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Dance. It's an expensive hobby once you get into the competition scene. Our girls have reached that stage where we're spending way more money on their dancing than we ever imagined we would.
Sometimes you just can't cut corners - I don't buy off-brand pointe shoes, for example. But other times, cutting corners is a great way to save. We used to spend upwards of 100 NIS (plus travel costs to get to the closest dance store) every time one of them needed new class shoes (ballet flats), but we don't do that anymore!
Instead, we experimented a bit and ordered a few off-brand shoes from online stores, and we've found one online seller that we really like for this kind of shoe. And SO much less expensive. (Note: this shoe is not usually used by younger, beginner dancers. Always ask your dance teacher for guidance about which kind of shoe is needed!)
Here's the listing:
Next - costumes cost a pretty penny. In most cases, though, for local shows and competitions, a discount costume is good enough - and it's not like we have much choice: We're just not able to invest hundreds of dollars on professional level costumes. However, discount costume makers REALLY vary. We've had some great successes, and some that left something to be desired.
Our favorite place to buy softer, romantic look tutus and lyrical dresses is Thank Frank's Aliexpress store. For the price, the quality is AMAZING.
We bought this one from them when we first discovered Thank Frank, and no one believed that it cost less than $50 USD!
We also try to get convertible tights for less than the standard price. Here's one of the ones we've bought. They don't last quite as long as brand name dancewear, so the jury's still out on this one. But if you just really can't fathom spending 40 NIS on a pair of tights, be aware that you CAN get THREE pairs for the same amount!
Anyhow, if anyone out there reading this wants to sponsor our dancers' leotards, pointe shoes, costumes, etc please let me know! (Currently, they wear Bloch brand pointe shoes and are happy to continue. My wallet doesn't love spending 300 NIS or so on each pair, though.)