This year's recital is a first for many of our dance families. But even if you've done a dozen recitals, there are always questions! I am using this blog post to answer as many questions as possible. If you think of a question that is not covered here, please bring it up with me so I can add it!
The Basic Information:
Who: All ballet, tap, and contemporary students at Trinity Dance Prosser, who signed up and paid the recital fee. Recital participation is optional, but most people do participate. Tumbling does not participate.
Where: We will be performing in the new Prosser High School auditorium.
When: June 23 and 24 at 7:00pm, June 25 at 1:00 and 7:00 pm.
Class Schedule During Performance Week and after:
There are NO classes during performance week. Our last day of in-studio classes is Thursday, June 16. The recital marks the end of the school year.
The only exception may be the tumbling classes. We may be doing their showcases that week, since there won't be other classes going on. This will be settled very soon.
Tuition Fees MUST be fully paid before the dress rehearsals in order for the student to participate in the recital.
Admission and Tickets:
Tickets will go on sale online at the end of May. I will give parents a heads up when I know the exact date and time they will go on sale. For the first few days, the ticket link will only be available to parents. After you've been given a chance to order, they will be made available to the public. Tickets end up being around $16 after fees. Children 3 and under see the show for free, but if they need a seat, you will need to reserve them a free ticket.
IMPORTANT: While we have moved to a larger theatre with more seating, and we have taken the steps to split up the cast into smaller groups...there is still a definite possibility that we will sell out before the show opens. For Nutcracker, we sold out two weeks before the show opened. I cannot stress enough the importance of reserving your tickets as soon as possible. Comp tickets are earned by volunteers! If you haven't already, you can sign up to help in some capacity and earn some free tickets. You will receive a coupon code to use before ticket sales begin. Here is the signup for volunteers: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090a4ba8ad2aa6f58-recital
When is my child performing?
Beginning 1 ballet (Monday class) is appearing in the Thursday and early Saturday shows.
Beginning 2 ballet (Wednesday class) is appearing in the Friday and Saturday night shows.
Intermediate 1 and 2, Advanced 1 and 2, and Adult Ballet will be appearing in all shows. Some dances are split / double cast, so check with your child to find out if one day has different dances than others.
Kids tap classes will be appearing in all shows, since it's our first tap performance!
Adult tap will be appearing in Friday and Saturday night.
Contemporary will be appearing in all shows.
Pre-Ballet (Ages 2-4) and Primary (Ages 5-7) students appear in ONE show, which they sign up for or are assigned to. When that list is complete, I will post it below for a quick reference.
Costume Information / Other needs
Each student who pays a recital fee is given one costume to keep. Most of the costumes have arrived at this point. It is your responsibility to keep it safe until recital.
Each student is also given one pair of pink tights with their recital fee. Those have NOT arrived yet. You do not have to wear those pink tights in particular, any will do.
Students need to provide their own shoes as appropriate: ballet slippers (prefer pink), tap shoes, pointe shoes.
Students with multiple costumes should also have a nude leotard to wear beneath their costumes. This also adds a layer of comfort if the costume feels sheer or itchy.
Specific dance needs:
Advanced 1 (Spider dance)- Students need a black leo and black leggings to wear over it. Maggie needs street clothes that she can move in.
Intermediate 2 (Pointe dance)- Students need a black leo (tank or spaghetti strap).
Advanced 2 (The Wellerman)- Students need tan or khaki pants, a white shirt or blouse, some kind of hat or cap, and a black accessory of some kind (Handkercheif, belt, suspenders).
Tap Classes: Shelly will provide ribbons for tap shoes. 5:00 class has white gloves coming.
Contemporary: Katherine will specify what to wear.
Adult ballet: Black leotard, pink tights, pink ballet slippers. Skirts will be provided.
Dress Rehearsals / Picture Days
We will be doing dress rehearsals a little differently this year.
Monday, June 20, 6:00pm- All Pre-Ballet and Primary students.
We will begin rehearsing Pre-Ballet at 6:00pm, and Primary at 7:00. Primary can go have pictures taken at 6:00, and Pre-Ballet at 7:00 or whenever they are done rehearsing. Students should come in costume. Hair and makeup are at the discretion of the parent. The parent is responsible for making sure the pictures happen. We will not be able to remind you. See below for more info.
