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NYMomma205

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Reply with quote  #1 
So being this is DD's first year of dance, I really had no idea how much money this recital would end costing and I'm starting to feel bad having DH shell out so much money. Now while her studio doesn't charge a recital fee, they charge extras for everything, from mandatory earrings (my daughter doesn't even have pierced ears lol), makeup, special colored shoes, etc and this is for a preschool age class. Not to mention the cost per ticket which we have to pay. So all the talk now in the waiting room is upcoming pictures. Mothers are getting their kids hair and makeup professionally done and I'm just thinking in my head, no lol. We just got the picture prices and the cheapest package is $50. In all honesty, I could probably bring her to Picture People and get a package for $18. And I really only wanted maybe a few wallets and a little bigger picture to put in a scrap book or something. We just got their costumes too and DD looks adorable. The cheapest package is $15, but it's only for a group photo. Based on all the emails we've gotten, it seems like they have to be there for photos. I've actually seen some individual photos from last year posted on FB from this studio,  and they look like Picture People quality with a plain white background. Also, while I'm super excited for the upcoming recital, the way these moms are fretting over the littlest things, it's like we are getting ready for our kids to be on Broadway lol. I sorta feel like I "have to" buy some sort of package and will end up buying the cheapest package with indiviudal shots, which is the $50 one. So, do most of you always buy professional pictures from your studio? Is it mandatory at your studio?
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #2 
Do not feel like you have to buy them, you don't.  I actually know many people who have chosen to bring their dancers to places like the Picture People instead.  Or, as dancingpeanut suggests.. just take your own.  Your money, your decision.
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Angel2228

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Reply with quote  #3 
Your DD should for sure be there for the group photo, if her friends are purchasing the photo's they would want the whole class.
The very first year I bought the full package, we had magnets, keychains, door knockers, the works!! Guess how many got used. I handed out only a few. So most of the dance pics are still in its bag in a box under the stairs. I switched to only getting the memory mate the studio offers. It's one 8x10 with a group photo and single shot on the same page for $15. A few family's have never gotten the studio pics, I wouldn't have even known if they didn't say anything. I prefer the natural pictures anyways. The putting make up on, the waiting in line for their turn to go onstage, and the pictures with grandma in the hall after the show. Those are the ones on my walls, the memory mates are in an album in a dresser.
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #4 
Edited to add... it seems you deleted the comment I'm responding to but I'll respond anyway....

I'm not sure how they could force you to go to picture day.  I know they encourage it because they want the class photo to include as many of the kids as possible but... sometimes people have other commitments.  I've rarely seen a class photo over the years that included every single dancer from the class.  Even if they managed to come for the solo px, sometimes people just aren't available at the time slot for each group.  Especially when their kids end up taking a boatload of classes.  I don't think I had my dd in a group photo beyond the first few years of dance.

But of course if you feel bad about not going you could go for the class photo and still not purchase anything. Again, it's your money.  Try not to be swayed by what others are doing.  That would be their money.
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Momof3

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Reply with quote  #5 
I usually get the group shots, if it's not cost prohibitive. Even if I'm not buying them, I do try to go so the class can be as complete as possible.  Has often been helpful in figuring out last minute costume issues as well.

I did the solo shots one time - DD10's first year of dancing when she was in one dance. Since then, I've always taken my own shots.  There are so many things I need to spend money on, I just don't want to spend it on formal individual shots that I won't use much.  Rather have candids, anyway.  However, that's just my opinion.  If you want them, by all means, get them! But don't let others pressure you into getting something you don't want.
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Suzit42

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Reply with quote  #6 
Wow, just wow. That's a lot for a preschooler. Professional makeup and hair? So not necessary. My DD is 16 and we have done all the options. We have also lived in the same town for all of those years. Her first year, when she was six, all I did was take a pic of her in her costume at our house. Looking back, I wish I would have bought the group shot. It would be nice to see who she danced with that year if only for giggles. After that, we did the memory mate which had the group shot and a solo pose on one 8x10 sheet. Current studio brings in a professional for group and individual shots for every dance. At this point, I buy the shots of her competition groups and that's it. The sooner you can stop the madness, the better.

