If your kids are begging you for dance classes or lessons, one thing you’ll need to budget for is dance costumes. Your child will need appropriate attire to wear to class, as well as special costumes for dance recitals. This article will discuss the dance costumes that your child will need, how much they typically cost, and ways that you can budget and save money for this expense.
While what your child is required to wear to class can vary between dance studios, the guidelines listed below are what is typical. Although your child can wear the same outfit to each class, you may wish to purchase additional outfits depending on the number of classes your child takes and how often you do laundry. Of course, check with your individual dance studio or teacher before making your purchase!
Your child will need to wear a leotard to ballet class. This formfitting suit allows the dance teacher to clearly see the movement of each student’s body. Many ballet classes require a black leotard, although some studios choose a different color. Leotards typically cost between $10 and $30. Girls may also wish to wear a dance skirt, which can range from $5 to $40. Styles include the classic tutu to a simple crepe skirt.
Your child will also need tights to wear to their ballet class. Pink is the most commonly requested color for ballet tights, although black, white, and nude tights are also popular. There are many different styles of tights, such as footed, convertible, stirrup, and footless. Usually your child can wear whichever style they find most comfortable, unless the studio has a preference. Tights typically cost between $5 and $15.
Finally, one of the most important items your child will need for learning ballet is the ballet shoe. Like tights, pink shoes are the classic choice, but black, white, and nude are also common. Ballet shoes are made from canvas or leather with a full sole or split sole, and can run from $10 to $20. As your child progresses in ballet class, he or she may be offered the opportunity to train en pointe. This iconic style, in which female ballerinas dance on the tips of their toes, requires specially fitted pointe shoes that cost between $30 and $100.
The attire for jazz class is usually less strict than that expected in ballet classes. While some dancers wear a basic leotard and tights to jazz class, many will choose to substitute shorts or leggings for the tights. Dance shorts and leggings typically cost between $5 and $20.
Your child will also need jazz shoes to wear to class. These shoes are similar to ballet shoes, except they have a small heel. Jazz shoes are usually black or nude and cost $20 to $30.
The attire worn to tap dance classes is the same as that worn to jazz classes. The only important exception is the special shoes. Tap shoes have metal plates on the bottom, which click while your child shuffles and taps his or her feet to the beat. These shoes can run anywhere from $20 to $70.
- Recital Dance Costumes
When your child starts taking dance lessons, the dance recital is sure to become one of the highlights of your year! These recitals give your child the opportunity to show the results of his or her hard work to all of your family and friends. Some studios have an annual recital, while others have two to four recitals spread out throughout the year. Many studios use the recital as a chance to raise extra money by charging admission. Although these tickets are usually relatively inexpensive, keep that in mind as you’re thinking about your budget.
In order to participate in each recital, your child will likely need special dance costumes. The costume will be chosen by the teacher to fit the theme and song selection of the recital performance. While dance costumes for recitals can range anywhere from $50 to $300, the typical cost is usually about $80. You child may also need separate dance costumes for the recital for each piece they will be performing, so this is something to account for if your child takes different styles of dance lessons each week.
- Other Dance Accessories
Typically the cost of the recital dance costumes will not account for all of the little extras, such as tights, shoes, and hair accessories. Most of these items your child may already own and wear to dance class each week, but you may need to purchase a few items if specific colors are required.
Finally, no matter what style of dance class your child decides to take, he or she will need a dance bag to carry clothes and shoes back and forth to dance class. While any bag will do, you can also find specialty dance bags. Many dancers like to have their name embroidered on the bag so they can easily identify it. Dance bags start at $7 and increase in price from there.
Ways to Save Money
While you may be concerned about the cost of dressing your child for dance classes and recitals, there are many ways that you can save money.
- Set Up a Monthly Budget
Handling large expenses is much easier when you set aside a little bit at a time. First, calculate the estimated expenses for your child’s dance costumes for the year, then divide this fee by 12 to see how much you need to set aside each month. That way, whenever your child needs new dance costumes, the money will already be there.
- Set Up a Trade System
Children grow quickly and sometimes need larger-size dance costumes long before their old ones are worn out. To avoid this headache, try befriending other parents in the studio and set up a trade system to extend the life of everyone’s costumes. As your child grows, give their old costumes to younger and smaller students. In turn, your child will receive hand-me-downs from older students.
- Shop Online
You can usually find great deals if you take the time to shop around online. Many online dance stores put items on clearance as new styles come in. If you see an item in your child’s size or a size they are about to grow into, you can usually grab them for a fraction of the original cost.
As you budget for dance costumes, remember that your child is learning many skills that they will carry with them throughout their entire life. Although your child many not choose to become a professional dancer, they will learn important lessons about health, grace, dedication, hard work, and more. These life lessons make the cost of their dance costumes worth it!
Photo by Tommy Wong