1Hr lesson per week|
|Village Dance Studio||Indiana||$65|
|Sterling Silver Studio||Wisconsin||$52|
|Studio One Dance Center||Texas||$85|
|North Pointe Dance Academy||Ohio||$64|
|The Dance Academy||Michigan||$48|
|Advanced Dance Academy||Iowa||$72|
|Indiana Dance Co.||Indiana||$60|
|Cherrie Anderson School of Music & Dance||Nebraska||$75|
|Captivation Dance Affiliates||Nevada||$60|
|Dance Worx||North Dakota||$45|
|South Carolina Dance Company||South Carolina||$60|
|Dance Gallery||South Dakota||$54|
|La Vida Dance||Washington||$78|
|Young Dance Academy||Wisconsin||$60|
|307 Dance Academy||Wyoming||$55|
|Harbor School of Music & Dance||Alaska||$65|
|AVERAGE COST:||$64 per month on average|
The third table shows us a list of schools that bill per month based on the number of minutes/hours of lessons a student is enrolled in. For the purposes of this post, we only looked at how much they charged for the first hour. All schools discounted the fee as you added on more hours of lessons. On average when the schools billed in this manner the average price of one hourly lesson a week came to the same as paying for one lesson a week regardless of length $59 billed per month.
|Dance School||Location||Billed Monthly: 1 hour of lessons per week.|
|Interpretations Dance Academy||Ohio||$58|
|Moves Dance Studio||Illinois||$68|
|Aspire to Dance||Virginia||$85|
|Modern Movement||New York||$41|
|Integrity Dance Academy||Georgia||$60|
|Valley Dance Studio||West Virginia||$60.04|
|Danza Dance Academy||Colorado||$70|
|Infinity Dance Academy||Kansas||$55|
|Elite Dance Studios||Arkansas||$67|
|Bella Dance Center||Delaware||$60|
|Shana’s Dance Studio||Minnesota||$55|
|Festival Dance Academy||Idaho||$45|
|Kelley Puckett Dance Academy||Kentucky||$60|
|Mann Dance Academy||New Mexico||51 +tax|
|The Ridge Academy of Dance||Utah||$45|
|White River Ballet Academy||Vermont||$58|
|AVERAGE COST:||$64 per month on average|
Our fourth table shows us a list of schools that bill in a variety of different ways as explained in the table. For the purposes of this post, we did not use their fees to help calculate the overall $61 average but wanted to provide you with this information in case you attend or are thinking of enrolling your child at a school that bills in a different way.
|Dance School||Location||Method of Billing||Tuition Fees|
|Ayana School of Ballet||California||The fee is annual (they have payment plans). |
Fee is dependent on level and classes required for that level.
This is the annual amount for one lesson per week.
|Merge Dance Studio||Pennsylvania||Tuition for the year is broken into three 12 to 13-week sessions.|
It is based on the length of each class per week.
It is $12 for an hour lesson every week.
|$144-$156 per session|
|Kailua Dance Academy||Hawaii||Tuition paid per Session ( 4 per year – around 8 weeks each)||$192 per session|
|Legacy Ballet Academy||Arizona||Billed Per 11 week session based on an hourly rate of $18.83.|
The tuition fee we selected is for one hour of lessons per week.
|Connecticut Dance Academy||Connecticut||Tuition is Annual and is based on class length.|
We have provided the cost for the 1hr weekly class.
|$550 full year|
|Diane’s School of Dance||Missouri||Per Quarter per class a week||$126|
|Patuxent Youth Ballet||Maryland||Per Session (there are 3, 12 week sessions)||$204 per session|
|Noble School of Ballet||Montana||Per Quarter per class a week, dependent on class length.|
We have provided the cost per quarter for a1hr weekly class.
|Dance With Lauren||Alabama||Per Year per class||$630|
|Royal Dance Academy||Georgia||Tuition is based on an annual fee for a 10mth dance season.|
Tuition is also charged per hour your child is enrolled each week.
We have provided the cost for a 1hr weekly class.