Are you friendly with any of the other moms? Maybe you could pool money and share group pics. We do this at comps a lot.
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NYMomma205

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzit42
Wow, just wow. That's a lot for a preschooler. Professional makeup and hair? So not necessary. My DD is 16 and we have done all the options. We have also lived in the same town for all of those years. Her first year, when she was six, all I did was take a pic of her in her costume at our house. Looking back, I wish I would have bought the group shot. It would be nice to see who she danced with that year if only for giggles. After that, we did the memory mate which had the group shot and a solo pose on one 8x10 sheet. Current studio brings in a professional for group and individual shots for every dance. At this point, I buy the shots of her competition groups and that's it. The sooner you can stop the madness, the better.

Are you friendly with any of the other moms? Maybe you could pool money and share group pics. We do this at comps a lot.

Wow was what I was thinking too in my head when I heard the hair and makeup thing lol. I talk to them, but the moms and their kids all knew each other outside of the studio before starting class this year, so me and dd are the odd ones out sort of who came in with no friends lol. Strange right? So maybe I'll just buy the group photo and bring her to picture people afterwards? Or just get the group shot and use my new camera that I've hardly used since Xmas and get some nice shots of her on that. I wish we had some sort of memory photo option.
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JulieDB

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Reply with quote  #8 
I did not at our studio in NY.  They had a huge class of 30 and there was no class pic. We moved out of state the day after the last recital.  They agreed to send us the video but not the pics so we didn't do those.  We have bought them since we moved here.  I mainly did because my husband's relatives are on the East coast so they never see us.  The pics were always very good and they are inexpensive if you get them on a CD.  Then you can take them elsewhere to get developed.
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ggsmith

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Reply with quote  #9 
I'm a little shocked by the professional hair and makeup for preschoolers, or even older dancers.  I do know a few folks who splurged on that for senior prom or senior school pictures.  I've been to a bunch of picture days and there are always families that don't show up for picture day or don't buy pictures.  I don't think you should feel pressured.  For us, other than the first year, we've gotten recital pictures every year, group shots and individual as our schedule allowed.  She's an only child, this is her passion, and I love them.  That being said, we've always had very reasonable digital packages available.  We can put them on facebook and print as many as we want in whatever sizes we like, or create mosaics of different groups and costumes.  Her grandparents hang them around their homes and I send pictures to her father and other out-of-state family.  With the digital photos, I am able to wait until one of the online stores has free shipping and have photos delivered to their door at minimal cost.  At the first rec studio we had the option of getting a CD of digital shots, groups and individual, and the most it ever cost was $80 for 6 dances, group and individual.  We spent a bit more last year at a rec/comp studio she attended but DD had 7 fabulous costumes and we got the individual shots and the group pictures that we could fit in our schedule.  Even then the digital package was maybe $110 for a dozen pictures.  I balked at the price but Grandma stepped in on that one.  The ballet studio does a photo shoot for Nutcracker and the Spring Ballet with a terrific photographer.  We don't always get those, but this spring we are getting a digital package for $50 that includes both group shots and three poses in each of the two costumes.  He even brings an extra camera that he passes around for the dancers and families to take candid shots during the day and includes those on the CD.  It is a great keepsake.

Bottom line, there will always be lots of ways to spend your money for dance, and it is entirely reasonable to set limits and decide what is best for you and your family.  Not every studio requires you to purchase "their" makeup and earrings, special colored shoes, etc. for recital.  DD has danced at 3 different schools and the most we've ever been told about makeup was specific colors and recommended colors/brands we could purchase if we wished.  One of her teachers was an Avon rep. and gave students 20% off, but you were free to purchase or use whatever you liked as long as it was the specified colors.  The ballet school does require all the children to wear the same ($18) slipper on stage, and this year some kids were given special roles that required them to turn in their slippers to be dyed.

