You’re thinking of putting your dancer in competitive dance? Great!! I’m here to help.
First of all, and I’m sure you’ve already heard, but expect to spend some moolah. Dance is not cheap and then you add competitive. Wooohh.
If money is not an issue and you just want your girl or boy to have a good time, go for it! It’s a lot of fun. Who cares if they win or lose, right?! They’ll always be winners in our eyes. But money is an issue for me and I actually want to keep my house at the end of the day so if I’m spending the big bucks, you better give it your all and bring mama that trophy!!
This is our second year in competitive dance so I don’t have it all figured out but I went in blindly without reading an article called “What to expect when expecting to put your child in competitive dance.” I feel like it would have helped so you’re welcome!
So a lot of this will be those spendings. See, I went in thinking I knew what I was going to spend and would be blindsided when those extra charges starting trickling in.
Of course you will have the extra competitive charge added on to your monthly payment. Most studios will require your dancer to take a certain amount of classes in order to be able to compete. So if you child was only in ballet and tap, they will now have to take ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, etc. Whatever the instructors believe will benefit them in getting competition ready. So obviously your monthly payment will be raised because of the extra required classes and now the competition classes.
SIDE NOTE: I don’t think it will be beneficial to share exactly how much I pay for competition a month. It really depends on where you live and the dance studio. My rate is also prorated because I have so many little dancing so it wouldn’t be accurate for one dancer. And those are the type of payments that are not unexpected. You know exactly how much your monthly will be when you join the competition team, I mean they should tell you at least that.
So with all of those classes, there’s time. Depending on the schedule of your dance company, be prepared to call the studio your second home. With my four girls, we’re there four nights a week. My competitive dancer dances all four of those nights. Our longest evening can start anywhere from 4pm (depending on how close to competition we are) and end at 8:30pm. She literally has to run inside after school, change, and go dance. When she gets home, it’s past bedtime. Dance moms take turns to bring dinners straight to the studio so they can quickly have a snack in between classes.
Costumes. Oh costumes, costumes, costumes. We have a love/hate relationship. I hate them because they are too much money for a piece of fabric that covers barely enough of what needs to be covered. Our studio is great at trying to lower the costs of costumes as much as possible and they will even try to work with some street clothes. But then you get a couple that the group just had to have because it had all of the right sizes and it was perfect for the dance and that bill just smacks you in the face and you just sit there and stare at it and wonder “This is for all costumes combined, right?! RIGHT??!!”
Again, we’re in a small dance company. So I’m a little weary to tell you exact prices because you might go, “Oh that’s not bad,” and then your costume is like three times as much and you’re going to go after me like, “YOU told me it was only going to be $$!” But I will tell you anyway. Our costumes are usually around $70-80. It’s not horrible because you have that costume for the whole season and then they add that smack-in-the-face costume which is $150 so you end up paying twice as much as expected. And then you add three costumes for three dances and the older you get, the more dances you’ll probably do. (Our senior team is in like 48574872 dances.) And then you add the recital with every class having a dance. And then you add a winter production (our studio does The Nutcracker every year) with each girl having 1-3 dances. It adds up.
So be prepared. Costumes are a b!$@#.
And then you add competition entry fees. Silly me, thought when they told me that entry fees are usually around $$ for group dances, that was it. Hmmm, not bad. I can handle that. No, that’s PER dance, dummy. We usually only enter competitions that are between $35-45 per GROUP dance. I yelled out group because if your child is doing a solo, it’ll be around $90-100 just for that one solo.
So with our three dances this season (my girl doesn’t do solos. Yet. She’s asking for it next year though. Oy.), I end up paying $105-$135 per competition for an entry fee. Our competition season started this month and we do at least one competition a month. Competition dates are set pretty early in the game so those should be planned by your studio way in advance so you have time to plan for that. But yea, add that to your budget!
Oh, oh oh! I forgot. So when you do a solo, you’ll need that extra practice with the instructor. One on one. So that’ll be extra. Like I said, we haven’t done a solo yet so I don’t know how much extra and I don’t really want to find out.
Okay, so that is a majority of competitive dance. Time and money. It’s a lot but if your little (or big) dancer is passionate about it, it’s worth it. Just watching them on stage is awesome. Seeing them win those ribbons or trophies is priceless. So don’t let me scare you off from competitive dance. I’m just here to prepare, not to scare. 🙂
I would love to hear some comments from some dance moms!!