We will update this information annually so make sure you come back next year where we will also start to stat and average yearly increases over time!
Why are my child’s dance lessons cheaper or more expensive than the average?
There are many reasons why your child’s lessons might be cheaper or more expensive for example:
- Location: If your school is in a city rather than in the suburbs or a town the rent or lease of the space may contribute to pricing differences, as well as the living and travel costs of the teachers who need to receive a wage that enables them to live close to that location.
- Knowledge and Experience: An experienced teacher who runs an efficient business and produces amazing dancers will charge accordingly compared to a teacher with little experience.
- Demand: Places within classes at certain schools may be in high demand and therefore they may charge more to ensure only the most dedicated take those places.
- History: The school or teacher may have a history of producing exceptional dancers for competitions, exams or professional careers and therefore you are paying for their expertise.
- Time: The lessons at one school may be shorter or longer than at another.
- Extras: One school might include extra rehearsals, extra exam preparation lessons or similar within their overall price whereas others might charge extra for these.
- Facilities: One school might have top of the line, newly renovated facilities and teaching tools compared to another that is a simple space with a barre and sprung floor.
- Funding: Some dance schools may receive government arts funding depending on their location or the population of students they cater for.
- School Size: Larger schools with many classes and students may be able to reduce their fees but it might mean larger class sizes compared to a smaller school with higher tuition fees but fewer students and smaller class sizes.
How many dance classes should my child be doing every week? And how much will I be paying for those lessons?
We have covered the question of how many dance classes you should enroll your child in, in the following articles, but….
The question still is – how much will you be paying for multiple lessons per week? Nearly every single school listed above if not all of them offered some sort of multiclass discount. They either had monthly tuition plans for adding on extra classes and hours or they simply offered you a percentage or stepped discount dependent on how many more classes or hours you enrolled your child in. Some schools even had clear unlimited lesson caps which we noted down and put into the following table for you to look at and compare – for easy comparison we only included schools with clear set unlimited lesson monthly rates.
|Dance School||Location||Hours/Lessons||Unlimited Fee|
|Dance Arts Studio||North Carolina||6+ Classes||$250|
|Pointe of Grace Dance Studio||Texas||7+ Classes||$240|
|Carolyn Dutra Dance Studio||Rhode Island||6+ Classes||$200|
|Casco Bay Movers||Maine||6+ Classes||$315|
|Interpretations Dance Academy||Ohio||5+hours||$200|
|Moves Dance Studio||Illinois||8+ Hours||$494|
|Integrity Dance Academy||Georgia||7+ Hours||$250|
|Valley Dance Studio||West Virginia||4.25+ Hours||$140.38|
|Danza Dance Academy||Colorado||6+ Hours||$275|
|Infinity Dance Academy||Kansas||6+ Hours||$230|
|Elite Dance Studios||Arkansas||8+ Hours||$240|
|Bella Dance Center||Delaware||10+ Hours||$290|
|Shana’s Dance Studio||Minnesota||4.5+ Hours||$200|
|Festival Dance Academy||Idaho||9+ Hours||$205|
|Kelley Puckett Dance Academy||Kentucky||5+ Hours||$140|
|Mann Dance Academy||New Mexico||10+||272 +tax|
|The Ridge Academy of Dance||Utah||8+ Hours||$145|
The following schools also had unlimited lesson tuition fees but did not have a lesson or hourly number from which it began, rather it was stated on some schools website that this would be the most you would end up paying for your child’s lessons every month.
|Dance School||Location||Unlimited Fee|
|Studio One Dance Center||Texas||$350|
|The Dance Academy||Michigan||$200|
|Advanced Dance Academy||Iowa||$310|
|Indiana Dance Co.||Indiana||$250|
|South Carolina Dance Company||South Carolina||$215|
Cost of dance lessons for brothers and sisters – sibling discounts!
