Dans! - Irish dance: Costs and materials needed summed up
Irish dance: Expensive?
That's a tough one. What's expensive is rather relative and what one finds little money, is a huge amount of cash for another.
There are two major aspects when it comes down to the costs. First of all, I'm a male,
The most important factor is that I'm a male. No expensive dresses and wigs for me. Make-up, poodle-socks, tiara's and tanning-lotions (or spray-tan) are also things I won't need at all.
Though a tailormade school-uniform probably is expensive as well for me as a male, it is probably not as expensive as a dress.
Secondly, I'm an adult. My feet (and the rest of my body) won't grow anymore. I don't have to buy new shoes and clothing on a regular basis, which keeps the costs down.
Cost of classes
If the classes I take are expensive or not, is something I don't really know. I think it's rather cheap. I do get the impression however that the average Irish dance class in Europe is relatively cheap compared to classes in the US. An attempt to investigate this subject ended without result: from the 6 schools I asked inquiries from, none replied.
To put things into perspective:
- In 2011-2012 I payed 7,50 euro per class at the Kilkenny School of Irish dance
- In 2016 - 2018 a class at the Redmond School of Irish Dancing costs 10 euro
Costs for shoes and clothing
To be able to dance on the right shoes, you need to spend some extra money. Both male and females need two pair of shoes and a pair of dance sneakers is a great extra. Following amounts include shipping costs.
- My soft shoes (an unknown and probably discontinued type of Antonio Pacelli) cashed in at 70 euro (2014)
- My heavy shoes (Antonio Pacelli Ultra Flexi) were more expensive with 85 euro (2013)
- My dance-sneakers, type PA1513 from Le Papillon were the only shoes I could buy in the Netherlands and cost me 40 euro (2011)
If you like to participate in competitions, you need some clothing as well.
I got my pair of trousers at H&M. It was 50 euro in 2014, but I had to get it sized down as the waist was far too wide and the legs too long. This costed me 20 euro extra.
I found a good shirt (a shirt with an equal colour) for 15 euro in a second-hand shop. When you advance into higher levels, you'll need a vest and a tie as well.
I use Falke running-socks on my feet. These seamless socks, also advertised as socks for diabetics, are thin but pre-shaped and extremely comfortable that way. Unfortunately, they are pretty expensive with about 14 euro a pair (2015).
Travel and Feis-costs
On top of it all, there are costs to reach danceclass. I don't have a car (my parents got one in 2017) and have to take public transport to class. Fortunately, that's easy and I don't think you can really do this cheaper by car.
I pay about 7,50 euro in total to get to and from dance-class.
This is different when it comes to competitions. Depending on the location this means a long journey by public transport, or driving myself and picking up fellow dancers along the route or carpooling with a fellow dancer. The costs for petrol are shared by everyone.
Taking part in the competitions costs money as well and the costs depend on the competition: Some are a little more expensive than others.
The level you're at also makes a difference: the higher you get, the more expensive it becomes. 6 Beginners-dances might cost you around 30 to 40 euro (2014-2018) but a championship at the higher levels can cost you 25 euro.
And, when you are the companion or parent of your son or (more likely) daughter who's dancing, you will have to add the cost of a spectator-fee as well and that differs from competition to competition. 8 Euro is quite a standard fee for spectators.