Each pre-ballet or primary student needs to be accompanied by one parent or guardian for the evening. We will all sit together in the auditorium, and I will take one group onstage at a time. I will show them around backstage, and show them the green room (where they wait when not dancing), and then help them practice their dance onstage, working out any confusion. Once they are finished practicing, they will be released to their parent and can go home. Besides the parent helper, this is a closed rehearsal. Friends and family members may not come to watch.
Tuesday, June 21: 6:00pm- All other classes
At 6:00pm, we will start with Beginning Ballet 1 and 2, All tap classes, and Adult Ballet. These groups each have one single dance, so once they are finished, they can go and do pictures and go home. A parent is welcome to accompany and help. Students should bring costumes, and we will rehearse IN costumes.
When we are finished with those groups, hopefully by 7:00, we will work through rehearsing dances for Intermediate 1 and 2, Advanced 1 and 2, and Contemporary. These groups should have pictures done during the 6:00-7:00 window in order to be fully focused on rehearsal once the first group leaves. Hoping to finish up by 8:30. A parent is welcome to stay to help, but it is not required, but fair warning: you may be put to work if you stay. ;)
Besides the parent helper, this is a closed rehearsal. Friends and family members may not come to watch. Photos are welcome and encouraged during rehearsals!
Picture Day During Dress Rehearsals
As part of your recital fee, you are also given a basic photography package for individual photos. This includes 2 5x7's of a single pose / costume per child. If you want more photos or options, you will have the opportunity to order them. Pictures are ONLY taken during dress rehearsal, and its your responsibility to make sure your child gets a picture taken. The photographer will most likely set up in the band room.
It's Performance Day! What do I do?!
Make sure your child gets plenty of rest, eats plenty of good, healthy food, and stays hydrated,
Get your child ready to perform at home BEFORE bringing them to the venue. Hair and makeup should already be done. Little dancers should already be IN their costumes.
Put your child's name on their costume, tights, dance shoes, and water bottle.
Bring your child to the venue around 30-45 minutes before the show is set to begin. This gives them time to get settled in and get comfortable before the show begins. For little ones, I say 20-30 minutes just to reduce the amount of time they have to wait.
Hair and Makeup?!
Hair should be in a bun, unless otherwise detailed below. Here is a great tutorial on how to do a bun. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=how+to+do+a+bun+for+ballet+recital
Some people like to do sock buns or other bun makers. These are not ideal for recital, because they come out easily unless done really well. But if you feel confident in preparing your child's hair that way, go for it.
Advanced 1/2 will be starting off with a dance that requires their hair down. Curled, straight, or natural, I don't care. They will likely have some accessories to clip in. After this dance, they should put their hair in a LOW bun.
Makeup is left to the discretion of the parents. I very much recommend that your child wears SOME makeup for no other reason but that I want you to be able to see them onstage. Stage lights will wash them out, so if they have not highlighted their features, you won't be able to see their sweet faces. So at a minimum, I recommend blush, eyeliner and mascara, and lipstick. Try to choose neutral colors, and a nice red or dark red lipstick. Odd colors or clashing colors will take away from their features. If you enjoy doing makeup, go for it!
Glitter is always welcome, but please apply it at home before coming in.
Arrival / Green Room
When you arrive, you will sign your child in, and include a phone number where you can be reached during the show. One of the volunteers or "big girl friends" will escort your child back into the green room, and then you are free to go check in to watch the show.
Again, please make sure you have done all preparations before you arrive. Space is limited, so parents coming in to change clothes, do hair and makeup, is simply not practical. If your child needs assistance with hair or makeup, send them with supplies and we will make sure they are ready.
Performers must stay in the green room until the show is over. Parents may not pick up their child early unless we call you to do so. This is for safety and security.
Why aren't parents allowed to come into the green room?
I get it. I really do. However, we have around 80-90 students appearing in each show. That's already a big crowd. Add in one mom per kid, maybe a couple dozen brothers and sisters, and suddenly our green room is absolute chaos. Our goal for our students is PEACE. They are mentally preparing, warming up, and calming down to be ready to perform. So the faster they can transition to "I'm here, I'm ready to go, here are my friends, there is my teacher", the better. I have volunteer moms there to keep order, to make sure their needs are met, their shoes are tied, and they are ready to go. I also have delegated the job of Making Magic to my older girls. They will absolutely spoil your child with attention and love and excitement. This is our Dance Family time, and we LOVE it.
If your child really does need you, we will find you! That's why we ask you to leave your phone number. I don't want any child to be scared or upset, so we have no problem calling you if that happens. It very rarely does happen. The excitement and magic is contagious!
