“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice your gift.”~ Steve Prefuntaine
Hi dance teachers & directors! As we are in the thick of recital season with just a few more weeks to go, I just wanted to share a couple of last minute reminders that can transcend your year-end shows from “nice, little dances” to “professional caliber performances!” It’s easy to let things slip by whether it be with the younger dancers and baby classes or maybe even with the recreational students, but applying expectations to all will definitely produce a recital where everyone presents themselves as unified, neat and streamlined. Consequently, those lasting impressions will be a direct correlation to your studio name and how the community perceives the professionalism of your business! Remember it all comes down to the details which make the difference; whether you are a full-on training facility or recreational studio!!
Reminder #1: Everyone in a group piece should be wearing the same shoes. You may not think anyone will notice…but they will. Having your dancers all in the same shoes makes a HUGE difference. So, if a number is supposed to be in tan jazz shoes, then EVERYONE should be in tan jazz shoes; not one or two dancers in Pedinis, Paws, etc. Show-shoes should be NEW, CLEAN and have no markings on them or holes in them.
Reminder #2: No ripped tights under any circumstances should go on that stage. PLEASE, make this a part of your send-home letter to parents prior to show time. Every dancer should be responsible for NEW, CLEAN, NEAT tights with no holes, tears, marks, etc. Every dancer should also be sure to bring back-up pairs for each number they are in. Also, please be sure every dancer is wearing the same kind of tight and color tight for each dance. Whether it is footless, stirrup, cropped, suntan, toast, black, fishnet, etc!
Reminder #3: Please make sure all details of your dancers’ costumes are altered accordingly for a proper fit. This means all your pant and arm lengths should match for each child, no skirts are too big and slipping off at the waist, no tights are bunching, too big or hitting the leg at different points, etc.
Reminder #4: Accessories for each costume should be the same for each dancer. Please make sure dancers do not hit the stage with one person forgetting an accessory. This looks extremely unprofessional. Each dancer should be responsible for any hats, gloves, earrings, belts, etc, that go with each costume and know which accessory goes with each costume for each number.
Reminder #5: Hair and makeup. PLEASE make sure everyone has the same NEAT, COMBED, SPRAYED, etc, hairstyle for each piece. Hairspray and gel should be their best friend on recital day. If a number calls for a bun, then ALL dancers need to be specific as to whether it is a low or high bun, with a part or without a part, which side the part is on, etc. Hair should NEVER have FLYAWAYS!! Please make sure your dancers practice (prior to recital) how to neatly keep hair out of their face, use hairnets, hair-colored, pins, etc, which are not visible or falling out during their number. Regarding makeup, please make sure everyone understands they are to wear show makeup. Age differences will call for less and age appropriate colors but your older dancers should know what the professional “look” is for show day. Bright red lips are always a staple for older dancers and read best out to audience. If they are wearing false-lashes make sure everyone understands how to correctly apply them to ensure security on the lid throughout the performance!
Reminder #6: Please be sure dancers enter the stage with all things securely fastened. Whether it be their shoe laces or ribbons, their hair pieces, earrings, etc, taking a moment to do a quick check can avoid things flying off during the performance and inadvertently injuring someone.
Reminder #7: It is a good idea to type ALL of this information out to give to ALL dancers and parents. Providing a well-organized list of each number with the “must haves” including shoes and tights for that number, hair style for that number, accessories, makeup colors, etc, will cut down the guess work and give the backstage moms helping out a clear outline to post and follow throughout the show time! It will make things move efficiently during quick-changes and also cease any potential disagreements as to what is required for each number. Along with sending these letters home or emailing, post copies of this info in each dressing room for each dancer and backstage helper to see and refer to!
Hope these reminders help you throughout the rest of your recital season and provide a quick reference cheat-sheet for you! All of us here at Dance Teacher Web Blog wish you the greatest of performances and celebrations as your year winds down!
See you in the dance studio!