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To be shocked at the extras added to ballet exam costs?

(72 Posts)
splishsplosh Tue 28-May-13 17:33:08

One of my dds wants to go to ballet, so I asked my friend about the kind of costs that would be involved if I enrolled her.

She's recently paid £68 for a £38 exam. When she asked the lady running it what the extra costs were for she was told that they covered things like pianist fee, her own time, parking costs for herself and the pianist, money for lunches for herself, pianist, examiner, things to do the hair of anyone coming without their own and her time spent chasing up any late exam payments.

As the children take the exam in 2s or 3s, an exam takes about half an hour, and they have a full day of exams, surely charging an extra £30 per child per exam is excessive? The lady running it must make at least £600 in that 1 day - the costs of parking and lunch can't justify so much can it?

AIBU to be shocked at this? Or is this pretty standard, and what I should expect if my dd goes to ballet and ends up doing exams?

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 28-May-13 17:42:02

That's a bit steep. Dd just pays an extra £7 for the extra mick exam practice lesson. I think a couple of pounds is added to the exam entry fee to cover the pianist. That cost I don't mind as if she was taking a music exam shed have to pay for the accompanist.

Primrose123 Tue 28-May-13 17:43:14

My DD gave up ballet recently, but when she did an exam there were lots of extra costs. As far as I remember they were as follows:-
Extra 10 lessons (twice a week instead of once)
New ballet shoes
New socks
Payment for exam itself
Payment for music cd to use to practise at home
Rent of exam leotard
Payment to have hair done

There may have been more, but including the extra lessons each exam cost over £100.

cory Tue 28-May-13 17:44:20

Only extra costs I remember were new shoes and socks.

LIZS Tue 28-May-13 17:47:09

Pricey but not unusual. It may also have included a couple of extra sessions to be exam-ready. dd only gets new ballet shoes for an exam ! There is also the cost of shows to allow for - new shoes, costumes , rehearsal time ....

WilsonFrickett Tue 28-May-13 17:47:18

I agree it sounds like a lot of money for a day's work, but then, she is running a business and is entitled to make a profit from that business. Of course, people don't need to pay it if they think the profit is excessive.

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 28-May-13 17:49:02

Dd only gets new shoes for exams and shows if she has grown out of her old ones!

AtYourCervix Tue 28-May-13 17:49:28

DD is doing G8 next month. Only extra costs I've ever had are extra lessons in the term before and the exam fee. Leotards are lent and if needed I get new shoes, tights and hair stuff.

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 28-May-13 17:50:23

Why do you borrow leotards?

Startail Tue 28-May-13 17:53:25

We get two or three extra lessons £3 each, which frequently gets forgotten. Hair £1 if you don't want to do it yourself.
I think we had the odd £ added for the pianist.

The expensive thing was £30 for a charecter skirt, but DDs used it for 4 exams.

£54 for grade 5 singing is the steep one (I'm sure grade 4 was nothing like that much).

tootssweet Tue 28-May-13 17:53:58

Dd will be taking her exam in July - have had an extra £8 on top of fee to help pay for hall hire & pianist. Will do exam in regular shoes & leotard - might splash out on some new socks as hers always seem to get filthy really quickly!

splishsplosh Tue 28-May-13 17:54:12

Wilson - the lady claimed she didn't even make any profit, that the day ran at a loss, which is why I was more surprised and wondered if all places charge so much to simply cover costs.

I expected to pay a bit extra for the pianist's fee like with music exams, and the uniform etc, but hadn't expected all the other costs! I might try and guide dd towards choosing a less expensive hobby smile

Groovee Tue 28-May-13 17:55:34

My dd paid £41 to RAD. Then we had 2 extra classes on top, pianist fee for the 2 extra classes and the exam and that was it. So was about £20 on top.

Mixxy Tue 28-May-13 17:57:00

Because the Royal Ballet system of grading sucks. It seems excessive. It is a particularly good school?

HollyBerryBush Tue 28-May-13 17:59:52

Call me old fashioned, why cant your daughter do ballet for fun, rather than the hype and pressure of exams?

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Tue 28-May-13 18:05:29

Dd recently did Primary ballet, we are allowed to borrow any skirts, leotards etc that we don't have from the ballet school shop, the teachers do hair at no cost, I don't think there is a pianist. Hall charges have never been mentioned either, the only extra costs were a 1:1 lesson at £10, a few extra group lessons for £1 each and a practice CD for £1, none of which were compulsory, just recommended.

Show costs mount up though, about £40 to appear, then tickets to watch it at about £12 each, DVD, professional photo.

Nearly all DD's ballet clothes have been hand me downs or second hand, she's on about her 3rd lot now and I have only paid for shoes, a few pairs of socks and 1 leotard so far.

splishsplosh Tue 28-May-13 18:06:02

Holly - I was planning on her doing it for fun, but my friend said that the school pick a few pupils out as ready for a particular exam, and then the girls feel left out if their parents then dpn't put them in for the exams - I'm perfectly happy for her to just go along and have fun, but just want to be prepared in case

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Tue 28-May-13 18:06:51

Exams aren't compulsory at our ballet school either, you can choose not to do them.

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 28-May-13 18:09:41

Children like exams though. It gives them something to sim towards.

Dd probably won't get to do her exam she's spent 2 years working towards (change of syllabus) as she's off to a different school in September.

PunkHedgehog Tue 28-May-13 18:10:53

Wow - we never had any of those things. Standard uniform, no new shoes, no extra lessons, if we wanted music to practice at home we brought in a tape (yes, I'm that old) and recorded one of the lessons ourselves, and the teacher had a handful of hairgrips to lend to anyone who needed extra.

I think there was a payment for the pianist on the day, but only a few pounds each and certainly no parking and lunch charges!

and I enjoyed exams - they aren't incompatible with doing it for fun.

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 28-May-13 18:13:06

Dd's last exam everyone knew they changed colour leotards between Grades 2. & 3 do were squeezing their dd's into the old colour for the exam as buying a new one was pointless.

LIZS Tue 28-May-13 18:13:53

Frustrating isn't it Pictures. dd's exam was postponed due to teachers' maternity leave and this being a short term - this is the 5th term of grade 4. Hopefully she will take it in November now but will need to juggle between one school and another as no allowance is made for those who have moved on hmm

BikeRunSki Tue 28-May-13 18:13:59

Exam leotard?

Mixxy Tue 28-May-13 18:18:03

Because the Royal Ballet system of grading sucks. It seems excessive. It is a particularly good school?

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Tue 28-May-13 18:18:19

Our school is lenient about non standard uniform for classes, but you are expected to dress DCs in standard kit for exams, however they do lend it out for those who haven't got it. The standard skirt changed a few years ago but the hand me downs just keep getting handed down so a lot of the girls are in the old skirts still for classes.

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