It’s biggest day of the year for your families. If your students are like mine, they are raring to go! And it’s easy to see why when you consider all of the hard work they have put in over the past year preparing for recitals:
30+ weeks of lessons
2-3 minutes of choreography for each dance
Costume measurements, fittings, exchanges and alterations
Group photos, recital tickets and t-shirts, flower orders and more!
In fact, for every minute of a dance that appears on stage, an average of 100 HOURS of preparation has already been put in before one sequin ever hits the stage. But before you sign off on your dance recital prep, I want you to put ONE MORE HOUR to make sure your recital day is GREAT.
Keep reading for 8 last-minute dance recital prep tips that will ensure your have the best recital day yet!
Are you looking for some more recital tips and ideas? Check out these other articles and resources from Misty:
Everyone knows how important a great dance costume is. All of the hard work and practice put into routines by dancers deserves to be highlighted in a special and beautiful way, and a costume can do just that! If you’re like any of the studio owners I know, you put in TONS of time and effort trying to find or make special costumes that bring out the best in your dancers. One way to enhance an already great costume or upgrade an old costume is to add rhinestone designs to the costume.
Rhinestone Designs and Application 101
New to the idea of rhinestones, or never tried it before? Check out the tutorial video below. It’s a longer video, but one of the best and most thorough videos we saw online. It talks about rhinestone designs, tools, tips, and more.
Choose A Design That Fits the Costume
So you’re ready to get started! Before you do anything else, answer this question:
What do you want your “upgraded” costume to accomplish?
Do you want to accent patterns that already exist on the costume?
Do you want to create totally new patterns?
Are you looking to just add some pop to the costume?
BDancewear’s “5 Ways to Rhinestone Your Dance Costume” has 5 suggestions on different rhinestone designs you can add to your dance costumes, plus individual how-to’s for each design included as clickable links in the video.
Like the video mentions, you can use rhinestones to:
Add some pop with a scattered design that is simple but effective
Accent an existing costume design and make different features stand out
Add a totally new design feature that re-imagines the potential of a costume
Or any combination!
Practice Makes Perfect
As with many craft projects, it takes a few tries to get it right. And if you’re trying to add some new life to a costume that will need to last for a season or a year, your work needs to be pretty good!
So, do some practicing with cheaper rhinestones on practice material to get your form down. The first video tutorial talked about some tools and techniques to make your rhinestone application perfect: don’t forget to also see what has and hasn’t worked for people before!
We found an awesome article on the blog “My Life As A Dancem0m” that talked about a few mistakes made on past rhinestone projects that became lessons for the future.
With the right preparation, practice, and perseverance, your dance costume is sure to be a future masterpiece!
This Halloween, get yourself and your dancers into the spooky spirit with these costume ideas and Halloween decorations for dance studios!
6 Easy DIY Halloween Costumes for Dance
These six costume ideas are great for a dress-up dance class day, and can even let dancers leave the studio and head straight out to trick-or-treat!
Halloween Spider Bun
Check out this super cute and fun bun hair design! Beware…..spider lovers only!
Halloween Decorations: Flying Bats
Grab some black construction paper, scissors, and use your favorite TV show time to fill your studio with some flying friends! You can find the full instructions here.
K-Cup Recycled Ghost Garland
If any of you are big fans of Keurig coffee machines (our office drinks coffee like nobody’s business), it turns out you’ve got tons of little craft-able ghosts waiting to light up your dance space! Check out the full instructions here.
Trash Bag Spider Webs
Part of the classic DIY Halloween decorations tricks, these easy spider webs can make your studio space pop without taking too much of your time to put together.
We’re fresh off our UDMA experience, and can’t get over how many amazing costume options are in style this year. Are you ready to make the move and start choosing recital costumes for next year? Check out this list of trending styles and costume ordering strategies for Dance Costumes 2017.
We heard from The Line Up that they’ve seen 5 big trends so far this year:
Graphic Branding: printing logos or other text onto fabric
Printed Lace Designs on Mesh: for the illusion of a lace “tattoo” over the primary fabric
The “Jersey” Look: mirroring athletics, sports jerseys, and cheer
Sparkling Designs: printing flowers or other designs over sparkling fabric
The “Romantic” Look: lace, fabric layers, rhinestones
A big part of several these design ideas is the use of a new printing technique, sublimation (The Line Up describes it as the ability to essentially design your own fabric at an affordable cost).