What should my child bring?
Any extra costuming needs, as detailed above.
Hair and makeup supplies if someone will be helping them with it.
A water bottle with their name on it.
Their dance shoes. (You'd be surprised how often these are forgotten!)
Books or games to occupy them. We will have crayons and coloring sheets available.
Healthy, clean, safe snacks. We will have snacks there to share, but if your child needs something particular or has allergy concerns, please send them with something they can get if they are hungry.
Feminine hygiene products if needed. Sometimes the stress / excitement of a performance brings things on unexpectedly. Be prepared just in case!
What should my child NOT bring?
Anything they would be devastated to lose. It's busy in the green room, and belongings can get lost or accidentally swept up with someone else's stuff. Valuables should be left at home.
Sugary snacks or drinks. These will be confiscated! I cannot stress enough how damaging sugar can be right before a performance, where we all want them to be at their physical, mental, and emotional best.
Messy drinks or snacks. Remember, we are wearing beautiful costumes! We don't want cheeto dust all over them!
Jewelry. For safety reasons, jewelry is not to be worn during the performance. Stud earrings are the only exception. Necklaces, bracelets, rings, dangly earrings, toe rings (had someone wear a toe ring inside pointe shoes once...not a pretty thing!) should be left at home.
Glitter spray. Again, please apply glitter at home.
How do we get our children after the show?
At the end of the performance, all of the students come out for a finale and bow with their classes. We give out any special awards, make a couple of announcements, and THEN, the little dancers will gather at the front of the stage. It will take a few minutes, but I will call out their names and a parent (or other designated person) needs to come down to the stage and gather them from me so that I know they are with you. I will do this for pre-ballet, primary, and Tap 1 students. Once the little ones are with their parents, everyone else is welcome to join their dancers, take pictures, congratulate them, etc. It's a special time of celebration!
What if my child is sick on the day of the performance?
It does happen sometimes, and it's a major bummer. I feel like if it's just a mild sniffle, you hydrate them up and they'll be ok. If there is a fever or other alarming symptoms (Vomiting, namely) it's best to keep them home to avoid spreading it to others. If there's time and they feel better at a later performance, we can always have them perform then.
What if my child gets injured before the performance?
We are pretty flexible and have often contrived ways for an injured student to still participate! Arms in casts are fine. I've had students sprain an ankle and simply modify a bit- maybe no jumping or pointe work- so they can still participate. At this recital alone, I have one student in a wheelchair after undergoing major surgery on her leg, and another student with a torn meniscus who will be gently performing with her class (okayed by her doctor) before going in to surgery in July. So whenever it is workable, I'm happy to be creative! I'd say the recital experience is about 25% performing and the rest is making other memories!
What if my child freezes onstage or starts crying backstage?! What if my toddler Just Stands There?!
We do everything we can to make sure our students feel calm and happy about performing. I never ever force a crying child onstage. We will delay until she calms down and is ready to go. Sometimes that means I'm going to carry her out there so she sees it's happy, and then she'll do it. Sometimes that means we will call Mama back there to comfort her. Most of the time, when this happens, it's just a momentary freak out, and we can talk them through it. It's only happened once that a child didn't go out there, and I think that was mainly because the mama was worried about us having to wait for them. I'm not worried about it. We'll start when she's ready! As far as toddlers Just Standing There...it happens. My oldest daughter did that at her first recital. She wasn't really scared, just sort of in awe. It was flipping adorable. Sometimes they are nervous, sometimes they are looking through the audience for a familiar face (Definitely wave at them!).We make it a positive thing and congratulate them no matter what! They'll know better what to expect next time.
At the end of the day, this performance is for our students and for YOU.
I admit it. Stage managers don't like me. Theatre people don't get me. I break the performance illusion all the time. I re-start dances if a child got confused backstage and missed her cue to go on. I hold the music when someone doesn't have their hair piece and is panicking. I walk out onstage and move the child who is standing directly behind her friend so she can be seen. I bring out water and cough drops for my Nutcracker who suddenly has a coughing fit during Act 2. I'm not going to send someone home because they wore black shoes instead of pink.
Why? Because I've seen too many performance experiences ruined by a director who takes everything personally and makes the show about them and their own reputation. This is the students' way of showing what they've learned and celebrating a great year. My audience is made up mainly of family, friends, and community members. They're not there to see a perfectly-run performance. They WILL see a great show and be very entertained, but all of that is just bonus. :)