Look at you, an experienced dance mom, ready to tackle your first recital!  Have a great time and take lots of pictures, whether you purchase the studio package or decide to do it your own way!
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Charade

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Reply with quote  #10 
Our studio strongly encourages the student be there for group photos since they go in the program, but we are not required to purchase anything. I bought the professional pictures for the first couple of years. Now i take dd to portrait Innovations and have her pictures done there. I spend about the same amount of money, but get more photos and have a choice of backgrounds. 
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My2DanceLoves

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Reply with quote  #11 
Picture week is fun at our studio.  But demands on pre-schoolers????    Whoa.
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Twinkletoesx2

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Reply with quote  #12 
I always buy them but with both dd's taking so many classes, it gets expensive. I don't buy full packages of every costume. I let them pick a favorite costume to get a full package then just do class pics for the rest. I also do a sibling picture every year that I buy a full package of. Picture weekend is hectic but fun. I love seeing all the kids in costumes, especially the little ones [smile] No one has their kids hair/makeup done professionally. Since we are buying the pics, our SO's tell us to do the makeup how we would like it. Sometimes the pics come out great, other times just ok.

Don't feel like you have to, there are always a few who don't show up. If you want to save money, get a class picture and either do single pictures yourself or take her someplace more affordable.

ETA, the cheapest package is usually $30.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #13 

Picture week is very common. 

My practice, when my dd was at a school that did that sort of thing, was to buy the group photos (she was in 1-5, depending on the year) and only 1 small package of her alone. Later, i only bought the groups and took her to a place for photos. 

Yes, even pre-schoolers had hair and make up done (light make up) but NOT professionally! And there were no mandatory earrings for pre-schoolers! Dd did not get her ears pierced until she was 11 or 12. She did have mandatory earrings for Indian dance competitions but I would just make them myself to look like the others. You cannot see details from the audience, for heaven's sake! We also never had specific color shoes for the recital until she was on the competition team. They wore whatever color they were told to wear in September. 

We are now long past the days of a studio with a picture day. The ballet school dd attended locally had one picture day in the 9 years she was there and it was a fundraiser. We did it, but I ended up buying nothing. Just paid the $25 sitting fee which was the donation. One year, they had a photographer come into class and take candids. I bought some of those because they were fabulous! The pictures I do buy these days are those that are taken during the performances. Those are my favorites. 

Feeling nickeled and dimed at some dance schools is VERY common, especially when you don't know what is typical. You do tend to find less of this at a ballet school. At dd's local ballet school, they wore their uniform leos for the recital. For the little ones, there was a built in skirt. Some levels also wore a wrap skirt and the most advanced wore tutus. I paid $25 for a participation fee and a few dollars for whatever they wore for jazz (PJ pants one year [smile]). I think we paid $100 for dd to participate in her upcoming recital. There are no other fees aside from tickets. That's the same for all of them. 

 

 

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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #14 
Oh... one more thing. 

I just remembered the big fuss dd's first year in a recital. Her first year, we were told they needed their hair in a bun. I admit I was flabbergasted. I remember saying to the studio manager "how can I make a bun?" The studio manager thought I didn't know how. I certainly knew how to do a bun on a child with HAIR! Her hair at 3 and even at 4 was baby fine and minimal! I couldn't even make a ponytail with it, how was I going to make a bun? In the end, it took tons of product and bobby pins to pull it all back and make it look like there was a teeny tiny bun. 
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meatball77

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Reply with quote  #15 
I didn't buy a single picture from nutcracker this year because the prices were so absurd and the pictures weren't good.  I took pictures of her in front of a black background (or the curtain and then used Zazzle.com to make tiny statues (we have about thirty of them on our mantle, it's hysterical).  I've recently decided that I like doing it myself better because I get more choices.  I can have her do several poses and redo it if her smile is weird.

