I just canceled Peanut’s enrollment in her dance class.
Why do I feel guilty? I sincerely think it’s the right thing to do. Financially and emotionally.
As you all now know, our finances are not in a happy place right now. We need to make some changes. The class itself costs $31/month, which is kind of steep for a half hour once a week class, but not nearly as much as we’ve paid in the past for things like My Gym and Music Together (the latter I’m thinking of going back into, further explanation later). I didn’t add in the registration fee of $10, the fact that this class is a “real” dance class and required $23 shoes, and (after searching for something used and coming up with nothing) another $23 for her outfit (which was absolutely plain in comparison to the other girls in the class). Then this month we were hit with another $45 for her costume for the performance at the end of the year–which was the first installment of two. This was becoming quickly much more than I anticipated.
Beyond that, the reason that we decided to sign up in the first place was because I wanted to spend some special mommy and Peanut time together. Turns out that every Thursday I was fighting to get her into her clothes so we could run off to the class, getting stressed about dinner since it was right when I’d normally be making it, and getting frustrated with the actual class itself (I’ll get to that). We’re already spending more time out of the house than I’d like and I feel like we have way too much going on, so something needs to be cut.
Then there’s the class itself. I don’t know if I’m just spoiled after our Music Together classes, but I just wasn’t happy with the style of this dance class. They had to stay on the stars painted on the floor (Trying to get toddlers to sit still seems like a common problem that I’ve had with all the different activities we’ve tried. Come on. They’re toddlers!), the teacher talked down to them (baby talk and what not), and they got suckers as a reward for doing a dance move at the end of every class. I tried to talk myself out of disliking the class for these things. I know that I probably have higher expectations and ideals than some other parents, but after talking with a friend of mine who took dance and gymnastics for many years, she wasn’t very impressed either. She was especially disappointed in the fact that a dance class, which should be about health, was giving them suckers (and even once huge cupcakes because it was the studio’s anniversary).
So I can’t afford it, I’m too stressed, and I’m not happy with the studio, so why do I feel guilty? Why do I feel like I’m denying her some important opportunity by taking her out of this class? Everything I looked at online said that at this age, the class is more about socialization than actually learning how to dance, so I’m really not denying her anything. I also plan on looking up dance moves on YouTube and trying my best to teach them to her, which is free and without so much stress and I can do it my own way. Yeah, I’m not a dance professional, but I think I can do simple things a toddler could do.
I plan on looking into Music Together at the beginning of next year. That is the one thing we’ve done that I’ve felt entirely happy about the methods and I could actually see her benefiting from it (she still has great tone), plus it’s something that Twig will be “participating” in just by sitting there. I also plan on looking back into dance next year when she’s 3, since that’s when the studio that my friend recommends starts taking girls. I know I’m not ruining her by taking her out of dance class. I know I am doing the right thing for our situation. I’ll just keep telling myself that rather than letting my own and society’s expectations get to me.