How to give incredibly fabulous fairy tale princess parties in your dance studio! First, to prepare for the very important birthday, a day that children and their friends in your studio are going to always remember as THE VERY BEST, HOT DIGGITY-DOG DAY OF THEIR LIVES, you need to plan. Lets get going!

How to give incredibly fabulous fairy tale princess parties in your dance studio! First, to prepare for the very important birthday, a day that children and their friends in your studio are going to always remember as THE VERY BEST, HOT DIGGITY-DOG DAY OF THEIR LIVES, you need to plan. Lets get going!

Step 1) GETTING READY:

Advertising: Make up a one-page flier to hand out in your sign-up package. Additionally, create a large poster size version of your flier and post in a prominent position so that parents know youre available for birthdays. Saturday afternoons after rehearsals are done in your studio is a good time for parties. Reserve a two-hour block of time for each party. Twelve attendees per party.

Invitations: You could go to a prom supply store (like Stumps; website address is www.stumpsprom.com), and order their castle-shaped metallic invitations (sample of the fairy tale castle following). You can make these blank invitations available for parents and then let them put anything they like on them, perhaps something like: One enchanted day, when twinkling stars fell from the night sky, Samantha was born. Come celebrate Samanthas Happy Happy Birthday with us at 4:00, Saturday June 10th at (Your Studio Name Here)

Costumes: Have a big box of beautiful princess costumes for all of your party guests to use (what youve collected at yard sales or past dance recitals), or you can specify that all girls come to your party dressed up in their own princess (or prince) costume. Make sure to have something for the princes in your party as well. Capes with crowns and swords are always appropriate for the boys.

Fairy Tale Story: Make sure that you have a big, fabulously illustrated book of your particular fairy tale to read to the princesses at the party. Go to your local library for the biggest and the best.

Music: Buy or borrow the classical music for the fairy tale youll be doing for the princess party. You can check the music out from your local library as well. For Sleeping Beauty, I like to use the one by the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by John Lanchbery, but there are many, many great versions to choose from.

Craft Supplies: Go to your local craft supply store, or order ahead of time from Oriental Trading (Web address is www.orientaltrading.com). Princess hats and wands are great! Youll also need tables to work on, glue guns to glue the feathers, jewels, etc onto the hats or wands. Ask your advanced dancers to help out with the crafts for the party. Youll need one adult to help for every three children.

Rug Pieces: Two pieces, approximately two feet wide by three feet long.

Step 2) The Party:

To begin the party, youll need one or two big rug pieces. After all the girls arrive, put the rugs down about 15 feet from each other. Then, gather all the children together and tell them this story. (Youll need to modulate your voice to one you use when discussing something bad or scary.) Children, I have something to tell you. This room looks like a regular room in a regular dance studio, but once upon a time, it was seething with dragons. Yes, children, DRAGONS! Right here in our own dance studio! Now, they dont often come out anymore, because everyone knows dragons really arent real, EXCEPT if somebody steps onto these rugs. If these rugs are put down here and someone steps on them, it OPENS the gate for them! And they sometimes poke their heads out and BREATHE FIRE, THEY BREATHE HOT FIRE! So, children, I want you to run as fast as you can, and when you get close to the rug, jump as high as you can over it. Yes, you CAN do it. Dont step on that rug piece. Don't let that dragon out! He may blow fire at your ankle! Have some of your advanced dancers helping you with keeping the girls and boys lined up and ready to go. Have the children begin by lining up and then running one at a time (One of your advanced dancers is on the other side, starting another line). Once they all run and jump from one side, have them run and jump from the other side too. You can play this many, many times. After each child jumps over, youll have to ask, Did you see the dragon? Are you all right? And if one child accidentally steps on the rug, be dramatic and say, Oh! Sara! Are you all right? Did the dragon breathe his HOT HOT fire at you?

You've just completed the first fun game youll do with them. After they've blown off some steam, its time to settle down and concentrate on lots of fun prince and princess dancing! Have one of your intermediate or advanced dancers help you here. She can be the leader for the little girls to follow. There is no wrong way to dance like a princess! Get your costumes out and have the children put them on. You'll need to read the fairy tale story youll be dancing to. Have all the beautiful princesses and handsome princes come sit down at your feet while you read the story.

Lets use Sleeping Beauty for example: After reading about the birthday party for Princess Auroras sixteenth birthday, stop reading, and have the girls do the first dance (princesses/princes at the ball) with your intermediate girl leading the others around the room dancing any way they want (On my Sleeping Beauty CD, mentioned under music in the getting ready section, the music is #15 on CD 1). After three minutes, have the children sit back down and read another part of the book. Stop reading and then dance to the second dance when Princess Aurora arrives at her party. After dancing for another few minutes, have the girls and boys sit back down and read more of the fairy tale. Stand up and dance again. You may need to weave a tale for each dance (i.e.; for dance #1, children, here were pretending to be the lovely princesses and handsome princes who are at the ball; were the beautiful Princess Auroras fabulous princess/prince friends).

After the fairy tale dancing is over you can serve pizza. One large pizza for 5 children is appropriate. And then its time for the cake and ice cream! You can supply both the cake and pizza, or have your parents bring them.

If you would like to do crafts, you can order all craft supplies from Oriental Trading, including several different kind of princess hats. Little girls seem to prefer the tall pointy hats. (If boys are at your party, be sure to give them a craft to do too, like making a jeweled Prince crown.) You can glue jewels to the outside, and use colored glue for decorations. Buy several different colors of ribbon and use lots of long ribbon for the streamer at the top of the hat. You can do a similar craft with fairy tale princess wands, too. Buy a gross of wands from Oriental Trading and then add your own art to them with jewels on one side, feathers on the other, and streamers of ribbons glued to the base of the wand extending down the handle.

I hope this synopsis will be of help to all of you in the dance studio business! Go out now and get started to give the best fairy tale princess party ever!

Carole Yearout is founder and past president of the Arts Conservatory, Inc., a non-profit company, located in Washington State, devoted to educating young boys and girls in ballet and music. Ive devoted a lifetime to helping children succeed in their artistic goals! If you would like more information about her your can go to http://www.morestudentsnow.com for FREE marketing information