Aibu - raging at cost of kids dance show

(54 Posts)

Right. I'm in shock and need others to give me perspective on this. Dd is yr1 and ds preschool. They both do a street dance class on a Saturday morning for 45 mins and love it.

All good so far. There was a meeting tonight to let parents know information about the end of year show that the dance school put on. Probably should mention they also do ballet, jazz, disco etc etc.

Anyway, they hire a local theatre on a Sunday in July. The kids need to be dropped off at 9 am and picked up after last performance at about 10pm. They have school the next day. We have to pay £100 per child for costumes, £50 each for extra rehearsals ( 4 Sundays in May and June) and then pay for a ticket to watch shock

I'm absolutely stunned at the money they are expecting us to fork out! And at the expectation on kids that young to be all day without parents backstage waiting for their bit in the show...

Is this seriously the norm? I'm really really strongly thinking of not letting them take part. Aibu????

Rowgtfc72 Thu 10-Oct-13 18:08:43

Dd has a show every year. There's acting, singing,ballet,tap,solos,team and each seperate age group /class learn a few routines. DD does street, tap, ballet and this year will do solos. She goes to a show class every week which costs three kid. There is a rehearsal the Friday before 5-9pm. Dd has to be there for the show on the Saturday at 5pm, the show finishes at 11ish. Little children are all put in the first half so they can go early. We all pay a fiver towards costumes which are generally t shirts .DVDs are a tenner. It sounds like you' re paying an awful lot of money but then like any parent you have to put up with disappointed children if you dont go ahead. Maybe do this and then shop around for another dance group.

RedHelenB Thu 10-Oct-13 13:48:07

I think it depends how you look at it. We have a show coming up & dds have practically lived at dancing after school! They love all the buzz of rehearsals so I see it as entertainment budget too! I have n't priced up the final figures for costumes but given that dd 1 is in 11 dances iand dd2 almost that many it will be a considerable cost ( though some of this costume hire has been paid for as we hire the costume for the length of time they're in that number!) As i've said we're lucky we don't pay for the extra rehearsal time.

There are dance schools that don't go all out though, so i'm sure the OP can find somewhere that doesn't do as big a show, or a show at all.

NoComet Thu 10-Oct-13 13:37:02

YANBU to raise the cost, I'm certain lots of parents are fuming in private.

Yes hobbies cost, but ~doubling the cost of dancing, which is what £150 would be here, is utterly unreasonable.

Also a show is total black mail, if you say no it's tears all round. Ballet kit can be shopped around for and acquired second hand. If DD2 wants a £35 gym leotard rather than a plain on from the sports shop she knows it comes off her birthday budget.

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 10-Oct-13 13:35:39

Red ours is also professional with lighting effects etc and held in a roomy theatre. Costumes are made though, primarily by the family of the owner. There are lots of hidden costs - for example the DVD of the show - which probably go to defray the cost of the production. And of course, since there is no participation fee, participation may be included in termly fees.

RedHelenB Thu 10-Oct-13 13:33:38

Oh, & the show dvd's get watched over & over. Mine love the fact that they are now in some of the dances they were desperate to do when they were younger!

RedHelenB Thu 10-Oct-13 13:31:20

It depends on the show though. Ours is very professional, with lighting, effects, etc in a theatre with a roomy stage. New costumes cost more to be hired & then as they pass down get less. We're lucky as we don't get charged for extra rehearsals but loads of dance schools I know of do. All the children perform & enjoy it - as i say, it's a hobby & they cost. Just really glad mne haven't wanted to do go karting or riding!

pigletmania Thu 10-Oct-13 13:26:31

Seeing other posters on here whose Chidren dance, this cost is not the norm, and way too much!

pigletmania Thu 10-Oct-13 13:25:26

Redhelen yes costumes do cost if you are competing, this is just an end of year show that's meant to be fun not stressful!

