Let's Re-Evaluate the Cost, Shall we??

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Ever since the hit show Dance Moms began growing in popularity, "littles" all over have been saying that they want to learn to dance like Maddie, or Kalani, or Chloe.

And as much as I want to kick Abby Lee Miller in the face sometimes, I do think that she produces incredible dancers, and I am glad that her show has made many a child desire to learn how to dance.

As a dance instructor and former dancer myself, I am, of course, pretty addicted to the show. The drama between the moms certainly does get a bit crazy, but the girls and their routines are so stellar, and I have just loved watching them progress over the past several years. Watching a dancer grow is one of the most beautiful things!

Last night, a group of my upper level dancers came in for their first class of a brand new session. Most of the girls in the class have been with me for over a year, and they are all insanely hard workers. At the end of class, I did a typical improvisational exercise with them. They are all used to this, and it's actually their favorite part {which makes me very happy}. Basically I pick a pretty song, put it on, and ask them to JUST DANCE...from the heart. And they do. But this time, my mind was completely blown in a different way. They've improved. They grown. Their passion and love for dance has increased exponentially since they first came to me. I saw beautiful technique and facial expressions, and their joy completely radiated from the inside out of every single one of them. I got all misty-eyed, and chills were on my arms. I was so happy, and reminded of WHY I DO THIS!

Not to mention, I got even more excited thinking about my classes of younger students, and what kind of dancers they would grow up to become!

Dance class is so worth it! For the teacher AND the students!

Now, I do realize that the cost of dance classes at some bigger studios can be astronomical! And for a lot of families, I know it's hard to even think about spending that much money. Especially when your child sees a dancer like Maddie from Dance Moms, and has her heart set on dancing just like her. THAT'S when the costs start to add up. Competition fees, costumes, stage make-up, and the dance classes themselves can really get expensive. Plus, as a student progresses, they will also grow, which means new leotards, shoes {especially pointe shoes! Oh my word, those are pricey!}, and more classes per week to keep up with their training. And it just adds up to more and more each year.

Okay, now I may actually be scaring you away from putting your child in dance, rather than persuading you.

So let's turn that around right now.

There's a common misconception about paying for dance...
That you are simply paying for someone to give your child a class for 45 minutes or one hour, maybe once a week.

Here's what you're ACTUALLY paying for...
  • AT LEAST one class once a week
  • SEVERAL classes a week, depending on your child's level &/or goals
  • The instructor's TIME and emotional investment into your child
  • Extra rehearsal time
  • Years of lessons and instruction that made the teacher QUALIFIED to teach your child
  • Maintenance of the studios and facilities
  • Costs of music and props that make classes so much more fun for your child
And that's not even including...

...the INVALUABLE experiences and knowledge your child gains!

They will learn...
  • How to take care of their bodies. When you dance, you WANT to stay healthy. You want to avoid injuries and sickness, because that means missing dance class! 
  • Discipline and focus. If you want your child to learn how to work hard, dance class is the place to be. They will be setting goals, learning what they need to do to accomplish them, and discovering that they won't always get to where they want to be WITHOUT putting in the work.
  • How to create lifelong friendships. Dance quickly becomes a social life, and it's hard to be shy around a group that you see constantly! Your child will connect, fast, with the other kids in their class. And those connections will last a long time because it's such a special bond that they share. I can attest to that!
  • Confidence! And especially if you have a daughter, that's a pretty important quality for her to have!
{NOTE: Dance is NOT...NOT...only for girls! The world of dance would not even EXIST without the boys! And boys need that confidence just as much...after all they are the ones who do the highest jumping, and all of those incredible lifts you see on stage!}

Now, earlier, I mentioned that the upside of watching Dance Moms is that those girls inspire young, aspiring dancers...but the downside is that a lot of parents think that all studios are like Abby's.


In fact, most places are the exact opposite.

It becomes a family. Parents work together. Teachers truly care about their students. Everyone makes sure that they keep they environment positive. So those drama mamas shouldn't scare you any more than the costs should!

I would not trade my experiences as a dancer for anything at all!

{You can read all about how dance saved my life by clicking RIGHT HERE!!}

And I love, more than anything, being able to pass down my knowledge and love to my own students, and helping them create their own beautiful experiences! And if it can change someone else's life, the way it LITERALLY saved mine, to me that's worth any expense! Even if your child never becomes a professional dancer, that doesn't mean all of that time and money was for naught! There is so much more to all of this! And it is PRICELESS!


  1. I love how you tell your dancers to just dance and express themselves. What a beautiful part of your class! - Stopping by from the Peony Project!

  2. I wanted to take dance classes my entire childhood, but since I'm one of 7 kids, it was never a realistic option for my family. Now my baby sister is taking ballet lessons weekly, which are actually a gift from a friend who wanted to make sure that their own daughter had a little friend to go to class with. All of little Sarah's big sisters are glad that she finally gets to live out what was a childhood dream for all of us. Us older ones have found swing dance and casual ballroom dance since growing up and have found that to be a great outlet for our love of dancing. I understand why my parents couldn't get us lessons, and I'm glad to have found a way to dance anyway. :)