Your participation fee includes 2 5x7 individual photos per student (one costume). Jessie Arambul is setting up and taking photos in the green room during dress rehearsals. I have been passing out photo order forms this week. Please fill them out and bring them with you to dress rehearsal. If you ONLY want the 2 free 5x7's, just make a note of that on the form. You can also do some add ons, additional costumes, and additional packages. But everyone needs to turn in a form so she can match the dancer to the order.
VERY IMPORTANT: Pictures are taken as-ready. Please check the schedule, and make sure you will not be needed onstage before you take pictures. For example, Gumdrops, lambs, and mice practice first and then are free to go home. So they should have their pictures taken after they are done. Snowflakes do not have to practice until 7:30ish, so they should have their pictures done before they practice. If we all pay attention to the schedule, it should work out really well.
**Also important: Please do not take pictures with your phone while your child is using the backdrop.
Dancers are expected to be prepared before arriving at the theatre. Hair and makeup should be mostly already done to avoid crowds and crowds of people in the makeup area.
**If you need help with hair or makeup, we are happy to help you. Send your child with her own hair supplies and makeup, and we'll make sure she is performance-ready!
Hair should be in a ballet bun with no extra embellishments. No fancy clips, scrunchies, etc. Use a hair tie, hair pins, and a hair net if your child's hair likes to escape from the bun. Bangs and shorter hair should be slicked back with gel. Please no extra tendrils or ringlets.
Ladies with short hair should use gel to comb back the front part of their hair and secure it with pins.
Here is a helpful Youtube video on how to do a ballet bun. HOW TO DO A BALLET BUN
Party girls: Party girls should have their hair curled and pulled half up. When they have other roles, we will transition the hair into a bun for the rest of the show (though sometimes we don't do that at the Saturday matinee, since they need to perform again later). Hair does not need to be in the traditional candlestick ringlets unless you really feel like it. I kind of prefer the more natural, loose-curled look. We are not really following a specific time period in our version of The Nutcracker, so ringlets don't really make sense. Curls can be created with a curling iron, hot rollers, or overnight rollers. I don't have a preference. It might be a good idea to experiment a few times.
Here's an example of the back of a good party girl hair. The front is simple and combed straight back. (makes it easier to make a bun later).
I am not super strict about makeup. My only suggestion is that everyone wears SOME makeup. Stage lights really wash out a performer's features, so it's hard to see their sweet faces if they are not wearing makeup. At minimum, dancers should wear a little blush, lipstick, a little neutral eye shadow, eye liner (if they'll tolerate) and mascara. How much is up to you.
Actually, one more request: NO lipstick circles on the cheeks. :)
Dancers need to bring their own pink tights, pink (or black, I don't mind) shoes, and a nude (or white) leotard if they have more than one role. Makes changing easier.
The costumes and hair accessories must be left at the theatre. Most costumes are shared by two dancers in the two different casts. If you wear the costume and notice a problem- a stain or a tear...make sure to alert the costume mistress or one of the green room moms.
Yay! Performance day! Miss Nicole is probably at Walmart buying something last-minute, printing 500 of something or other, going over plans with Micah, trying to remember to feed herself and all her kids, and may or may not be able to answer your texts in a timely manner.
-Arrive around 6:30, ready to go. If you require help with hair or makeup, maybe 6:00-6:15. PLEASE do not come any earlier than that, as we will not be ready for you. The auditorium will not be open any earlier than 6:15.
-Things you can send with your child: A water bottle (put name on it), clean snacks (no nuts please, we have a few kids that are very allergic), games, drawing supplies, deck of cards, other entertainments. Warm coverups like a jacket, sweatpants, big socks! Sometimes we get hit with a blizzard and the girls have to bundle up in order to get backstage. With all the opening and closing of the doors, it doesn't stay super warm in the green room.
-Things you should not send with your child: Valuables, electronics, jewelry, sweets (sorry, they will be confiscated) or sticky / messy snacks (Cheetos don't mix with expensive custom tutus).
I have been informed that we can set our own mask rules for the performance. To have your child wear a mask or not is totally up to you. However, since I know some will have one and some won't, I won't be able to police this. If you want your child to keep a mask on, you will need to make sure she understands when and where she is supposed to wear it. If your child brings a mask, make sure her name is on it.
Totally up to you, however, I do want to say that I don't recommend they wear it onstage. It is HOT as Hades up there under those lights. On top of that, everyone is excited and nervous and maybe not breathing as well as they should anyway. On top of THAT, I know from my own mask use that there is a visibility issue with masks, so it might make them even more spatially unaware than they already are in a new place. Just my two cents. It can be scary to go back to crowded situations we didn't think anything of before the whole Covid thing. And I do understand you might want to take as many precautions as you can. I just want you to know from my own experience that there are some other factors to consider with regards to the stage and performing, which add additional risks.
Huge important note: Students are expected to perform in all of the shows for their cast, unless pre-arranged. It causes a huge problem when someone comes to their first show, but then not the second one. My green room moms panic because they're missing a kid. I panic, thinking you've been in a horrible car accident. If something happens and you can't do one of your assigned shows, at least let us know in time to remove the student from our list and see if her casting partner wants an extra performance. :)
What if my child gets sick? One of the reasons we double cast the show is to make sure there is an understudy most of the time. We definitely don't want to mess with Covid at all. If your child has covid-like symptoms, you should keep them home. If the symptoms are mild and you can get a negative covid test, then I am ok with that. But 1) no one wants to perform when they're miserable sick. and 2)We don't want to make anyone else sick. It is simply not worth it. If your child gets sick and is unable to perform, we will of course refund any tickets you purchased, and we will make sure you have a link to the livestream so she can enjoy watching it from home.
