Nationwide research of mums and daughters across the UK to celebrate the DVD release of Barbie: The Princess & The Popstar (out now) revealed that being a popstar is considered the second most popular aspiration for young girls today, preceded only by being a princess.
But, in order to help fulfil their daughter’s dreams, cost is often a big concern for parents. From travelling to events to forking out for glitzy costumes, signing up to theatre school can seem rather daunting.
Denise Hutton-Gosney, Founder and Managing Director of Razzamataz theatre schools explains how you can keep the cost down:
Do your research
“I would suggest doing your research first – there are a number of different bursaries and support networks that can help you out if it is the fees that are causing you particular problems. And, of course, the schools charge different fees depending on what your child is interested in taking part in. Always contact the principal of a school that you’re interested in your child joining beforehand, so that you can talk through the different options that are available for you.”
Check payment methods
“It is advisable to look for a reputable school that offers easy payment options to allow parents to budget. Some schools offer monthly Standing Order options, so parents can spread the payments over 12 months, making it easier to budget!”
Keep an eye on extras
“Look for schools that keep costumes simple but effective, like different coloured t-shirts from high street shops, and don’t put pressure on parents to pay for costly exams or travel to competitions regularly. Plus, try to find a school that offers sibling discounts, like half price fees for your second child.”
“It is also really important to note that the pupils, parents and staff at a stage school always form a really strong, supportive network. So, if you are having any sort of difficulty with issues relating to your child’s attendance at the school, I would definitely urge that you speak to one of the other parents or a member of staff. We all work together to ensure that every child that wants to attend has the opportunity to do so, whether that’s through organising lifts to and from the classes, borrowing and recycling costumes or scheduling rehearsal times.”
Plus, Denise tells us the 10 reasons theatre schools are good for children’s confidence:
- Performing takes confidence and confidence is a skill that needs to be learnt and encouraged. Get your kids to dance along to a song on the radio or read a favourite book aloud. Confidence is an invaluable skill that your children can use in many different circumstances as they’re growing up.
- Make the most of what’s on offer as there’s often more than you expect. Children can try all different styles of dance, from Jazz to Irish to hip hop. Singing classes, musical theatre, comedy and improvisation are all on offer. Kids should have a go at as many as possible and find the class they enjoy the most.
- Be their biggest fan as it’s important you encourage your child’s interest in performing arts. Simply by turning up and cheering from the front row you give them the boost they need.
- Meet the teachers to ensure your kids will be part of a stimulating and encouraging environment. Classes should involve lots of participation.
- Encourage their imagination by letting them become playwrights. Dreaming up all kinds of scenarios will put their imagination to the test.
- Have fun with it. The emphasis for your kids should always be on fun, fun, fun!
- Make it a family affair by getting siblings and friends to create your own theatre school at home. They could even perform it to grandma!
- Practise on long journeys in the car, so they are familiar and more confident when performing in front of other people.
- Hold a mini award ceremony to reward your child’s efforts!
- Get involved, too! Your kids will delight in seeing you have a bash at singing or dancing and will be excited to join in, too.