What other costume styles are on your radar? We’d love to update this article with feedback from studios!
Profitable Recital Costumes Start Now
Misty Lown of “More Than Just Great Dancing” wrote an amazing article for us with 5 of the best solutions she’s found to make the studio costume experience a positive one, and a profitable one! And it starts with:
Ordering EARLY (like, think Thanksgiving)
Measuring and ordering ACCURATELY (having one person do the measurements and being consistent)
You can read Misty’s full article for the rest of her strategies here!
A Quick Note on Reusing Costumes
Before you even get started shopping around online for potential costumes for sale that fit your ideas, take a look at last year’s costumes and see what you’ve got to work with. With some creativity and the right tools, studios hoping to save on costumes this year can get to work repurposing old costumes in a way that gives new life to great pieces.
Attending the United Dance Merchants Association’s (UDMA) yearly costume shows can be a beneficial and fun experience for any studio dance owner. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about new costume trends and get to see the latest styles in person. You’ll also be able to learn about a number of studio-related products and services that can help make our life easier.
UDMA even offers educational opportunities with renowned dance professionals on a variety of topics. If this is your first time attending a UDMA event, check out the tips below to make your first experience a success!
When it comes to attending one of the large UDMA shows held each year, it’s important to be prepared. These events allow dance professionals to get insight on upcoming costume trends and do some groundwork for recitals and performances. The shows include information and vendors beyond costumes, too—be prepared so that you are ready to make the most of it!
Bring a big bag or, even better, a rolling suitcase. You’ll be happy you have it after receiving lots of catalogs, giveaways from vendors, and samples.
It’s important to dress smart. As you run around from vendor to vendor, you won’t have a lot of time to sit and take a break. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes to keep you on your feet. You don’t want to have to end your visit early because your feet are blistered and sore.
Bring cash for coffee, snacks and lunches. These events last the whole day, and if you’re enjoying yourself, you don’t want to have to go far to find food and drinks.
Print off a sheet of address label stickers with your name, studio name, address, phone and email. If you want to request more information from a company or enter one of the many giveaways offered by vendors you can simplify the entry process by using your stickers on the entry forms.
From the official UDMA website
Check Out the Seminars
During the four sessions this year, UDMA will be offering seminars on the Saturdays of the show that dance teachers and studio owners can attend. These sessions typically cover a range of topics, and are taught by well-known dance teachers and owners in the industry who have found years of success.
For 2016, the special seminar is called “Teaching Dance for Students with Disabilities.” You’ll receive great insight from industry leaders about good practices and proven strategies for incorporating special needs students into your classes.
Note that the seminars require a separate registration from the vendor/costume show, as well as an additional fee.
Come Visit Us at the TutuTix Booth!
This year, TutuTix will be visiting the various sessions of UDMA to talk costumes, recitals, and more. Look for our booth – it’s hard to miss!
We’ll even be hosting a surprise item giveaway: earlier this year we gave away iRobot Roomba’s to lucky guests! Stop by to pick up some goodies and sign up for our big giveaway.
Talk to People and Have Fun!
Before you get there, visit the UDMA website to find out what vendors will be attending your local event. Make a list of the booths that you’re really dying to see so you know where to go as soon as you arrive.
As you see dancers in the latest costumes, don’t be shy! Approach them and ask them to move around in their attire so you can better understand the look and feel of each costume.
Something to note: photography isn’t allowed at this event. So be sure to bring a notebook to help you jot down what you like to help you prepare for this year’s dance season.
Want to do some exploring? DanceInforma has some cool ideas for how to make the most out of your travel experience while at UDMA.
Costumes and appearance issues can cause distractions for competitive dancers. Take the time to make your appearance a great part of your performance!
1. Costumes that fit inappropriately. Pulling, tugging, or adjusting a costume during a dance can be very distracting. The costume should fit comfortably and functionally for the entirety of a routine.
2. Costumes that do not flatter every member of an ensemble. Take every dancer into account when selecting costuming. The costume choice should make every ensemble member feel and look great.
3. Costumes lacking coverage. Costuming should be appropriate and should not make audience members uncomfortable. Keep it classy!
4. Noticeable undergarments. Undergarments (including nude leotards) should not be noticeable onstage. Pin the undergarments to hide them from view.
5. Nail polish. Unless there are uniform requirements for nails, nail polish and designs should be removed for performance.
6. Tights with Runs. Tights should look clean onstage. Tights with holes/runs are distracting. Pack extras and be prepared for emergencies.
