Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Saving Money on Dance Class

My 5-year old just completed her second year of dance and her first recital. It's been a great experience for her. I'm convinced she was born to be on stage, which is quite a shock for her father and I who were born to be anywhere but the stage!

Dance class can be very expensive, the classes themselves, dance apparel, shoes, recital fees, recital costumes, the list goes on and on. And this past year has been a particular hard financial year for us. We simply could not have even afforded the dance class had it not been for the generous gift from the grandparents.

Here are some ways that I saved on the classes and other items that go along with it.

Shop around for different dance studios. We live in a metropolitan area, so there are many dance studios. I discovered that by just crossing the county line to a surburan area, that the tuition costs were much less.

Ask about a discount for siblings. If you have more than one child interested in dance, ask the studio if they will give you a break on the second child's class fees.

Purchase attire and shoes at consignment shops. Ask your studio if they require you to purchase their dance attire and shoes. Many do not. I shopped consignment shops and seasonal sales and found leotards and tap shoes for a quarter of the price that the dance studio sold theirs for.

Take your own pictures. The professional pictures were very expensive. We chose to take our own pictures of our daughter in her costumes at home. These pictures were just as good, and with all the photo deals that are available from Walgreens, Target, Snapfish and other online photo sites, I can get as many copies and sizes as I want for zero or little money.
Another option for pictures is keep an eye out for promotional deals at some of the in-house picture studios at Wal-Mart, Target, JCPenney, etc. Often you can get a small promotional package of professional pictures for just a few dollars.

Make your own video. We were not allowed to video the actual recital (because they wanted you to purchase the $50 dvd). But, we could video the dress rehearsal that was held on the same stage. My husband videoed the rehearsal, and edited it using windows movie maker, and we have a very good video record of the event for free!

These tricks helped us to afford an activity for our daughter that otherwise would not have been possible right now. What do you do to save on extra-curricular activites for the kids? I would love to know.

This is part of of Works For Me Wednesday at We are That Family.

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