The ballet scam

My 7-year-old daughter takes ballet class every Wednesday evening. She’s been taking it for four years, and really likes it. I actually like it to—to see her leaping and skipping and dancing in her little purple leotard, it warms a daddy’s heart.

That said, youth ballet is a scam.

My daughter has been enrolled in two different studios, and both places try and take you for everything you’ve got. The classes themselves are insanely expensive—but, hey, I can sorta live with that. What gets me, and the wife, are the year-end recitals. These events take place in a school auditorium, and serve as the culmination of the class completion. All girls are required to wear a special outfit, generally costing anywhere between $50 and $150. Then, all attendees are required to purchased tickets. Last year, the tickets cost about $20 a pop—parents must pay, siblings must pay, everyone has to pay. In other words, the wife, son and I forked over $60 additional to watch our kid dance in a recital we already paid for (in overpriced lessons).

It’s maddening—but she loves to dance.

5 thoughts on “The ballet scam”

  1. I hear ya. My 4 year old takes it and absoultely loves it. However you are right the outfits, the recital tix and the general cost to take the classes are rough on the bank account. Then you can’t just take ballet..they want tap and jazz too.

    However, when you see your little daughter on stage in the outfit skipping around it’s worth every penny. Chokes me up everytime and It reminds me how fast they are growing.

  2. I’m on the same train. I have a 6 year old. Like Gregry, it started with ballet, tap, and now we’ve added hip hop. (Don’t get me started on the merits of “Alien Bop” as a hip hop song.) $65/month for lessons. 3 dances, $80 costumes a pop. On top of picture packages in said costumes. On top of paying to put your child’s picture in the year end program. On top of purchasing the program. On top of buying recital tickets. On top of buying the video of your child performing the dances because they don’t allow any form of camera inside the facility.

    Arghhhhh…did I leave anything out dads?

  3. I couldn’t agree more. We pay $95 a month for ballet and tap, and paid over $300 for two different costumes for the June recitals, although that does include our tickets. But you’re right, it’s a big scam.

  4. Our daughter is 23 now and still loves to dance, including teaching and helping others. I was the same way when she was this age. Give it time, maybe she will like it be good at it, perhaps something else will come along. It is difficult for guys to do this, especially in our sports addicted society. Consider how blessed you are to be able to afford to provide these types of opportunities to your children!

    1. marty, it has 0 to be with my being a guy. i love watching her dance. love it. i just think the businesses take crazy advantage.

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