You all know that I volunteer to do the Ballet Lady's billing. Why did I volunteer to do that? I don't remember... I think don't think I had quite turned my brain to the on position when I agreed to do it.
We have a tuition fee scale that is lower than any around. We have a costume rental fee of $30 per performance regardless of the number of dances the child does. Basically, it is a very reasonably priced extra-curricular activity for the children.
That said, there are people who don't pay. I have a few favorite anectdotes, but this one is my all time favorite:
A lady (who drives a Mercedes and whose older kid drives a BMW) showed up one day with the teen-aged daughter who takes ballet, jazz, and musical theater. We never see this woman, as someone else usually does the pickup and drop off. MW is dressed to the 9's, wears expensive perfume, and carries a very expensive purse. She proceeds to tell Ballet Lady that she cannot pay for lessons and that her daughter needs a scholarship.
(I almost fell off my chair. I'm sure my chin hit the desk. Somehow I managed to keep my butt firmly planted and my mouth shut. I focused my eyes on the screen in front of me and turned my ears to the conversation... Hey, I'm nosy!)
Ballet Lady - who has yet to get a paycheck in the 3 years she's been in business - tells Mercedes Woman that this is not possible. She explains that we are a non-profit venture and any scholarship applications must be brought to the Board of Directors in June for the following school year. Then if the Board determines we have some spare money, an audition with an impartial ballet teacher (from another studio or the Cecchetti Council) is necessary and there are still no guarantees. The Mercedes Woman is furious!
(Excuse me? Lady, tuition is less than $100 a month for all those classes! Besides, your kid is not the next Gelsey Kirkland! Sell your purse on ebay and you can pay the tuition for the year.)
Mercedes Woman decides to take a different tack. She tells Ballet Lady that she wants her kid to work in the office so she can get a discount.
(LOL!! Silly woman! I don't let any kid who is not at least a senior in high school sit at my desk. Your daughter is the most irresponsible twit I have ever met. She will NEVER be sitting at my desk, Honey!)
Ballet Lady tells her that she has all the staff she needs.
(thankyouverymuch! Neener neener neeener!! Thhhhpt!!)
Mercedes Woman is in a snit and a half!! She's huffing and puffing and trying to bully her way into free dance lessons. Ballet Lady calmly tells MW that she needs to pay the tuition or the girl cannot dance. MW huffs her way out the door. If she huffed any more, she would have sucked all the oxygen out of the room!!
(Take that you big bully!)
The ballet lady flopped into a chair and heaved a sigh. This stuff takes a lot out of her. Needless to say, the girl walked in with a check at the next lesson.