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Resurrecting Your Recital, Part I: De-Escalation

Girls in tutus backstage

Recitals are back, baby! If you’re like me, you feel nothing but excitement for that familiar dusty, wooden smell of a theater.

Before you jump to the celebration, take some time to think about these five important tips for de-escalating stress and conflict.

1) This isn’t 2019.
Keep in mind this is a different world from 2019. We are still emerging from the pandemic, and people can be overwhelmed and stressed by the emergence of events and expectations. Be gentle with their questions, concerns, and anxieties.

2) Communicate.

Right now, you can’t communicate enough.

  • Create information hubs
  • Take it back to the basics
  • Make it easy to understand
  • Keep the information accessible
  • Make sure you’re hitting communication impressions in a variety of ways (e.g., email, social media, in-person)

3) Set Detailed Expectations.
Whatever you expect of someone right now, you need to communicate it in advance with clear, concrete, and tangible expectations and deadlines. If there are consequences for not complying, provide those details as well. Even if the expectation formerly existed, take time to re-establish these boundaries to avoid confusion and frustration.

4) Take the Lead.
People will follow your energy. If you are frazzled, stressed, and constantly complaining, your community will follow suit. Lead with love, and your community will do the same.

5) Be Present.
Your greatest tool for de-escalation is listening and addressing concerns in a timely manner. Whether involving clients or staff, do not allow your leadership fatigue to default to avoidance. Once you hear about the concerns, you can collaboratively and productively move forward.

Looking for engaging ways to get recitals back up and running? Check out Resurrecting Your Recital Part II: Reviving the Excitement!


Looking for more great ideas from Chasta? Check out the following articles:

Chasta Hamilton is the Founder/CEO of Stage Door Dance Productions in Raleigh, NC, and the Founder/President of the non-profit Girls Geared for Greatness. She authored the best-selling book Trash The Trophies: How to Win Without Losing Your Soul and continued sharing her story in her TEDx talk “You Weren’t Built to Break.” She loves sharing what she’s learned while empowering other studio owners to pursue truth, purpose, and passion in their unique journeys.

Follow Chasta on Instagram at @chastahamilton and connect with her online at www.chastahamilton.com.

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Chasta is the artistic director and owner of Stage Door Dance Productions in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is also the founder of The Dance Exec, a website and organization that provided resources and training for dance studio owners. The resources from The Dance Exec have a new home on the TutuTix blog, giving dance studio owners an even more in-depth library of free tools and information with which to grow their business. Chasta contributes to the TutuTix blog from time to time, offering her perspective as a studio owner (and TutuTix client!).