Monday, April 14, 2008

Biting The Hand That Feeds You

Whew! Sorry for the long absence. Mr. Chick went on a business trip, Nicholas was sick and missed a day of school, followed by a "No School" day, all during said business trip. So I have been up to my eyeballs in entertaining, cooking, cleaning and spending quality time with BOTH KIDS, all by myself, for days. I was just a tad busy. Plus I've been attending thrice-weekly dragonboat practices, which are fun and exhausting. I've been at it for 2 full weeks now (this week = start of week 3) and so far I've been able to also maintain my regular workouts as well. So for the past couple of weeks I've been diligently exercising 4-5 times per week instead of the usual 2-3. So far the scale is not showing any difference, but I still have hope. The reunion is just 5 months away....

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. As you may know, Nicholas is taking ballet classes at a top-notch academy here in town. He takes two classes a week: a co-ed "curriculum" class (pre-ballet), and a boys-only class (mens ballet 1). In the spring the school has a spring recital performance for all the kids. The kids had to sign commitment cards that they would make every effort to attend all their classes to learn and perfect the routine for the performance, and that they would perform at ALL the performances (there are 3 over 1 weekend). Nicholas signed the card, agreeing to work hard for the recital.

I took him to class on Saturday and learned something that I find disturbing. THE SCHOOL IS CHARGING $10 PER PERSON TO COME TO THE RECITAL. EVEN PARENTS. I already pay what feels like a lot of money for Nicholas to take ballet here, but now I have to pay to see what he's learned??! Classes are closed - I am not allowed to watch. I can only peek in the outside windows - from a distance as to not be distracting. But, it's been winter and now spring. In Portland. IT RAINS HERE - A LOT - and I'm not about to stand in the rain to try to see what Nicholas is doing in class when I can't hear anything anyway. Music, instruction, all mute to the outside viewer. And even if we could hear faint strains of the music, it would soon be drowned out by the loud traffic noises coming from the busy street just 20 feet from the window. There is a large intersection there and also a bus stop. And a high school. It's not a quiet, serene location. So no, I haven't spent a lot of time at the outside window, watching. I figured I'd see it all come together at the spring recital.

Only now, the recitals are scheduled for the very same weekend I have my dragonboat races, which means I can't anticipate if I'll even be able to COME to a performance because my schedule is completely dependent on how my team does at each race/heat. It's completely unpredictable. That bummed me out enough, but then to learn they are going to CHARGE ADMISSION to see my own child perform, well, I'm pissed, frankly. We've told grandparents about coming to see Nicholas' recital, not knowing that they'll need to fork over cash to do it. For Mr. Chick, Lauren, and the grandparents to watch Nicholas it will cost $50. If I get to go it's another $10. And it's not like Nicholas is performing a solo. He's part of the class - the GROUP is performing. And it's not swan lake. It's a short little exhibition of the young kids.

I'm feeling like the school is being greedy. Is it just me? I think if it's a question of space and having a limited number of seats available, then they should limit the number of tickets each child gets. need more tickets? Then you gotta pay for them. Or offer additional performances. But to charge us roughly $700/yr for classes, and then charge us even more to SEE our child demonstrate what you've taught him, is ridiculous. I think performing for parents/family should be automatic and INCLUDED. I'm hoping Mr. Chick can videotape the recital in case I'm not able to be there. At this point I wouldn't be surprised if there was a fee to him to do so.

It's only $10/ticket, but this has really left a bad taste in my mouth.

Yup, our local dance school in the NYC suburbs charges $15 for recital tickets. I hesitate to tell you this but they also don't allow parents to video the recitals. Instead they make you buy their dvd of the recital for $35!
My daughter took ballet for five years at a well respected school in our town. The first four tickets to the performance were free and then there was a charge for extra tickets. I think what your school does is ABSURD and you should have been fully informed of that policy at the beginning of the year.
The drama of paying for dance! I have lived that for the past 4 years :)

My daughters' dance studio also charges $10 a ticket, but I know that it costs them to rent the auditorium where the recital is at, so I'm okay with it. I do get a little upset at the costume fees. Between my five-year-old and 8-year-old, I have 8 costumes to buy at more than $100 each. I have talked to my other friends who have their kids in dance out here (Southern California) and their story is the same. I do let everyone buy their own tickets into the show if they want to see it, and no one has had a problem paying, but my family is big and we usually end up with 15 - 20 people watching. My first year in dance, I had the same sticker shock as you, but I have gotten used to it. I promise it gets easier. Just think about how much Nicholas is learning and enjoying himself.

Lisa R
That's how it is here. The best school around has the spring recital at the local junior college in this huge auditorium and it is hard as heck to get a seat...and at $10 a pop here too, it is amazing that so many people do pay.

I do think that the parents get in though without paying, it was the rest of us who went to see our students/relatives/friends that had to pay.
Sorry, MP. That is just the way it goes ...

I live in Podunk, USA and recital tickets are $8.00 each.

Honestly, I've never heard of a dance school that didn't charge admission for recital. Also, I've never heard of a dance school that didn't forbid parents from watching classes most of the time (we have 2 visiting days a year when we are allowed to watch our ballerinas).
Post a Comment

<< Home
Free Counters
Hit Counters

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?