Sometimes, a swap can be worked out. Say you're sick on Thursday, so your casting partner performs for you, but you're better by Saturday. If she doesn't have a bunch of people coming to watch, maybe you can perform in her place on Saturday night. Sometimes this works out, sometimes it doesn't. It's disappointing, yes, but it's not worth forcing the issue.
I get that everyone has sniffles right now. But a large amount of coughing, vomiting, or a fever is an absolute nope.
What if my child gets injured? Depending on the nature of the injury, we try to make it work. I have a little one who is probably performing in a boot. An older girl is still recovering from a bad sprain, so she will not perform on pointe. I have another who simply can't jump, so she modifies. My goal is always that the kids have a good experience, so we work it out where we can!
What if someone gets sick and can't come to the performance? We appreciate you staying home! If you or one of your guests cannot come, we will give them a virtual ticket to the livestream show. I will have more info on that later this week, but it looks like we will be livestreaming both Saturday shows.
What if my child forgets her shoes / tights? Um, please don't! LOL sometimes we can wrangle up some spare shoes or tights. It won't bar them from performing, but please remember all your stuff. :)
Check in / out
Our Check in / out process helps us keep track of everyone, and keep everyone safe. Please make sure you follow directions.
-Check your child in when you arrive and leave a phone number where you can be reached.
-Check your child OUT after helping them gather their things at the end of the show.
Parents cannot come into the green room at the beginning of the show. I know this might freak you out, but I PROMISE, it's much better this way. If each child has a parent with her, that's twice as many people, and twice as much chaos. Our goal in the green room is to keep things peaceful and calm and happy, and it's much easier to do that with fewer adults, and the kids can transfer their attention to the green room moms and the older girls who love helping! The second concern is just security. If we know for sure who is supposed to be back there and who is NOT, we can keep everyone safer.
You may not come pick up your child before the show is over, except in particular circumstances (if we ask you to because they need you). This is also for security reasons and keeping track of the kids.
If someone other than you is bringing your child to one of the shows, please make sure they understand these protocols. Misunderstandings make for very angry people.
After the finale, when everyone bows, generally our well-wishers come up to congratulate us. I will remind everyone to allow parents of littles to come up to the stage FIRST, so that we know your little ones are in your arms. Feel free to take pictures onstage with friends and family and classmates. It's a time to celebrate! It's still nice to check your child out later, but at that point, they are all yours. :)
Again, please leave all the costumes and hair thingies at the theatre!
Green Room Moms
Green room moms should arrive one hour before the performance, maybe even a little earlier. I usually have them choose a station.
Check in table / mid door guard: Run the check in table and remain close to the mid doors to keep kids from escaping and well-meaning aunties from coming in. ;)
Littles: Remain in the walled off area with our tiny ones. This is also where we play movies and keep coloring sheets. I like the littles to mainly hang out in here, but older kids can / do as well.
Costume / central area: One mom to kind of watch over the costumes, props, and hair thingies, keep them in order, make sure kids aren't playing with them, help find them, deal with emergencies. This mom kind of floats between everything,
Door Mom: This mom stays at the back door that leads to the stage and is the one communicating with me / the runner. She keeps track of where we are in the show, lines kids up to go back, and basically follows the list.
***MY MAIN GOAL*** is for the students to have a happy, peaceful time. We need to encourage them to walk, not run, speak softly, move mindfully, stay warm, and be kind to others. We try to keep the frenzy at a minimum. I mean, there are moments where we have to hurry and fix something, but it's definitely not every moment. :)
Tickets / Audience
This is a sold out show. While we may have a couple of tickets available last minute because people cancelled...don't count on being able to get additional seats. We will have a livestream available of both Saturday shows. I am working out the details with my videographer, but should have that ticket link available soon, in case anyone you know wants to watch from a distance!
The ticket check in will open 45 minutes before the show. Remember seating is assigned, so you must sit in your assigned seats. The Princess Theatre sells concessions, so there is a variety of snacks available.
Important: we will NOT have flower bouquets available this year.
Audience etiquette: When the lights dim and the music begins, please keep talking to a minimum. Silence your cell phones, and be ready to leave the audience for a moment if you have a child making a ruckus (No judgment, it's definitely been one of mine before too!)
I do not mind if you take photos of the show, but please be courteous. Don't set up a tripod in the middle of the audience. Don't hold your phone up above your head and take 2,000 photos. We do ask that you do not take videos. We make extensive arrangements to have professional videos made of the shows, and all ballet families receive one as part of their participation fee! So there is really no need to take a video with your phone. Just be present and enjoy our first stage show in two years! <3
We do have a couple of photographers that may be in the aisles taking photos...they have permission and shouldn't be in anyone's way. :)
We have a 15 minute intermission between acts 1 and 2. It gives us a chance to change our set and gives us a break from the frenzy. The audience members can use the opportunity to use the restroom or refresh their snacks. Please do not try to go into the green room during intermission. We are trying to keep kids calm and safe.
Please feel free to take pictures after the show. The kids love seeing the friends and family that have come to watch them, take pictures with their friends, etc. It's a wonderful time and you are most welcome.