Do you have an aspiring little dancer at home? If so, you may be wondering how much money you are going to need and budget for if you let them do dance or ballet lessons. The costs involved should be one of the first things you investigate because although there are many benefits to kids dance classes, such as teaching teamwork and discipline, there are also some hidden costs to consider.
Children’s group dance classes and lessons will cost anywhere between $10 to $25 per class. After a trial lesson, you will be asked or invoiced to pay in advance for the month, term, or session. Other costs may include an enrollment or admin fee, uniform purchase, and even part payment for the end-of-season recital which many dance studios break into part payments.
So as you can see, although you are enrolling your child in dance lessons, there can be many other costs involved in the discipline. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at both the obvious as well as the hidden costs of kids’ dance that you might expect to pay in your first year. So read on to learn more!
Guide to the expected costs a parent can expect to pay in their child’s first year of dance & ballet Classes
The following is a guide. Every dance studio and school is different. Your dance school may or may not charge you for everything on this list, but in our experience, you most likely will be asked to pay for most items on this list – especially if you attend a dance or ballet school in the US, Canada, Australia or the UK!
1. Paying for Weekly Dance Lesson Costs
The most obvious cost will be paying for your weekly lesson. All studios will have different pricing schedules and ways they ask parents to pay.
If you are wondering how much you should be paying for dance lessons check out our article How much do dance classes cost? We compare 50+ schools across the US! UPDATED!
The most common factor at any school is that you will be asked to pay in advance. You may be asked to pay in installments at the beginning of every month, you may be invoiced for a term of lessons based on the length children are in school before holidays or breaks, or the school may have their own calendar they adhere to.
When paying this fee, it is good to realize that you are not just paying for the time your teacher spends in class with your child, but also the time they spend preparing the lessons, choreography, finding appropriate music, and more. Fees also pay for the bills of running the actual studio for example lighting and heating.
2. A Dance Studio Enrollment or Registration fee
When you enroll your child into a dance school, the studio will have a mandatory enrollment fee that you will need to pay. This fee varies in price depending on the school’s administrative processes and for example if they employ staff to do this type of data entry or pay for software or apps to collate student information.
For more on enrollment fees, you can read our article Dance Lesson Enrollment Fees – Why you need to pay them!
3. Buying a Dance School Uniform
Most dance studios have a dress code or uniform. Some studios may ask that leotards in a certain color are worn for instance or they may require you to purchase one from them that has the studio logo or is cut in a certain style.
What type of dancewear is required will also depend on the style of dance your child is doing. For more information on what they will possibly be asked to wear check out an of the following articles depending on the style your child is learning
What To Expect From Your Child’s First Classical Ballet Classes
What To Expect From Your Child’s First Tap Dance Classes
What To Expect From Your Child’s First Jazz Class
What to Expect From Your Child’s First Hip Hop Dance Class
What To Expect From Your Dancer’s First Musical Theatre Class
What To Expect From Your Child’s First Lyrical Dance Class
Some studios will have a tracksuit or jogger that you are also required to purchase for wear over dancewear or to warm up in.
The following is a list of items you may need or be required to purchase as part of a dance studio uniform:
- ballet skirt
- crop top
- bike shorts
- cross over
- tracksuit pants
- tracksuit zip-up jacket
- t-shirt with the dance studios name
- dance bag
- drink bottle
- hair accessories
4. Dancewear and accessories costs
Whether or not your studio has a uniform, you will still need to buy your child dancewear for their classes. The basics are tights and a leotard for girls and tights or leggings and a t-shirt for boys. For more information on what toddlers should wear check out our article What do toddlers wear to a dance or ballet class?
Your child will also need a bag to put their dance shoes and belongings into as well and you can check out our dance bag recommendations here.
You may also need to purchase items like bobby pins and hair nets for putting your dancer’s hair into a bun
5. Dance shoes specific to the style of dance being taught.
Doing dance lessons means your dancer will have to wear the correct footwear in class. So if they are taking ballet lessons, they will need ballet shoes or tap shoes for tap dance lessons.
For a comprehensive list and explanation of the shoes, you need for dance classes read our article Ultimate Guide To Choosing The Right Shoes For Dance Lessons!
6. Dance Recital Part Payments
At the end of the dance year or season, your dance or ballet studio will put on a dance recital. The recital is a culmination of all the practice and hard work your child will have put in during their dance lessons.
Putting on a recital can be costly for your dance teacher and studio, and the costs are not covered in your weekly tuition. Therefore recital participation is an extra cost and many studios give you the option of whether or not you wish your child to participate. If you choose not to pay the fees, your child will not be allowed to dance in the recital.
Some dance studios package all of these costs into what they call a recital fee or package. Others have a recital fee that covers some costs but offers the extras separately. Some of the costs involved either way are:
- The fee to cover the cost of venue rental for all rehearsals and performances, lighting, sound, etc…
- The fee to cover the wages of the dance teachers attending all rehearsals and performances
- Costume hire or payment for new costumes
- Recital DVD
- Recital Program
- Medals and Trophies
- Recital t-shirt
- Tickets for the recital
These fees are usually split up into part payments throughout the year, which is why you might find a part payment on your very first invoice! If your studio is not organized in this way, it is a good idea to ask what the costs to you will be so you can start putting money away for them – especially if your school does a recital or performance around Christmas time!
You also need to remember the costs of stage makeup and hair accessories, as well as new tights or shoes if they are worn in.
For an in-depth look at recital fees take a read our article Dance Recital Costs – They may surprise you!
7. Dance Studio Photo Day!
Just like there is a school photo day, most dance studios also hold a dance school photo day.
Just like school photos – you get to choose if you want to buy the images or not, however, your dancer’s participation in the day is usually mandatory as the teacher takes group photos of the classes in stage makeup and costume.
8. Travel and Transportation to Lessons and rehearsals
Unless the dance studio you are taking your child to is within walking distance, be prepared to have to think about adding the costs of transportation to your dance budget.
Weekly classes may coincide with other activities such as school pick-ups and may not be a drain on your petrol or car maintenance records, however, if the school you attend is a distance from your house transportation costs will be on your radar.
When it comes to recital time, you may need to rethink transportation again if the venue chosen is not central to you either. Recital time can mean several nights or days at the venue rather than at your dance studio as the teacher tries to ensure your dancer feels comfortable dancing in the venue and on the stage.
8. The value of your time
Another cost you should think about is the cost of your time. Taking your child to a dance class especially if they are young will mean that you need to stay close by for the duration of the lesson. This means you need to factor in getting to and from the lesson and the time you are there waiting for the lesson to finish as time you will not have to do attend to other tasks.
If your child is older you may not need to stay for their lesson, but if the lesson is only 45minutes or an hour, going home in between is generally a waste of time and petrol, so thinking about how classes will affect the time you have is also a valid concern.
Costs to expect after your first year in dance or ballet classes?
After your first year in dance, you will need to expect the costs of your child’s journey in the dance world to continually go up!
They will take on more classes in different styles, and need more dance shoes, dancewear, and costumes for all the routines they are doing since they take more classes.
If you are interested in reading about what to expect in your child’s future so you are prepared, take a read of our article Ultimate Guide to the costs of kid’s dance lessons! From Hobby to Career! (coming soon)