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????

NK493efc93X1277dd3d6d4 Wed 09-Oct-13 21:24:46

It does sound like a lot of money at that age, presumably it is for a few costumes. It can be an expensive hobby once they are older but at this age I would expect them to wear their usual leotard with perhaps a mask or a skirt to convey the theme. Perhaps you could ask what it is they need & then try and make them yourself.
The extra lessons thing happens all the time, before festivals & exams. The amount will depend on the number of children involved as the cost gets split between them but again that sounds a lot for ones so young who generally practice in their normal sessions.

That sounds insane! And 10pm on a school night? Mad!

Ziggyzoom Wed 09-Oct-13 21:38:42

DD's do something similar. There is no charge for extra rehearsal time. You provide your own costumes which are simple and cheap to put together. They rehearse from Lunchtime on Saturday for the evening performance then arrive just before the Sunday matinee. Tickets cost about £5 IIRC.

YANBU, that set up sounds bonkers!

AngelsLieToKeepControl Wed 09-Oct-13 21:40:27

My dd does street dance. her show is in April, I pay £25 for the costume and a trophy and certificate after, there are 4 shows they do over the weekend and the rehearsals are during their normal dance class. She gets dropped off an hour before each show and picked up directly after, on the Saturday when there are 2 shows she gets dropped at 11, picked up at half 2, dropped off again at 6 and picked up at half 9. They don't keep them there for that long a day.

She has another show in London in April, I think all in all I will pay about £100 for that, that's for 2 extra hours rehearsal per week for a couple of months, the costume and transport there and back.

Your dance school seems pretty extortionate to me.

cardibach Wed 09-Oct-13 21:40:33

How many people could suddenly find an extra £300? THat's outrageous. If it is the norm, that is even more outrageous! It can't possibly cost that much.

CaterpillarCara Wed 09-Oct-13 21:41:20

There will be costs for added sessions, costumes and theatre hire. But the amount you are being asked to pay sounds extortionate.

My DD was in a show in July and the costumes were fantastic. We paid £15 each plus £20 for three tickets to the show. I thought that was fair. She was there from 2 pm - 9 pm. I volunteered backstage as I didn't want her alone when tired. It was also a Saturday!

CaterpillarCara Wed 09-Oct-13 21:42:02

£20 total for three tickets, not £20 each!

FloraDance Wed 09-Oct-13 21:45:38

Ours is a cost of £10-20 per number that you sign up for, which covers all extra rehearsals and costumes. There is an option for those 6 and under to only do the matinees.

fuckwittery Wed 09-Oct-13 21:50:53

Oh god, let me tell you about our dance show which doesnt even sound as bad as yours but I pulled DD out of ballet afterwards.
50 quid costume, 20 quid pp tickets including had to buy a ticket for dd2 who was only just over q, she was not allowed to sit on my lap for "health and safety". Videos, photos forbidden and taken professionally, available to buy at great expense. Plugged in the classes after the show incl to the kids.
Great pressure for parents to help out at th show, a little lecture given to us at pick up in the classes leading up to the show about how unfair and disappointing it was that not enough parents had signed up etc. Ended up having to call in big favours to get dd2 looked after so I could help backstage, 10am to 5pm x 2 days. We had a full day dress rehearsal and 2 full days as they were doing two shows saturday and sunday. Dire warnings given about not bringing your child to both days to discourage parents watching the saturday show and not showing up to the sunday showmor vice versa.

Got backstage on the rehearsal day, to see the running order. The dance teacher ran loads of classes on different days, and the show was just meant to be for the lower school. However, she had used it to showcase loads of the older classes, her daughter did a solo, oh, and a duet, and the older (teenage girls) had several costume changes. My daughter was a mouse, I could have made the outfit for about 5 quid, and she was on stage for a total of less than 3 MINUTES. I know this as the exact time of her classes routine was on the running order. She basically came on, pretended to be a mouse, waved madly at us in the audience and skipped off again. And that cost us 110 quid and 3 full days of weekend, and that's without buying the photos and videos.

Honestly, if you can get out of it now, do. You may need to pull kids out of classes now though as they practised for about 2 terms.

THere were however loads of parents looking after kids backstage, but expect to be asked to be one of them!

dancemom Wed 09-Oct-13 21:54:57

You are to pay £100 for just a street dance costume? Your lo don't do the ballet or jazz or anything else?

£50 street dance costume and £25 each for opening act and finale

pigletmania Wed 09-Oct-13 22:28:46

I would be unhappy with it being all day for children so young, ludicrous. The cost. Way over te top for a bit of fun, it's not a full on dance competition. I pull te dcs participate in that!

pigletmania Wed 09-Oct-13 22:30:15

13 hours for 5/6 year olds and 3/4 year olds without parents is just too much and not on!

alemci Wed 09-Oct-13 22:35:58

seems very expensive. I think I paid around £32 for 2 costumes for 2 dd doing jazx dance

RaspberryLemonPavlova Wed 09-Oct-13 23:10:16

DD did ballet, and we were never charged for costumes, or anything extra for the shows, just our tickets. School also does tap/modern. They only do a show every 2 years.
They just did one performance, which I think finished about 8.00. Little ones came to rehearsal first thing, and left at lunch time.

