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Recital 101

Recital time is one of the most exciting seasons of the year! Sometimes, with the excitement comes stress and the feeling of being overwhelmed. But, not to worry! Whether you are a first year dance mom or a veteran, here are some helpful hints to successfully get you through the weekend!

Costumes: Before recital, lay out your costume (or costumes) to make sure you have all the parts and accessories. Check if anything needs to be steamed or fluffed to get rid of any wrinkles. Ideally, it is best to then hang the costume on a hanger to avoid more wrinkles! Any accessories should be put in a ziplock bag labeled with your name and the name of the dance. Ensure you have the appropriate undergarments for your dancer so that they are comfortable and covered. Many studios have guidelines on this, so ask your teacher. Lastly, don’t forget your shoes!

Hair and Makeup: Get our your bobby pins and hairspray! Wet your dancer’s hair and pull it back into a ponytail. Check with your studio beforehand to see where the bun should be placed on the head (low, medium or high). If your dancer has short to medium hair, a bun-maker such as a doughnut could make the process a lot easier! These come with directions that are pretty easy to follow. If your dancer has long hair, just twirl the hair and start to wrap it around the base of the ponytail in the same direction you are twirling. Use bobby pins the same color as your dancer’s hair to secure the bun. Here’s a secret… you can never have enough bobby pins! Remember, your dancer will be moving, turning and jumping so make sure the hair is secured. Lastly, give the hair a spritz of hairspray all over making sure to get all the fly-aways.

Every studio has different specifications for makeup. In general, you want to remember that on stage, it is easy for anyone’s face to get washed out by the lighting. That is why we wear makeup!... to deepen and highlight facial features. Usually dancers wear foundation one shade darker than their skin color, some blush, a dark colored eye shadow with mascara and eyeliner and finally a deep lip color.

It may be beneficial to have a hair and makeup practice round with your dancer before the big day!

Snacks and Activities: Be prepared for a long day filled with patience! This may be easier said than done, especially for young dancers. Bring some simple games, puzzles or your iPad to occupy your dancer while they are waiting in the dressing room. This will help pass the time. Any snacks you bring should be non-messy and easy to eat such as granola bars, crackers, dried fruits and nuts etc. Stay away from items with a lot of sugar since that will not sit well when waiting for the end of the show. Water is best for recital day since it will keep your dancer hydrated and will not stain any costumes!

Tickets and Your Family/Friends: Most likely, you will have some guests coming to the performance to cheer your dancer on! To make the day a little less busy, try to distribute your tickets to your friends and family days before the show. This way you are not running around 15 minutes before showtime trying to find your crew. If your studio allows you to leave the tickets at the “box office” (or ticketing table), that could be another option. Be sure to send out a reminder text to your guests the day before the recital with the address, start time and any other applicable details!

Recital Gifts: It is common to give your dancer a gift after recital for all their hard work! Flowers are very traditional, a stuffed animal, or even a balloon bouquet. Often times, studios sell some of these gifts before the recital and during intermission to make life easier! If you plan on giving your dance teacher a gift, it is best to do so on rehearsal day or before recital starts. During or after recital can be very hectic for all parties.

And lastly, remember to breathe, have fun and cherish these memories that will last a lifetime!

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