November 10, 2010

Ballet on a Budget

Let´s be frank about it. Doing ballet doesn´t come cheap. Pointe shoes cost a bundle. Ballet performances sometimes a small fortune. Taking regular ballet classes is a lot more expensive than your average gym membership. I take a minimum of three classes a week, totalling at approx. 1450 euros on a yearly basis. Considering the state of today´s economy, that´s a whole lot of money that could, and perhaps should have been spent more wisely elsewhere. Unfortunately, one of the pitfalls of being a grown-up means that you get to pay for your own classes and pointe shoes. That is after all those other bills, student loans and mortgages have already been paid for. So what if not-dancing is not an option to save money? How do you stretch a budget to accomodate enough classes and pointe shoes?

Now, you could get your ballet fix through blogs and video postings alone. But for me, dancing vicariously merely bridges the gap from one ballet class to the next. It´s just not the same. Still, there are a lot of great tips and demonstrations on the internet to broaden dancing horizons and help to improve your technique. Check out my video links on the right to some of the best companies in the world. Sadly, they provide only snippets of ballets, but it´s still great fun.

Some of my other favorite and easy ways to save money (and resources):
- recycle where you can: I cut off the elastics once my soft ballet shoes are worn through. The color and width is just right for pointe shoes.
- wear your slippers as long as possible: because I like my soft shoes to fit really snug, the canvas gets holes pretty quick. As soon as I notice the fabric wearing thin, I tape my shoes inside and out with sports tape. This really works!
- if you wear black tights, no need to shop in the dance section. Black leggings are everywhere (and cheap)
- take care of your pointes, always air for at least 36 hrs after wear. Also, shellac on the inside of your box works to keep the tip hard.
- buy online, but only when you´re 100% sure of the size and model

In the end, all the money I have put into ballet has been worth it tenfolds. You just can´t put a price on passion! I would love to read about any money-saving ideas you might have..

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  1. Well, they say that if you don't use the same shoes every day they will last longer as they get to rest, i.e. dry, in between. I always have at least two or three pairs of soft shoes in use at the same time and I swich from day to day... :)

  2. leather shoes are a bit more expensive, but they last a lot longer. Personally I think they also fit better.

    A very promising blog!

  3. Thanks for your comments :)

    Saara, that´s a good tip about rotating your shoes. Me, I just kill one pair and then move on to the next. But those last days in shoes-beyond-repair are really kinda uncomfortable, so I might try it your way (next time I buy an extra pair).

    Anonyymi:True, leather lasts longer. My very first pair were white leather Freeds. However, with canvas shoes I find that they mold quicker to my foot. Again, I like mine really snug. Also leather outer soles tend to stick more to marley floors. But it´s really about personal preferences.
    I haven´t tried leather slippers in a long time, maybe I´ll give it another
    go :)

  4. Iwear slippers done in my country, they may not be as pretty as brand ones but they are cheaper and work just fine. Also when someone gets a leo in nice conditions that doesn't fit anymore we sell/ exchange with our friends and some times we even borrow costumes. Also some moms of the kids class do knitted legwarmers and ballet like-sweeters and they're not expensive and costume made.
    And when performance my teacher usually do our hair arrangments and my sister who studied stage make up does our make up for a small amount of money.


To That Special Ballet Teacher

To that special ballet teacher, who not only teaches you about technique, but helps build your confidence, nurtures your inner artist, ...