Your friends and family don't want dance pictures (although they want to see lots on facebook) because they don't look like themselves in all that makeup and hair.
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Klba37

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Reply with quote  #16 

WOW, our studio ask that you bring them for group pictures but the rest is up to you if you would like individuals or not. Our studio post the group photos in the studio for the following year to see. Our little ones are not asked to wear make-up at all, you can put it on if you like, but not much, they want them to still look like little ones. Only our competition team has certain make-up and jewelry to wear.

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mcshells

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Reply with quote  #17 
I had my DD's hair done for her first recital. BUT it was a regularly scheduled haircut with my SIL who offered to do her hair for it after her haircut. Totally different, sort of! lol....

You will spend enough on dance over the years so keep it minimal. Don't start something, a tradition, you can't intend to keep as she gets more involved.

We rarely buy photos or videos from competitions. Maybe 1 or 2 photos a year if they're really really really good. Sometimes a video of her solo.

We don't have a photographer at the recital and we get our DVD 'for free' (we've paid for it with something I'm sure).  I do purchase the class photo from picture day for each dance though. As she's started doing more it gets more $$ and I know I've started to wish I could just take my own, a more candid shot with the girls in costume/makeup .... I could stop... but my DD loves her scrapbook of class dance photos she's made and looks forward to adding to it each year.
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My2DanceLoves

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Reply with quote  #18 
Our pictures are very reasonable.  No packages forced upon us.  We buy by the picture or sheet. A local dance dad takes the pics for our studio and others.  I am always very happy with them.  We buy what we want ....no pressure.
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Dancemomjus

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Reply with quote  #19 
We don't have any sort of picture days at our studio. I just take candid shots in some classes and then of course at comps where it's allowed and at recital.
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dancer1234

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Reply with quote  #20 
Ask the SO, DT or staff to see what they say.   For example in our studio (picture week has changed over the years), but they encourage everyone to attend, so they can get the group shots, but there is no requirements to purchase and no requirements to do professional hair and makeup.  If you can not attend, don't sweat it, just let the studio know so they don't wait for you.   

When DD was younger I would do her own hair and make up and snap lots of pictures in the hallways.  We did not need to pre order pictures packages until after the shoot.    As years have passed.   DD can do her own makeup and I help her with her hair.   Since she is competing I get lots of pictures of her during that time so I only need her recital dance pictures.   They have put a stop to pictures in the hallways, so I take some snapshots outside and they can be in as many groups but if you was an individual pose, you have to pay a fee for each individual pose which can be used towards purchasing pictures.    The pictures are amazing but I still have the last 2 years in their selves and have not done anything with them.  This next year I am going to ask if the photographer has a digital offering,

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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #21 
I bought pictures every year DS danced from 2-19 years old.  As he got older and was in more routines it got more expensive but usually it cost me about $15/group fro a group shot and one solo pic.  Neither of our studios made it mandatory to attend picture day but it was strongly encouraged and the comp kids knew if they didn't show up there would be hell to pay.  They didn't have to buy pictures (and lots didn't) but they had better be there for the group shot that gets hung in the studio lobby.

Oh - and I would not be paying to have a preschoolers hair and make up professionally done.
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heartmom

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Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYMomma205
So being this is DD's first year of dance, I really had no idea how much money this recital would end costing and I'm starting to feel bad having DH shell out so much money. Now while her studio doesn't charge a recital fee, they charge extras for everything, from mandatory earrings (my daughter doesn't even have pierced ears lol), makeup, special colored shoes, etc and this is for a preschool age class. Not to mention the cost per ticket which we have to pay. So all the talk now in the waiting room is upcoming pictures. Mothers are getting their kids hair and makeup professionally done and I'm just thinking in my head, no lol. We just got the picture prices and the cheapest package is $50. In all honesty, I could probably bring her to Picture People and get a package for $18. And I really only wanted maybe a few wallets and a little bigger picture to put in a scrap book or something. We just got their costumes too and DD looks adorable. The cheapest package is $15, but it's only for a group photo. Based on all the emails we've gotten, it seems like they have to be there for photos. I've actually seen some individual photos from last year posted on FB from this studio,  and they look like Picture People quality with a plain white background. Also, while I'm super excited for the upcoming recital, the way these moms are fretting over the littlest things, it's like we are getting ready for our kids to be on Broadway lol. I sorta feel like I "have to" buy some sort of package and will end up buying the cheapest package with indiviudal shots, which is the $50 one. So, do most of you always buy professional pictures from your studio? Is it mandatory at your studio?