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 10-Oct-13 13:06:10

The dance school DD2 goes to has an annual show in the local professional theatre. There is no participation fee. Costumes, its normally between £5 and £10 per child. However the older ones who do solos will probably have paid separately for their solo costumes. DD2 does two classes, so it was just £7 (I think) for her this summer. We do have to pay for tickets to the show but they are priced at something like £5 and £7.50. There is one rehearsal the week before, every child has to attend or can't be in the show (insurance issues) but they only have to be there for their own bit. Many stay and watch all day though. For the show itself, there are two performances, a matinee and an evening, but the evening is done and dusted by 9pm and the littlest ones are on before half time and then can go home (they aren't in the finale).There are loads of chaperones backstage and the older kids are great with the younger ones - most of them also belong to the associated drama school and it is very like a huge family, really.

my dd's do a sat morning dance class.

costumes this year were £10 each and no charge for any extra rehersals. (DD1 had 5 costume changes, DD2 4changes and dd3 3 changes). (DD1's last ballet school charged £12 with the same system).

(The dance school keep the costumes after the event for the next year to keep costs down)

It is a really long day of the day of the show ours is 12-9pm but the girls had to film scenes in the break of any dances with a child who didn't have permission for filming.

YANBU raising it as I think it's particularly steep. Can you look around for another dance school?

pigletmania Thu 10-Oct-13 12:51:41

Looking for another dance school

pigletmania Thu 10-Oct-13 12:49:57

Fisher tat would be an outright no from me, and would be looking to a we dance school. If she cannot answer parents concerns in. Helpful and polite way than it would be bye bye from me. She does not sound very professional. Expecting little infant school children to be away from their parents for that length of time is absurd, my dh shifts at work do not last as long as that! 13 hrs would e enough for any adult, let alone a small child. Dd 6 goes to a fantastic dance school, her teacher is great, Noway would she or her peers be expected to tke part in such things as this! this would be a dealbreaker. At competitions, parents usually accompany the children.

Sparklymommy Thu 10-Oct-13 12:48:27

My children dance and I work at our dance school in the office. Let me tell you about our shows.

We do one every fourth school term (this means our last show was in March, our next is in July). It runs over 4 nights, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evening performances. However, each show is slightly different with different classes dances usually on two nights (Monday and Friday or Wednesday and Saturday) and our head tries to arrange it so that little ones have all their dances on the same nights. Obviously when you have children like mine that do a lot that doesn't always work!

We usually have a senior group or big festival group open the show followed by the baby classes and the babies (up to 4-5yrs) are taken straight off the stage by parents in the audience. The house lights are put up and you collect your child from the stage or if you are not watching then you can collect from the stage door.

Our costumes vary in price. Last year my sons class (girls) wore tutus. They could hire them for £5 or buy their own at £25. I think all but two bought them. That was their choice and they were not put under any pressure to do so. Each classes costumes are different and most of my older daughters costumes (she is 10 and dances every night) were hired at £4-£12 a costume. We do like the older ones in particular to have a skin tone leotard for under costumes for a multitude of reasons but not all of them own one. Some costumes were our own. In total I think I paid about £35 for dd1, £10 for dd2, and my boys wore their own costumes.

Dances are rehearsed in class time. We have an all day dress/ tech rehearsal at the theatre but that is done in slots so the majority of children come for their dances and are gone again afterwards. We do ask parents to volunteer to help backstage. This is because without chaperones the show wouldn't happen. All our chaperones are CRB checked at the very least and there are a small group of licences chaperones who are spread around the dressing rooms. I think the ratios in the dressing rooms are 1adult to 12 children, but then we have runners and stage helpers too. Another reason why we like the little Tinies to arrive in costume and be collected as soon as they have danced, therefore not needing to be allocated to a dressing room!

Our last show I ended up backstage every night, partly because we didn't have enough chaperones. My husband does the stage door where children are signed in and out and Holden can be collected as soon as they are finishe and we actively encourage this. But they do need signing in and out and we will only let them go with a named person.

As for cameras, we allow photos to be taken at the dress rehearsal, but not on show nights. We do have professional photographers and a DVD made which can be purchased, usually for about £12. Tickets are £6 for adults and £4 for children but we allow infants on laps.

