In Dance Moms: Don’t let this happen to you or your children, I shared with you, about a recent experience. My child is asking questions I cannot answer. I am still owed monies, and I am still pained as more details come forth. Today I want to give some advice because it’s burning on the tips of my fingers and in my mind.
8 pieces of advice from one dance mom to the next
Keep all receipts
I tried hard not to ever pay with cash. If you do pay cash, be sure to obtain a receipt. Carry around your receipt book if you need to. PayPal was useful as it provided an electronic map of all payments made.
Check with BBB, the Better Business Bureau
Find out if the business you are investing in is a licensed business. If this it is not listed under BBB and you choose to move forward, know that you are taking a risk. I took a risk because this dance company does not have a license.
Dance moms are not able to report foul play to the public because this particular dance company does not have a business license. I could share our experience on google, yelp, and the web page of the dance company but a lot of people rely on BBB. Also, the FB page of the business is down, and that happened immediately after parents began to stick together.
Look at your surroundings
Is the company housed in its facility or a facility owned by the city or another business? If the company does not have its facility, that is not bad; all businesses have to start somewhere. Check with the business owner to ensure you are paying the right amount to the right person.
Also, check with the city or the facility owner to ensure exactly who you should be paying your funds. In my situation, I should have paid the city directly at the recreation center. The recreation center would have then given her a portion after they took their cut. The non-competitive dancers apparently were paying straight to the recreation center, but the Elite ensemble group paid the Dance Director directly.
Keep all forms of communication
Never erase a text or email. Make a folder and keep everything in one place, because one day you may need it.
When using PayPal
Make sure to put a note detailing every single thing you are paying for in the payment. Also, be sure to use the business option, not the family or friend option. During my daughter’s enrollment, we were asked to use the friends and family option because the taxes were “killing her.”
Do not be afraid to ask questions
Even if you are the new kid on the block, ask questions until you get the answer and information you need. Do not worry about ‘loyalties’ and ‘cliques.’ When it comes to your money, time, and most important – you child, there is no question you cannot ask. Parents are more willing to answer questions than they are to volunteer information.
Senior Hija was pulled out of competition earlier in the year due to her shortcomings. At the last-minute, she was invited to be part of Nationals in Orlando. I agreed since Senior Hija’s grades were back on track. I did not know, the deadlines to be qualified were long gone and that even if she went to compete, she would be competing under another dancer who pulled out. My child would have gotten zero credit.
Venues & Vendors
Ask what venue and vendors are being used. If you want to make sure your money is not being played with, call the venues and vendors. They will give you the answers you are looking for if your Dance director is not straight with you.
Dance moms found out at the last-minute, the recital venue was not paid for, and costumes were not ordered. If we asked the right questions and kept ourselves in the loop, we would have known a long time ago. We just did not think we needed to do these things.
Where we are so far
Dance moms have filed claims through our banks, and PayPal
Some parents have talked with WSBTV News,
We have submitted affidavits to the police department
More to come…