Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tiny Dancer

Last September, I signed Ms. Maddie up for Ballet. This last Saturday was the big recital! Before I go on to give a glowing report about her wonderful dancing, let me give you a break down of all the f*ckery I've had to endure since September:

First of all, I never expected this to be cheap, but I've been nickle and dimed to no end. The class was $32 dollars a month...not bad really, but if you look at months like November, December and March, the months with holidays, I paid for full months and she only had two lessons. Not to mention June (only 2 lessons this month and then the recital) The outfit custom measured to fit her small four year old body was $60. There were only 3 of them to start and then after Christmas 7 more kids joined in, which was very chaotic...She has not learned a new ballet move since December! The recital fee was $70!!!! This fee was because of the "professional lighting and sound system". The show was held at the local high school and from the looks of it, we were just using their equipment. Tickets to the show were $10 a ticket and there were 2 shows, afternoon and evening and they were required to be in both.

There was a mandatory dress rehearsal last Wednesday that started at 3:30, about an hour before I was done working, an hour before everyone was done working for crying out loud as its a Wednesday! They were required to be in full make-up ($40 Mary Kay make-up), hair had to be parted on the left and put in a bun, costume, pink tights and ballet shoes. Of course they had to have professional pictures at $30 a crack.

The owner of this place has been sending these sporadic emails regarding times and prices that continually changed. One of the last emails she sent, she mentioned t-shirt pick up? What t-shirts? Apparently, everyone who signs up for dance in the fall gets a free t-shirt of this years show (which by the way was called "destinations"), those who did not sign up for dance next year may purchase a t-shirt for $18! Why on earth would new students want a t-shirt from last years show? When I told the owner that "no offense, this doesn't seem very organized", she went on to tell me that she "was the most organized dance studio as far as emails and information in the tri-county area"...what an odd and ludicrous statement, how on earth would you know if you're the most organized? What three counties? Is Hazard one of them? Anyhoo, enough about that....

The kids (3 and 4 year old) were required to check in the day of the show at 12:30 at which time they were separated from their parents for the remainder of the afternoon. The show started at 2 and Maddie was the 7th dance, after about an hour there was a 15 minute intermission (kids stilled locked in a room somewhere) and then another hour of performances, then the finale. Then we were allowed to sign them out for about 45 minutes to feed them and get them back quickly for the evening show...no time for naps or a decent meal really. We didn't get home until after 10 pm!

Despite all of this and my frustration, Maddie did great!!!! She handled being on stage beautifully and did so well...even when other kids were standing there and goofing off, she kept right up with the routine, I was SO PROUD!!!! I, of course, bought her roses and my friend bought her some beautiful flowers (and so did my friends mom). Maddie felt soooo special, I could tell, she was very pleased with herself.

I have become good friends with two of the moms in class (balances out all the problems) and we plan on signing the girls up again next year...we found another place in town, that is much less expensive and a lot more organized! HOORAY!

The following day, I took the Madster to the zoo and I'm happy to report no incidents with the goats!


Smileygirl said...

Yay Tiny Dancer! Sounds like you could have paid a month's worth of gas based on the money you spent on this recital. Yikes.

btw: F*ckery is now added to the list of my favorite words.

suz said...

ohhhh so much trouble for the little dancers. I agree, I have seen this in some dance programs. Lucky for me, I have not encoutered this...yet. Free Spirit does Hip Hop and she has always been able to wear street clothes. Her dance instructor is very organized and pro-rates the short months.
She is starting some other classes that may require costumes...so I may be in the boat with you next year. As long as Maddie is having fun, and does not know what YOU are going though, it may be worth the BS.
Good luck.

karengberger said...

Sounds as if your BS-o-meter was going off right and left with this place! How much more NOT user-friendly can a kids' place be? I'm glad that you met some other good moms, and are planning to walk away from this with them. It will be great to be able to continue to support Maddy's talent and love for the activity in a better environment. Let us know what you find in the "disorganzied 3-county area!"
In spite of all of the nonsense, I'm so glad that Maddie enjoyed herself. It's wonderful to see kids having fun & discovering things that they love. I hope you can post more photos; she is lovely.

The Engine of the Family said...

I feel your pain regarding dance. My daughter is 14 years old and this last year was very painful when it came to tuition, costumes, shoes, pictures, etc...Next fall, we are trying a different school a little closer to home.