Somewhere between the beautifully pinned buns, sparkly leotards, tights and weekly dance classes, it hits you: Your child's dream of making effortless grand jetes and seamless pirouettes is going to cost you.
Children who take dance improve their coordination, physical fitness and mental stamina. It's an activity that keeps both the mind and body engaged and stimulated.
It can also be expensive. And if you're a new dance parent, the cost can come as a shock. One year of dance for one child can cost upwards of $1,000, or even more. There are ways to reduce your expenses without affecting your child's experience with dance.
The Dance Season
Many dance studios follow the local school calendar. Classes start in the fall, just after the school year begins, and wrap up about a month or two before it ends. A dance season is about 10 weeks in the fall and 10 weeks in the spring.
On average, one class per week starts around $40 or about $800 for a 20-week season. Weekly sessions can cost as much as $100 at dance studios that employ acclaimed dance instructors and performance teams.
Some schools ask for a non-refundable tuition fee, which is about $25.
Picking a Dance Studio
If your child has never taken a dance class before, try a low-cost studio or even search for classes at your city's parks and recreation center. Once he or she shows a commitment, love and even talent for dance, you can opt for a higher-profile dance studio.
Once you've chosen a dance studio, look for discounts for additional children or multiple weekly classes. For instance, some studios offer a 10- to 15-percent discount a class per additional child.
If your child takes more than one class per week, studios should offer a discount. For example, if your child takes three classes per week, studios usually knock $5 off the normal class rate. Think of it like a package deal.