That said our show RARELY makes a profit. We are lucky if we break even because costumes are not cheap and whilst we try to reuse and recycle as much as possible we absorb a lot of the costs.

My daughter has also performed professionally and even that costs as you invariably need shoes in a different colour to the ones you use in class.

Your costs do sound excessive though!

greenfolder Thu 10-Oct-13 12:47:27

i would book a nice weekend away with the dc - spend the £300- tell them now that they wont be in the show because you have already booked something.

i thought street dance was based on dancing in the street for free? why would you want to use up all the nice weekends in the summer?

bearhug Thu 10-Oct-13 12:44:52

I am shock

DS's end of year ballet show: costume £4.50, and some black leggings from Primark £2.50. Tickets £3. But then his dance school has it's own little theater.

RedHelenB Thu 10-Oct-13 12:36:26

It's a hobby. Hobbies cost. Prices for costumes don't sound too bad if they are made to order. I think YAB a bit unreasonable - our local theatre costs thousands to hire for a show & we do fundraising for the costume fund.

lizzzyyliveson Thu 10-Oct-13 12:34:21

She said you were rude? Blimey, she is standing there cap in hand wanting money from your purse. She is the one who should be smiling and selling her wares. If you are not convinced then say no.

If you want to be backstage you have to have a ( new ) crb check and do a child protection course. She has since apologised but basically said I was rude to raise concerns at the meeting last night. I am just sad. Talk about sucking the joy out of things. I am, however, suffering from horrendous sleep deprivation so not really trusting my instincts.

pigletmania Thu 10-Oct-13 12:20:03

Kumiho I agree, 13 hours for little ones away from their parents, I would be more concerned about tat. how much breaks are they having, are they providing lunch and dinner. What if Chidren want their parents. Ludicrous!

DeWe Thu 10-Oct-13 12:15:43

This is not uncommon though. You've forgotten to add that they expect full makeup including mascara for all including the baby class, and the dress rehearsal at the theatre is on the previous monday evening lasting until gone 11:00pm... All I can say is I'm glad I found our dance school. wink

I do agree however with no taking of photos/videos during the performance. Nothing more irritating in finding that your view has someone elses camera to look round, to say nothing of flashes putting the children off.

We pay a set fee of £25 for which they get all costumes, however many costumes they have, and this almost always includes at least one proper tutu or dance costume, which they get to keep, and are generally lovely ones.

Commitment from parents: Actually if it's in a local theatre which sells the tickets to the general public then you probably need properly qualified chaperones. At any rate they'll need at least 1:12 ratios for over 5s, and more for younger. Thats the minimum.
I can't remember off hand either, but don't under 5yos have to be out of the theatre by 9pm? It's 10:30 for older, but I think under 5s are earlier (never dealt with under 5s so can't remember off hand). In fact if you want to cause problems, you can phone the "children in entertainment" section of the local council and ask.

BurberryQ Thu 10-Oct-13 12:15:40

this enterprise has been set up to part parents from their cash and they do not give a toss about your children.

Kumiho Thu 10-Oct-13 12:07:07

I did theatre/dance a few years ago. There are LAWS against performing for that many hours. 9am until 10pm? 13 hours? No way is that permitted and they are totally unreasonable to expect little 5-6 year olds, and older kids too, to be without their parents for all that time. Are they providing lunch and dinner? Costumes were provided at mine, apart from some simple things like 'a red t shirt' or something. You'll have to say no. That's mad.

I don't know what to do. Technically we can afford it, I just think it's outrageous. But DD will absolutely love it. Should I let her do it but not ds? But then he'll be upset if he sees the whole class up there without him... Argh!!!!

Just spoke to the school and they seem to think I'm being rise by mentioned how expensive it is.. And I'm the only parent who has said its too much money. And of course they can still go to class but they'll be practising for a show they won't perform hmm

I'm just shock It's not a well off area, I can't see how this isn't putting massive pressure on families

specialsubject Thu 10-Oct-13 10:10:19

45 mins sounds great for kids as young as yours.

13 hours does not. What are the supervision and feeding arrangements?
Sounds completely impractical for kids this small.

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