Dance recitals are fun and exciting events for both the excited performers who are eager to show off what they have learned from a year of lessons and practicing, and also for the proud parents and grandparents who are just as eager to see how their favorite dancer has progressed and grown in her art.
Although dance recitals are fun, they are often hectic and can be stressful for everyone involved, especially for younger dancers and new dance parents. Here are some tried-and-true tips for surviving (and enjoying!) a child’s dance recital:
Tips for Before the Dance Recital
- Practice: The best way to ensure a less stressful dance recital is to practice, practice, practice. Dancing in front of a crowd can create anxiety that leads to forgetfulness, and the best way to combat stage fright is to thoroughly memorize the entire dance routine. Ask the dance instructor about getting a copy of the musical selection for your child’s dance recital music and have your child practice their dance routine at home.
- Plan: Begin planning the week before the dance recital by making a list of everything you’ll need including the costume, it’s accessories, tights, dance shoes and the teacher’s notes regarding stage makeup (how much, what kind, etc.)
- Organize: Label all costumes and accessories with a permanent marker or sew-on labels. Keep the costume neat and clean by storing it in its original bag, or keep the costume and its accessories together in giant Ziploc bag.
- Rest: Dance recitals can be exhausting, so it’s important to make sure your dancer goes to bed a little earlier than usual on the night before the dance recital to ensure a good night’s sleep. Some good before-bedtime activities include: reading books or listening to audiobooks, playing board games, or doing a handcraft. Television, computer and hand held video games should be avoided because these media “wake up” the brain’s activity center and make it harder to fall asleep.
Tips for During the Dance Recital
- Before the Show: Eating and drinking while in costume is usually a big no-no, and peeling off a fitted costume to use the bathroom can be a little tricky, too, so be sure to have your little dancer have a light snack and use the bathroom before suiting up.
- During the Show: Plan for the inevitable boredom that happens in between dance numbers. Bring books, quiet games (like portable magnetic games meant for long car trips), a small pad of paper and pencil for passing notes or playing hangman, etc. Hand-held video games are not recommended (they can be so engaging that a dance may miss her cue).
For information about choosing and caring for girls’ dance recital costumes, including some great ideas for how to find cheap dance recital costumes, check out this page ofdance recital costume tips. Although a dance recital can be stressful, remember that its sole purpose is not to be a source of anxiety, but rather to showcase a dancer’s new dance skills and celebrate the love of dance. So relax, enjoy, and celebrate this special time in your dancer’s life.