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5 Things Dance Teachers Hope Parents Know about Dance Recitals

I grew up dancing, became a dance teacher, then a studio owner, and now a dance mom too!  People in my unique position may have a broader perspective on this whole recital thing. Amid the usual questions of “How much are tickets?”  and “When is it?” we often lose focus on why we’re all doing this anyway! So I’ve jotted down 5 things to keep at the front of our minds as we head into this season!

  1. Dancers young and old remember these shows for the rest of their lives. Ask any adult if they’ve ever been on stage. If they danced, they will tell you all about the costume, the song, the moment they tripped over their shoe lace, but didn’t even fall and who was there to see it all!  These are lifetime memories in the making!
  2. It’s all about the kids.  When we think about our child’s dance recital, we often think about our to-do’s, where-to’s, and how-to’s. We call the extended family, write notes to school teachers and call up their best friend’s mom so she can come too, because performing for them is the most special feeling in the world. We find the right dance tights, alter a strap on the costume and sew on a flower, because feeling in-character is so important.  We move around our schedule and make it all happen. All for the kids. When I am busy doing my to-do’s, I just think of how I hope it will make the kids feel, and my to-do’s become ta-dah’s in no time!
  3. It’s not on a soccer field, it’s in a professional theatre.  Ticket prices are often something that needs to fit into the family budget, and the assumption is made that studios are raking in the cash charging way more than other activities.  That’s not it at all. Think of it this way... theatre facilities were built on several would-be soccer fields! Add to those...professional facilities, the professional technical staff, your child’s teachers and support staff, and the fact that the arts is often underfunded to begin with!  It’s months of preparation and a one-day event. Basically, if you’ve ever planned a large wedding celebration, it’s kind of like that!
  4. Our performers are learning numerous life skills in one day.  The obvious ones might be time-management, preparedness, practice makes better, and so on.  Add to that, the artistic skills of dance, communication through movement and self-expression, to an audience of loved ones who are there for them.  Their self-regulation skills are grouped with communication skills, teamwork and at the end of the day, an amazing sense of accomplishment, boost in confidence and pride in one’s own abilities!  They can take those skills with them for the rest of their life!
  5. YOU PARENTS and CAREGIVERS ARE SO APPRECIATED! For all the support you give to your little or not-so-little-anymore performer, they will look back one day and know how much you did for them for this special day.  It’s inspiring for your child’s teachers and support staff to see all of your enthusiasm, care and love. Hugs and congratulations are the most satisfying image in my mind at the end of a big show.  Thank you for ALL that you do!

If you’re feeling bogged down, I hope this reinvigorates your recital preparations!  Make the day special! And at the end of the night, get ready to give those epic hugs and take pictures to capture those special emotions after a job and a craft well done by all.

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