All over the country, little girls and boys who have taken dance lessons are starting to look forward to their recitals! The recital is the culmination of the year’s worth of classes, and typically takes place sometime between late April and early June. Hopefully you were told all of the pertinent information toward the beginning of the school year, but if not, then you are certainly getting inundated with information now. Here are a few tips to help your child’s first recital run smoothly:
- Have your payments for things like costumes, shoes and tickets in by their due dates. Your child’s dance teacher is overwhelmed and does not want to have to try to track you down to take care of these financial obligations. If your child is young, it’s best for you to hand the teacher the check after class instead of simply sending it in with your little one in order to avoid loss and confusion.
- Be flexible when it comes to practice times. If there was inclement weather over the winter and a class or two was missed, you may have makeup classes starting in April. Also, if the dance teacher sees that a particular class needs more work, she may schedule in an extra practice session. Finally, the dress rehearsal is going to be mandatory, so do what you need to do in order to get your child to this last run-through.
- Help your child try on her costume when it arrives. Measurements may have been taken several months ago, and if she has grown since then, it might be too tight. Also, costumes occasionally come in missing belts or hair accessories. These things can be remedied if the teacher knows a few weeks before the recital, but she can’t do anything about it if you don’t know until the dress rehearsal! Be sure to offer your child assistance, though, and put the costume away immediately after trying it on to avoid it becoming torn or having pieces misplaced. Also, slip any necessary makeup, hair pins, tights and other accessories into the bag so it’s all together in one place.
- Find out where you should be during the dress rehearsal and recital, and stay wherever that is. Dance studios have different policies; some require parents of preschoolers to stay in the dressing rooms during most of the performance, and others don’t allow any parents backstage except for those who are signed up as volunteers. Find out who will be watching your child, and as long as you feel that supervision is adequate, then stay out of the way if the teacher doesn’t want parents in the dressing areas. Someone else will help you child change if she needs to switch costumes.
- On the night of the recital, arrive early and be sure to bring flowers to present to your child after the recital is over. During his performance, feel free to take photos, but don’t block the aisle or stand up. Consider purchasing the DVD so that he can watch himself perform later.
Dance recitals are fun, and can run smoothly when you can help the dance director do her job by following the above suggestions. These will be special memories that your little one will look back on fondly for years to come.