Here's my input.  Certain color shoes- yes. For preschoolers our studio wants you to have black tap shoes and pink ballet shoes. These, however, are standard colors for our studio for several years. If you ask at the beginning of the year, you are told to buy this color. It's also in the written material you get at the beginning of the year, so hopefully that isn't an added cost, you can just wear the same shoes you have.  Never heard of required earrings and make-up just for recital. Our SO just asks that they have some blush and lipstick on at minimum. So some of that seems over the top!

As for the pictures, I would really suggest you at least go for the group dance picture. Ours have been displayed in the studio year round, been put in the program, etc and displayed at recital. It's nice if they can be included. The white background is pretty standard for dance pictures even back 30 years ago when I danced. :-) You don't need to feel pressured to get individual pictures, or buy any, if you don't want. There's so much chaos on picture day no one knows who is buying what so there is no pressure. That seems expensive for individual pictures (for instance for like $35 I can just buy the individual image on a CD to reproduce however I want from our photographer.) You could certainly do something like picture people for those.

JMO-- You might want to think about buying at least a group picture, especially if you can get one for $15. I never did for the preschool years, and now regret it. I had a group pic from DD 1st grade year and she is now in 5th and I'm amazed at how many of those girls are still dancing with DD on her comp team. Many of them would have been in those preschool photos too. Just hindsight looking back!
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Phx115

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Reply with quote  #23 
I guess I am not as sentimental as I thought.

I got a 5x7 when DD was in her first recital (one dance). Never bought another picture until last year. I got a 5x7 of DD in her solo costume (first solo) and a 5x7 of my son from a hip-hop class he took.

I just can never bring myself to spend money for group pictures.

FTR, I spend a fair amount on head shots of DD for reasons not related to dance so for me to purchase dance pics it has to be for something really memorable.

This year I'm not even bothering to have pics taken of her. The studio doesn't do group shots so I won't feel just a bit guilty.
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crafty1

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Reply with quote  #24 
Oh, I'm a picture person also. I do buy individual photos of DD in each of her costumes, and DD also gets a coffee mug with her picture in her solo costume on it. This year will be our 4th mug. DH is getting a little "concerned" about cabinet space. We usually do also get the group shots of her groups. Sigh, I'm THAT mom.

One of the moms of a new dancer on our team is very adamant that she does not want her 8 year old daughter "out there" - no online social media, etc. She will be at picture day but will only do solo shots. She will not be in any of the group shots because the studio displays the pictures of the groups in the studio windows. I didn't have the heart to tell her that when you sign up for a comp, you give them the right to display images of your dancer. I think she would have pulled her off the team.

When DD was only in the rec classes at our studio, the only requirement was to pull the hair up away from their faces, and red lipstick. In fact, DD was in a ballet, tap, jazz class but did not take the jazz portion. They decided to use the jazz shoes for the pictures, so they loaned us a pair for picture day. Our studio would not insist on having hair and makeup done for the rec classes for picture day - especially for a pre-schooler.

I love seeing the faces of the moms that are new to the studio when SO tells them at costume pickup that their dancer should not wear underwear for picture day or recital. It is PRICELESS!
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Jacaranda

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Reply with quote  #25 
Yea, ours are sold for $11 each. It can get expensive when the kids are in so many dances each and they want both individual and group pics. But I am a sucker for it and always buy them.
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