Nearly every school we looked at offered family discounts. And in general, every school had its own unique way of passing on their discount! Some schools were extremely generous giving huge family discounts whereas others passed on as little as only 2-5% on the classes a sibling enrolled into. Some schools base their discounts dependent on how many siblings and classes were enrolled into, whereas others stated the hourly rate discounts could be used between a whole family, with some schools having a family fee cap or unlimited family lesson fee. The following schools offered unlimited family lesson fees or caps!
|Dance School||Location||Hours/Lessons||Family Cap/Unlimited Fees|
|Interpretations Dance Academy||Ohio||5+hours||$380|
|Integrity Dance Academy||Georgia||7+ Hours||$300|
|Festival Dance Academy||Idaho||9+ Hours||$205|
|Mann Dance Academy||New Mexico||10+||272 +tax|
|Studio One Dance Center||Texas||Unlimited||$400|
|The Dance Academy||Michigan||Unlimited||$300|
|South Carolina Dance Company||South Carolina||Unlimited||$190 for 2nd child|
What is a dance school registration fee and why do I have to pay one?
All but one or two of the schools we researched charged a registration fee upon enrollment. When I first had to pay this at my daughter’s school I was a bit cynical of the fee thinking ‘yep, just another way dance schools take my money – by making up fake fees!’ mainly because I knew that my parents had never had to pay any such fee when I was at lessons – in the olden days as my 9 year old would say LOL! But I did have to pay an enrollment fee when I started training full time and having worked for several years in the offices of the same dance school and processing the data of many enrollment forms via the computer, following up missing information and setting up payment plans and systems I totally 100% understand why dance schools charge this money. When I was a kid, my parents just spoke to the teacher gave them my name, maybe even their home number (ok so mobile phones were not even invented yet – I know I told you the olden days!!!) and dropped me off! Today parents have to fill in two-page enrollment forms, sign dance parent contracts to ensure they fulfill their commitment to pay for lessons and fill in credit and debit card details into complex payment plans all of which need to be processed at some time by either your dance teacher or their administrative staff. This takes time and skill and time is money people…thus why you pay a registration fee every year!
So, of course, we also grabbed jotted down how much each school charged in annual registration fees and found that….
On average dance studios charge $31 to enroll and register each student at their school.
Some schools give family registration discounts, either by offering a flat family registration fee or by asking for a certain dollar amount more per extra child. On average the flat family fee offered was $42 and the average amount some other schools charged for each additional child was $13
Table 8 below shows you the 2019-2020 published registration fees of the dance schools we randomly researched (which are the same as the previous schools).
*Each additional student
PLEASE NOTE: If a cell in the table above has been left blank it is because that school either has a flat fee for every student or a flat fee whether you are registering an individual or a family. If both cells are blank this means that we were unable to find a registration fee on the school’s website and does not necessarily mean there is no registration fee at that school. We have entered the words ‘No Fee’ where a school has advertised they have no enrollment fees.
Why is there such a difference in the amount charged by dance schools for their registration fee?
There are many reasons why your child’s registration fee might be cheaper or more expensive for example:
- Paper Work: Some schools might require you to fill in a lot of paperwork that needs to be entered into payment software or into a database. This might be good business practice or may be required by your state to ensure child protection and safety as you are leaving your child in the teachers care. Creating and processing paperwork even if entered online, takes time and money.
- Business Practice & Ethics: Some dance schools take the approach that your class fees adequately finance any work required by teachers and staff out of the teaching classroom. Other dance studios determine that the amount of administrative work needed to be completed outside the classroom is not adequately covered nor should it be within tuition fees.
- Computer Software & Programs: some schools use specially created computer software specific to dance schools or similar within their business. These programs generally have annual fees and can cost hundreds of dollars but ultimately help both you and your teacher, this is not a cost dance schools had to incur in the past as internet banking, direct debits, etc are really relatively new technologies and all have fees that your dance school incurs to use.
- Staffing: Some schools have administration staff or outsource people to process registrations and other bookwork all of who need to be paid.
How Much Will Training For A Professional Dance Career Cost Me?