7. Sloppy Hair. Hair should be styled and secured to last throughout the entire performance.
8. Loose Accessories. From hairpieces to gloves to bootstraps to jewelry, it is important that any and all costume accessories be secure enough to last throughout the performance.
9. Dirty or Mismatched Shoes. Shoes should be the same style and should be wiped clean for performance. Dirty or mismatched shoes are very distracting.
10. One Shoe Look. Not Okay!
Take the time to make your appearance a great part of your performance! The look is like writing your name on a school paper– take care of the preparation portion before it is time to shine on stage. Then, the performance can fully focus on the representation of your talent!
Since our industry is in the midst of its show and performance season, it seems like a good time to reiterate the importance of requiring every students to have their costume and any apparel-based item, and try it on prior to leaving the studio.
The benefits include:
(1) It allows an opportunity for you to recognize/address any problems prior to the costume leaving your facility.
(2) It prepares you for questions/concerns a parent may have about a particular costume.
(3) It allows you to be proactive, informed, and knowledgeable.
Many times, a parent will present a question/concern without realizing the costume was tried on in class.
And, while many apparel issues can be resolved with a yank/tug and/or safety pins, it also presents the opportunity for you to intercept any major problems.
Keep in mind that many parents are not familiar with the fit and look of many dance costumes. Be the professional and guide them through the process. They will appreciate it, and you will feel confident in your dancers’ onstage look and appearance!
It is the season of stoning- rhinestones! Use the following tips to expedite the application process for adding rhinestones to dance costumes.
Use a tool to pick up your stones! There are some commercially available devices for picking up rhinestones, but parrafin wax is effective…and inexpensive. Canning wax is available at most grocery stores. Cut a block of the wax and use a knife to carve down one side. The end result should look something like a short pencil with a flat tip. The flat tip is what you will use to retrieve the rhinestones. It is the perfect amount of stickiness for picking up your stones.
Use E-6000 glue for the application process. This glue is available at any crafting store.
To keep the process organized, place some glue on a piece of paper and use a bent paperclip or needle to apply the glue. Dab the stone right on top of the glue using the paraffin applicator.
By applying these tips, you will be faster and more productive in adding rhinestones, making your dance costumes glitzy and glam in no time!
No one in our industry would question that producing a recital takes the TOP spot for biggest project of the year. Coming in at a close second, however, is the process of ordering recital costumes. From concept to selection, from measuring to ordering, from try-ons to exchanges and alterations, recital costumes can be almost as time intensive as putting on the show! The costuming process presents an important opportunity for studio owners—it’s a chance to delight dance families with great service, cut down on wasted time and effort, and make a profit for your business.
Here are 5 TIPS to make your recital costume process a positive and profitable one.
#5 – Order EARLY. You know how we all tell our kids not to lose points at competition on the obvious (e.g. not pointing toes)? Well, ordering early is the “pointing toes” of costumes. It’s plain silly to know you can earn an early order discount with most companies and not do it. Spend some time over Thanksgiving break to get your ducks in a row for an early December order. If the early order discount doesn’t excite you, then get excited over the idea of a timely delivery!
#4 – Measure and order ACCURATELY. When I started my studio 17 years ago, all of the teachers would measure the kids in their own classes. I did it that way out of necessity—I didn’t feel I had any extra resources to pay someone to take that on. Well, my system may have been “free,” but it wasn’t without cost. With 15 different teachers measuring 15 slightly different ways, our costs on exchanges went through the roof. In addition, there were missed orders for kids who registered late and got missed by teachers altogether. I changed my process about ten years and now we have one person in charge of all costume measuring and ordering. Accuracy is up and exchanges/missed orders are down. Getting one person to champion this project saves me way more than I spend for her time.
The next 3 tips will supercharge your savings!
Looking for more great expert advice before your spring recital? Check out:
As a dance teacher, you constantly want to stay up to date with the latest trends, including performance styles, music, and most importantly, costumes! Costume trends are ever-changing, following inspiration from actual style trends as well as pulling trends from other decades. As a result, it can be hard to keep up. Luckily we’re here to help keep you on top of the latest trends as soon as they come out. Let your dancers shine in these trends for dance costumes 2016.
