Tips & reminders for a smooth picture day and dance recital for your dancer!
Timing is everything!
As you can imagine, the number of routines and dancers to coordinate for these two important days is staggering! Studios put a lot of time and effort into scheduling these events but its all about the timing and being prepared.
- Come to your studio dressed in your costume, tights, hair accessories with hair and makeup done!
- Arrive 10-15 minutes early for your time slot. Too early and the studio gets congested, too late and you might miss your spot (or as per your studio instructions)
- Stay with your group until your picture is taken. Wandering dancers can add to delays while someone has to go find them.
- Bring only water (and clean snacks if you will be at the studio for a few hours).
- Be prepared for delays. Pack your smiles and your patience.
- Get a good night's sleep the night before so you're happy and well rested.
- Check with the studio on hair, makeup and accessory guidelines beforehand so your dancer comes ready to photograph.
Recital rehearsals are often about stage positions, lighting, backstage organization, music and sound checks and other audio visual requirements. These don't mean much to a young dancer but they are crucial to a smooth recital.
- Arrive for rehearsal and recital check-in as your studio requires and don't be late! Being on time puts everyone at ease.
- Generally studios will ask dancers to arrive in full hair and makeup and with their first costume on. This eliminates one costume change for everyone.
- Check in your dancer with a studio representative or parent volunteer and then go grab a coffee or glass of wine. Unless you are helping backstage, extra parents can cause chaos and confusion!
- Volunteer! Most dance recitals need extra hands and bodies to ensure everything goes smoothly. This usually can't be done without parent volunteers. Offer your help on the show you are not watching to do your part.
- Wish your dancer well and don't forget to say, "break a leg" (not literally, this is a long-time tradition and is considered better luck than actually saying "good luck"!
- Be calm, cool and collected! If you are nervous for your dancer's first recital, do your best to conceal those nerves. Young dancers pick up on adult feelings, even if they aren't feeling that way themselves.
- Pack extra dance tights and dance shoes wherever possible. This is the time where a giant hole will appear in your dancer's tights. It's not fun but it happens more than you think. Bring an extra pair and put it with their dance bag or costume. Check with your local dance store for their return policy on unopened tights.
- Make sure you have lipstick and blush for touch up. Makeup tends to fade and run when a dancer gets hot and sweaty. If you have one, use a makeup primer and eye shadow primer to give the makeup a strong base to adhere to. Your makeup will last longer.
- Stage makeup is not the same as regular makeup! The lights at a theatre will drain all the colour from your dancer's face and she or he will appear as if they have no facial features. Darker foundation, strong, bold eyes with lots of mascara and/or false eyelashes, bright blush and/or bronzer, and usually a bright red lipstick are essential. Practice at least once ahead of time.
- Pack only water, dry clean snacks, and possibly a clean activity (like cards, colouring or an iPod) to keep your dancer occupied backstage.
- Go sit and enjoy your dancer's performance! No cameras or video recordings are usually allowed but lots of applause is always allowed!