“Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen, voices whisper in the trees, tonight is Halloween!" -Dexter Kozen
BOO! Happy early Hallow’s Eve Everyone!
As this is my absolute favorite time of year, I thought we could all get into the spirit of sharing some fun and festive Halloween ideas to celebrate in your dance studio! Halloween is definitely a holiday with the flair for the dramatic, so this is the perfect occasion for dance studios to create an amazing environment to let imaginations run wild! Here are a few of my thoughts!
Aside from decorating the reception area, changing areas, bathrooms, etc….think about what you remember most about Halloween as a child and what you loved about it. It’s always great to have students feel like the studio is their home-away-from-home, especially during holiday time, so decorate the space with detail, creativity and nostalgic reminders. Think cobwebs, candied apples, ghosts hanging from the ceiling, jack-o-lanterns, the works!
For me, Halloween always exudes a feeling of mystery and intrigue…kind of like the air is somewhat a little more magical for that one night, the moons are changing, the leaves rustling, and the howling of the wind all dance in unison to create the perfect backdrop for parties and trick-or-treating. While having in-studio parties are always a crowd-pleaser (especially with little ones,) think about setting up a Halloween station where games can be played during the week for studio prizes… i.e. Bobbing for apples? Reach into the jack-o-lantern for prizes or clues to a studio scavenger hunt perhaps? Match the song to the musical, match the photo to the Halloween movie, etc. How about a student choreography contest for the most innovative Halloween dance to be learned and performed by the whole studio? Think of it as a new Thriller for the new generation!
Costumes are a must and definitely something we dancers know a little bit about! What is your studio policy on wearing a costume to the studio that week? Are you expecting faculty and front desk staff to join in on that as well? Does it include all students or just the younger ones? What is your policy to ensure costumes are age appropriate? Are you having a costume contest for our fashion designers in the making? Or is your costume contest based off the “Best Costume Inspired by a Musical” perhaps? A cool thing to do is to take pictures of the best costumes and hang them up on a board so voting for the winner is more organized. Plus, there is then a designated spot where it’s fun to gather before or after class for students as well as parents!
As we all have that closet in the back of the studio with old costumes that are sitting there collecting dust, now is a great time to head in there and get them organized so kids can borrow them for the holiday! Also, this is a great time to do a costume drive. Here, students can bring in their gently used costumes which can be donated to other studios or organizations with limited resources. Furthermore, if you’re feeling like the studio can benefit from doing an extra good deed this holiday, think about participating in “Trick or Treat for UNICEF;” which has always been a common program for as long as I can remember and has raised millions of dollars over the years for this children’s fund. Maybe keep a pumpkin or cauldron on the front desk where students can throw their loose change during the weeks following up to the holiday!
For a little entertainment, offer some of the classics for a special studio viewing party or sleep-over… “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown,” “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” “Casper,” “Hocus Pocus,” “Beetlejuice,” “Young Frankenstein,” “The Addams Family,” are all some of my favorites! And don’t forget the Halloween music playlist to keep the ghoulish spirit going! Why not add a choreography workshop to your party too and have a guest-artist come into teach combinations from beloved musicals like, “Young Frankenstein,” “Shrek,” “The Addams Family,” “Wicked,” “Rocky Horror,” etc!?
Finally, don’t forget to document all your studio festivities on social media. Print photos and keep scrapbooks and framed photos around the studio as well to share the dance family spirit all year round! So many Halloween things to do, so little time, but I’m sure your studio will be an amazing haunted house of all things spooky, enchanting and mystical this Hallow’s eve! We would love to see your photos too, so feel free to post and share your Halloween festivities with us!
Have a ghost of a time!
Happy Halloween from us at Dance Teacher Web!
See you in the studio!