Performing Arts for Everyone

Two budgeting tips for those whose children have enrolled in ballet classes

If your child is going to be attending ballet classes at a performing arts centre soon but you have had to really stretch your budget to afford these classes, here are some money-saving suggestions to keep in mind to ensure that the expenses associated with these classes don't climb too high.

Get creative when it comes to making a ballet barre for your child

If your child ends up loving the kids' ballet classes you have enrolled them in, then you should set up a ballet barre in your home, that will enable them to practise the warm-up routines and strengthening exercises that their ballet instructor teaches them outside of the classes that they attend each week. Being able to practise at home will help them to improve their ballet skills very quickly and should ensure that they can spend lots of time preparing for any ballet recitals the performing arts centre arrange, even if you can only afford to send them to one or two ballet classes per week.

However, buying a brand new ballet barre might cost you a hundred dollars or more. If you don't have this much money to spare but would like to give your child this useful piece of equipment, you may need to get a bit creative. You could, for example, buy a very basic handrail and the brackets needed to attach it to a wall for about half the price of a ballet barre. Alternatively, you could search for second-hand ballet barres for sale online.

Better still, if you're quite nifty at DIY, you could take a walk through your local woods to look for fallen branches and use one of these to make the barre. All you would have to do is peel off the bark, sand the wood underneath to make it smooth and to create a cylindrical shape, and then add some varnish. Then, use some screws and wall anchors to attach this 'barre' to the wall. This is probably the cheapest option of all three, but it will require quite a bit of effort.

Master some basic sewing skills and make some of your child's ballet garments

Children who go to ballet classes will usually need a selection of garments. For their weekly classes at the performing arts centre, they may need leotards, tights, legwarmers, ballet skirts and ballet slippers. Additionally, when they participate in ballet recitals with their classmates, they may need tutus and more elaborate leotards.

If you don't how you're going to pay for all of these garments, it might be worth searching for free sewing tutorials online, that will help you to master some basic sewing skills so that you can make some of these items yourself. For example, once you get to grips with the fundaments of sewing, you should find it fairly easy to make leotards and tutus, as both of these garments have simple shapes and don't require much skill to make. In short, if you acquire this skillset, along with a very cheap sewing kit and some inexpensive fabric, you should be able to create many of the clothes that your child will need for their classes and recitals without having to spend vast amounts of money.

To learn more about kids' ballet, contact a ballet school in your area.