Recital A to Z
guidelines, practices and traditions are in place at most
dance studios to guide recital week activities, and those
practices will vary from studio to studio. The
following are meant as general supplemental advice from dance
parents on how to best prepare yourself and your child for
recital week. Naturally, if any of the following
differs from your studio's practices, you should follow your
a Zip-Loc bag to hold any accessories (hairpiece, gloves,
etc.) for each dance. If you have four dances, use four
different bags. Use a Sharpie to write the name of the
dance on the bag, plus a list of each accessory item.
The list serves as a checklist before you leave home for the
recital, when getting dressed, and when repacking items after
each dance is complete.
are normally prohibited at most recitals. If your
studio permits it, bring a camera during rehearsals and get
an assortment of on-stage and candid shots. If these
are dress rehearsals, your pictures should look just like you
took them during the show.
Reasonably durable clothing racks with wheels can be
purchased at stores such as Wal*Mart. If your child is
in several dances and/or plans to dance again next year, it's
a smart investment that keeps you organized, prevents
wrinkles, and provides a little dressing privacy. Hang
costumes on the rack in the order they will be needed in the
Bags - Put
all costumes and their accessories into garment bags -- one
costume per bag. This keeps the costumes clean and
everything organized and together. Put your accessory
bag inside the garment bag.
dancers hydrated is important, but try to stick with bottled
water or light colored juice in a box (no glasses).
Colored fruit juices and dance costumes DO NOT go together!
Recital weekend is not the time to get a run in your tights
without a backup. Have at least one extra pair on hand
of each color that you need. Also bring extra hair gel,
hair nets, bobby pins and hair spray with you. A few
less obvious items that may come in handy include:
wipes/Shout wipes (to fix makeup mistakes or dirty hands);
powder (for itchy costumes);
pins (for emergency costume repairs);
nail Polish (to repair minor holes/runs in tights when there
isn't time to change them);
Advil, Motrin or your pain reliever of choice;
contact lenses (because the show can't be stopped to search
the stage for one);
(the "invisible" kind -- stage is not the place for
Sponge Bob Band-Aids).
and Friends -
Family members and friends don't belong backstage or in the
dressing rooms during rehearsals or the recital. The
same applies during intermission and after the show.
There is a lot of backstage activity in a limited space, and
dressing rooms are a private area. Remind your family
and guests to be respectful of these areas. If they
wish to greet a performer after the show or present flowers,
they should do so in the lobby areas or any special area
designated by your studio.
Put your child's name on everything. These are
busy days and it is easy to lose a piece to a costume,
shoes, accessories, etc. Of course, use care not to
ruin costumes in the process, and be sure to write in
Use the makeup that you are directed by your studio to use.
Makeup is as important to the look as the costume. You
wouldn't send your child onto the stage wearing a different
costume than everyone else just because you think a certain
color looks better than the chosen costume. Why do it
with makeup? Everyone should strive to look as
identical as possible -- costume, makeup and hair.
Your studio will have its own policy, but, in general,
colored nail polish shouldn't be worn during recital.
You may think those bright red nails look great, but to the
greatest extent possible, everyone should look alike. A
French manicure is generally acceptable since it enhances the
natural look of nails.
Rehearsal and recital days are often quite long, so consider
bringing a deck of cards, a game, a book, or activities that
will keep the kids busy while they are waiting to perform.
Avoid markers, glitter and glue that can ruin a costume.
Bring plenty of patience to recital week. You will need
every ounce of it.
Make a list of all of your child's dances and note the
corresponding act number in the show. Type or write an
8-1/2" x 11" page with your child's name at the top
followed by a list of their dances in order of show
appearance with the number along side (to help gauge change
time). Make several copies -- one for you to carry, one
to tape on the wall in the dressing room (which is why your
child's name should be on it), and an extra one to replace
the one you'll probably lose.
Recital isn't an "on that day" activity. Pull
together all of your costumes, accessories, shoes and makeup
several days in advance to give you a little cushion in case
something isn't exactly right. Make a check list of
your child's routines, listing their costume, color tights,
shoes, and any accessories. Make sure you have all your
supplies before arriving at the performance location.
The checklist helps when leaving to ensure that you have
Give dance shoes a little extra attention before the recital
to make sure they look nice, but check with your studio for
guidance before using any polishes or cleaners on them.
The best snacks during rehearsal week are neat snacks such as
fruit rollups, goldfish crackers, grapes and Lunchables.
Don't pack anything messy.
Be sure to arrive at the rehearsals and the recital at the
time when you're instructed to do so. You will need all
the time that your studio directors says you will, and the
show will start whether you are ready or not.
This is a parent-to-parent appeal... Please instruct
your family and friends to leave their video cameras at home
on recital day. Most recitals are professionally video
taped with a quality far superior to what you will get on a
home camera shooting between heads in the audience.
Aside from the quality difference, video taping a show is
rude and inconsiderate of those around you in the auditorium.
the Show -
If you are the class mother with backstage responsibility,
you can often watch your child's dance from the stage wings.
If you are not the class mother you shouldn't add to the
backstage congestion. Stay in your seat and be
considerate of those around you. Don't hop up and run
out after your child performs. That's really an insult
to the children who are performing next.
A pillow and blanket can come in handy backstage during
rehearsals and the recital if your child wants to lay down
for a little bit. Plus, the blanket keeps their costume
clean when they are sitting on the floor playing.