1. 90’s hip hop
If you’ve got a few hip-hop dancers at your studio, they better get ready for dressing like 90’s rappers. This year’s costumes include lots of harem pants, joggers, jerseys and even camouflage, accessorized with beanies and flannel shirts, according to Weissman costumes. Many of the colors are inspired by urban looks, including graffiti designs and geometric neon prints. Pair these costumes with your favorite pair of Converse sneakers or high-tops to complete the look.
2. 80’s style
The 80’s are back again! These costumes channel Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, Michael Jackson and all of your other favorite 80’s artists. This season, dress your dancers in hologram metallics, mesh, leather and neon-colored geometric and animal prints. According to A Wish Come True costumes, hot colors include bright pinks, blues, yellows, greens, oranges and of course, black. Accessorize these costumes with leg warmers, studded accessories, denim vests and patent leather combat boots to complete the look. For the final touches, give your dancers colored highlights and blue eye shadow.
3. Havana nights
Many costumes have taken on a Spanish and Cuban influence this year. A lot of the costumes embody a look from flamenco and salsa dancers. The hottest costumes include lots of ruffles, feathers, rose prints and skirts. If you’re looking to channel Cuban influences, dress your dancers in oranges, pinks and yellows with off-the-shoulder tops. If you’re looking for a more authentic Spanish style, aim for red and black and a ruffled skirt. Accessorize with lace pieces, rose hair clips, hoops and heels!
4. 60’s mod styles
The 60’s mod look has stuck around for another year. These costumes include looks from artists like Twiggy and go-go dancers. Dress your dancers in polka dots, halter necks and geometric prints. The hottest colors include pinks, blues and yellows, as well as the standard black and white. Pair these looks with penny loafers, oxfords and flats, and high socks! Complete the look with cute headbands and big eyes.
Can you imagine the following? A house builder works for nine months with clients to build a beautiful family home. The builder communicates and plans; hiring subcontractors, building walls, insuring the project, financing the materials and making the finishing touches just right. The builder takes draws from the clients for expenses along the way, but when it comes time to deliver the final product and hand over the keys, he takes a pass on getting paid for the last weeks of work.
This would never happen in the “real world,” but in “our world,” it happens all too often.
Studio owners put nine months of work into building a beautiful product and then fail to take it to the finish line from a business perspective.
If you are looking for dance recital ideas to produce a dance recital that pays you for your time and effort, keep reading!
The “Expert Advice from Misty Lown” series is brought to you by More Than Just Great Dancing™ and TutuTix.
If your studio has a big recital coming up at the end of the year, you’ve probably started to look for costumes. To keep things fresh, you might want to tap into popular trends that your dancers are sure to love. Use these dance costume trends for 2015 to put together your best recital yet and knock the socks off the parents.
Fiery color schemes
This year, the dance costume trends are hot, hot, hot! According to Curtain Call Costumes, color schemes of red, orange and black are extremely popular right now. Your little firecrackers will look great in red leotards and black tutus. They can also wear fun net or feather headpieces to embody the fireball theme. Fiery costumes are the perfect addition to a powerful routine, whether it’s ballet, contemporary, tap or hip-hop.
Another fun theme is the woodland fairy look. You’ll need an earthtone color scheme – browns, greens and off-whites work best. Curtain Call costumes suggests dressing up your look with fun flower accessories and gentle flowing hairstyles. If you’ve done this theme before, take it in a different direction and go for more of a bohemian look with fringe and flower headbands. The flowing skirts and delicate accessories will look marvelous as your performers twirl across the stage.
60s mod patterns
Dancers all over the country are paying homage to a fun and revolutionary time in history – the 1960s. The editor’s picks at Weissman Costumes highlight the bold patterns and fun color pops of the time. You’re sure to see lots of mod black and white in dance costumes in the coming months. Whether it’s pop art or optical illusions, these outfits are sure to make a bold statement in a tap or jazz recital.
Superheroes and villains
No matter how old kids get, they still love dressing up as superheroes. Curtain Call Costumes featured a host of sleek villain and hero costumes that are sure to thrill your audience and dancers. The mischievous villains dress from head to toe in black, while the super-dancers fight crime in sequined red, blue and gold outfits. These theatrical ensembles perfectly complement a strong gymnastic performance and will keep the audience on the edge of their seats.
It’s debatable whether glamor really ever goes out of style. Your young dancers are sure to want a glittery finale, so find them some unique sequined accessories. Sparkles aren’t just for leotards – there are some great shoes, gloves and headbands that can add a subtle pizzazz to any performance. Mixing up your use of sparkles will keep your dancers enthused and the costumes unique.