Letitsnow9 Wed 09-Oct-13 23:32:56

Many years ago when I was in dance shows, the little ones performed quite early on and then didn't stay for the finalie like the older ones did. I would enquire as your 2 children are only in 1/2 dances unlike those who do lots of different styles if they could give you a rough time they will be rehursing your child's bit

Scarifying Thu 10-Oct-13 01:06:15

YABU, If you consider letting your kids do this. grin

YANBU for thinking that is a crazy amount of money.

MellowandFruitfulSnazzy Thu 10-Oct-13 01:11:15

How much?? Ask them if it's spun from gold thread or what? Seriously ask them exactly what the costume is so you can see whether it's going to be something obtainable at a lower cost.

NoComet Thu 10-Oct-13 01:12:00

DDs ballet teacher doesn't charge for costumes or extra rehearsals. Tickets are about £8 and DVDs and photos are sold after. Also there might be a coffee morning or a toy or plant sake before to raid money, but nothing like £150!

Groovee Thu 10-Oct-13 07:57:24

shock how much? My dd used to do ballet and flamenco. The only extra rehearsal was on the morning of the first show. We paid about £6 per adult and £4 per child. The photo's were never more than £20. Hire of costumes was around £4 to pay for them being cleaned afterwards. DVD was about £15.

There's a small tuck shop and the 2 schools come together and the show is about 3 hours but they always put the under 5's first so they can leave early.

cashmiriana Thu 10-Oct-13 08:12:12

Far too much. But I know the local ballet school is like that.

My DDs' dance school (freestyle, Latin, R&R, street) do shows in a very sensible way. Show class is extra to exam classes. You pay for show class each week over about 6 months (£2.50 per week). The fees from show class pay for the costumes, the hire of the hall etc. Costumes then belong to the dance school and not the individual children, so there is a bank of stock items e.g. different coloured leotards, leggings, R&R skirts and neckerchiefs etc. It works really well and the teachers will lend costume items for exams, local displays etc. The tickets are £5 - £8 each and the whole show is staged at a very small local professional theatre with quality music but limited backdrops and staging, so the focus is on the dancing.

My girls love doing them but their teachers limit it to every 2 - 3 years as it is such a huge job and the commitment needed is vast.

It's madness isn't it? I think I'm going to phone Tom speak with the owner. Imagine the pressure this is putting some families under? I think it's a disgrace

JGBMum Thu 10-Oct-13 09:13:41

DDs dance school does a show every 2 years. She will dance in about 6 numbers, all costumes are loaned from the school, free of charge.
All extra classes and rehearsals are free.
The school hires the civic hall for a week, has dress rehearsals on the Sunday and Monday -little ones do one dance near the start - they are then picked up by parents.
On show nights, they are on early on, then can go home, or join parents to watch the second half of the show.
Tickets cost about £8. DVD and professional photos available if you want them.

Mind you, the school is very good about keeping costs low all year round, so for example, they only need to wear the official dance leotards and satin shoes for exams. You hire these from the school for £3. During classes the girls still look very smart in black leotards, leather ballet shoes, tights, hair in bun etc.

BakeOLiteGirl Thu 10-Oct-13 09:14:23

It sounds kind of normal to how I remember dance school shows put on in a professional theatre. It's really part and parcel of being in it. The late nights aren't really a big deal for a week.

StarvingBookworm Thu 10-Oct-13 09:29:22

We paid total of around £30 for DD's recent show, for costume etc. our tickets were £9 each (mid range - was in big theatre). Her group were in one dance, they are all 3-5yo. On the day of the show they were allowed to arrive last (12pm), had a chaperone per group of 4-5 children, we could collect them after their dance and take them home until evening show. The little ones were all sent home t 7.30pm (started at 7) after the second show. I wouldn't have allowed DD to do the evening if she'd had to stay. She has been exhausted all week since.

Mimishimi Thu 10-Oct-13 09:52:39

We paid the equivalent of about £70 for DD's flamenco costume this rear (which I have to stitch myself), about £30 for the classical costume ( have yet to receive material to sew it). I also need to buy her two new leotards. The tickets were the equivalent of £30 each (!! I only bought one! ) and of course, no photography or videorecording allowed during the concert but a DVD will be made available for parents to purchase. It's the same with other dance schools though...

NoComet Thu 10-Oct-13 10:01:48

Thinking about it even factoring in petrol for going to extra rehearsals, 3 tickets,program, photos, DVD etc. ballet show came in under £50.

£150 was a years swimming or a years ballet, it is two terms gymnastics and a terms music plus exam fees.

It is idiot money, I'd be looking for a new dance group.

Bosgrove Thu 10-Oct-13 10:09:21

It is about the same cost as ours, I didn't let my 4 year old do it, she had only been dancing a couple of months so it seemed like a waste of money, however I did regret it when all they did at lessons for the next 10 weeks was practise for the show and she was asked to stand at the side for part of the time so they could see what it looked like without her (when the show was mentioned I did ask what would happen with lessons and would not doing the show effect her and I was told no it wouldn't)

Oh and they also sell a DVD of the show afterwards as people aren't allowed to take photos.

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.

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

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!!!!

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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!

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.

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

Looking for another dance school

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?

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.

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!

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!

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!

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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