The cost of training can vary greatly depending on whether the school is a subsidiary of a company meaning that the school’s income, training facilities, etc are supplemented by the company and any benefactors or whether the school has less company or public funding and relies solely on your tuition fees to keep the school going. It is incredibly hard to do a comparison of company school fees with those schools privately owned because the private schools only give out their fee structures upon inquiry and were not willing to allow us for this reason to report them to you here. Therefore the following are some examples of the costs by some of the most elite schools around the world, where acceptance for entry is by audition only and extremely competitive.
The American Ballet Theatre Schools Pre-Professional division provides through audition part-time training six days a week for a total of around twenty hours at a cost of $6500 a year for 12-15-year-olds. This increases as students graduate to the next level of training. This cost should give you a good comparison with any part-time or afterschool/weekend classes offered at any studio you enquire with.
A full-time course, with housing and full board, offered through audition from the age of 11 or 12 with The Royal Ballet School in the UK costs 34,000-pound sterling which equates to US $44 500 a year. This price is similar to that of a private boarding school, but this school clearly states that financial assistance and scholarships are available as they believe no deserving student should be denied access to their program because of the cost.
The Opera National De Paris Ballet School offers half or full board, full-time ballet training for students from the age of 8. Entry is by rigorous audition selection processes that are initially determined by a child’s age, height and weight. The cost is 150 Euros (US $170) per month for half board and around 1500 (US $1700) Euros per term for full board.
The Vaganova Ballet Academy in Russia offers a full-time program for Russian students funded by the state. Thousands audition with the ballet staff, but only 70 are accepted. They write that out of these 70 approximately only 20 students, that is only 29% of their students make it to the final years of training and into the Bolshoi Ballet and other companies around the world. They offer an international 10-month student training program (VITP), with full board from the age of 16 which costs US $17, 500.
The Australian Ballet School offers full-time training for successful auditionees from the age of 13. Fees begin at $4800 Australian (US $3400) for the first year to $12,600 (US $9000) in the final year. Full board is available at close to $20,000 (US $14,200). They accept international students who receive no funding and therefore over approximately two years pay $50,000 Australian for tuition (US $35,400) which does not include boarding costs.
It should also be noted that uniform, shoes and extra training, physiotherapy and other dance related expenses are not included in many of these schools tuition fees.
How much will a degree at a college majoring in dance cost?
Another form of dance lessons and training is in the form of a college degree. There are many colleges across the US that that provide dance training through an arts degree where a student can major in dance amongst other subjects. The following are a list of some of the best universities where you can study dance, in no particular order. The cost listed is generally for tuition and fees and are estimates for studying one year (two semesters) in an undergraduate course in 2019-2020. For all costs including housing, books, and all fees you can click on the links provided within the table that will take you to the college fee/tuition page. All costs are for non-residents, students who reside in the state of the university (you need to meet strict requirements) are eligible for a highly reduced fee. The colleges selected were taken from the article ‘The Top 25 College Dance Programs for 2018-19’ and DanceParent101 has no affiliation with any of the colleges in anyway.
On average training in dance at a college will cost you around $38,391 just for tuition and fees every year which will be $153,565 over the four years that it takes to complete the degree. (Remember these costs are for non-resident students and do not include housing, food, books and any other extra costs or requirements individual to your child.)
The hidden costs! Recitals, Costumes and Competitions!
So that has been a long list about how much dance lessons and training will cost, but unfortunately, you can’t close your purse or wallet just yet! Because we still have all those hidden or forgotten costs to think about – recital packages, costume packages, exam entrance fees, competition team registration, and entrance fees not to mention the costs of the uniform, dancewear, and shoes!
For more information click to read our article on the Hidden Costs of Dance (coming soon!)
How many years will I be paying for dance lessons for my child?
The answer to that will depend on many factors including whether dance is a hobby or a career path for your child. For some clearer information on the number of lessons required to become a professional dancer check out the following articles:
How much education does a professional dancer need?
To become a professional dancer, you do not need to have completed formal schooling education, although as dance careers are generally not life long careers finishing school is always advantageous. Professional dancers will have undergone years of specialized dance training which we cover in the previous articles we recommended.