A Dance Recital is the culmination of your dancer’s hard work through the year. If this is his or her first dance recital, you may have some questions as to what you and your dancer need to do to prepare. Here are 7 tips to help you get started:
- Stay aware/pay attention - Dance studios often send home fliers with students about proper recital hair, attire, etc. as well as rehearsal schedules and volunteer opportunities. Sometimes these are also posted on a bulletin board in the studio lobby.
- Have your dancer try on his/her costume ahead of time - Be sure your dancer can move comfortably in it. Some studios have costume fitting days for this purpose and will have alteration services available. These sessions can happen during an evening or on a Saturday prior to the recital day. Some dance studios charge a small fee for the costume and/or the alterations, so be sure to have some form of payment on hand.
- Get to know other dance parents - It helps to stay informed by getting to know a few of the parents of your dancer’s classmates. This will also help you feel more comfortable with whomever is chaperoning the children backstage during dress rehearsals and the performance. There are typically only a few adults allowed backstage during the bulk of these sessions to cut down on the activity. Most backstage areas just don’t have room for all the dancers and their parents! If you feel uncomfortable leaving your child backstage without you, stay informed (see #1) and sign up to be one of these volunteer backstage parents.
- Be on time - Be sure to have your dancer at the performance location on time for dress rehearsal and the performance day. Sometimes this may be a long time before your child will actually rehearse or perform. Remember that there are likely many other classes that will need to rehearse and perform as well. Dance teachers and stage managers typically appreciate having everyone in a full performance present backstage before beginning the rehearsal or performance. This helps everything run smoothly and especially helps keep the rehearsal as short as possible. It is not unusual for dancers to have to wait backstage for quite a while before it is their turn to rehearse or perform onstage.
- Pack an activity/supply bag - Crossword puzzles, ballet bingo, and other activities can keep little ones entertained backstage until it is their turn to perform. Include extra hair gear such as hairspray, bobby pins, rubber bands, etc. and appropriate makeup supplies for last-minute touch-ups.
- Practice Makes Perfect - Find out how your dancer’s hair and make-up are supposed to be done and practice a few times before the big day. If you’re not familiar with putting a girl’s hair in a proper ballet bun, there are plenty of tutorials online, but also reach out to older dancers and their parents who have more experience. They will likely be glad to help you understand your studio’s typical expectations for hair and make-up. Some studios also have hair and make-up sessions to help new parents and dancers learn what is needed.
- Relax and enjoy! Your dancer has worked hard all year to prepare for this performance. Take in pride in his or her accomplishments and congratulate him or her with flowers or a gift! Check out our recital gifts for some ideas!