I remember it so clearly…during one of my early years of studio ownership, I was sitting at the kitchen table with my head in my hands, completely paralyzed and overwhelmed. We had just crossed into the month of April and there were SO MANY things that I still needed to do in order to get ready for our May shows.
The longer I sat there thinking about my growing list, the more I became convinced I could NEVER get it all done. That’s when my husband stepped in and did what all great husbands do when they see their wives unravelling right before their very eyes: he sent me to bed and said we would talk about in the morning. Smart man.
Morning came and with it returned my ability to see past the loose ends and make a studio owner dance recital checklist list to get things in order before the real show. And, I’ve been building and refining the list ever since.
Keep reading for 30 things you can do now to have a seamless recital experience four weeks from now.
Planning as it relates to students and families:
Schedule a photo day for groups (and individuals if necessary).
Begin rehearsals for any specialty dances such as Daddy Daughter, Opening Number, Finale or any dance involving new, or large, props.
Make a last call for rehearsal CDs or practice videos.
Make a last call for ads and corrections to the recital program book.
Place an additional order for tights, shoes and undergarments for those who outgrow or lose theirs before the show.
Distribute information regarding how families can order or receive recital videos.
Host a “Costume Construction” and “Hair and Makeup Day” where you provide assistance with alterations and where older company members can teach younger dancers how to do their hair and makeup.
Announce “In-Studio Dress Rehearsals” where students will do a full run through in costume, hair and makeup right in the studio during the last week of classes. This allows all costume questions to be addressed before heading into “Stage Dress Rehearsals” and saves valuable time on stage.
Distribute all pertinent information regarding “Stage Dress Rehearsals” including rehearsal times, costume items needed, makeup and arrival and pick up instructions.
Coordinate any extra rehearsals for classes that may behind on choreography at this point or classes that may be combined due to low enrollment.
Planning as it relates to staff and teachers:
Finalize the show order and copy edit the recital program book one more time so that the files can be sent to the printer.
Order recital t-shirts for all those who pre-ordered, plus a 20% overage for interest that will surely come up at the show.
Have a planning meeting with teachers to coordinate backstage roles and responsibilities for staff and crew.
Have a meeting to set expectations and provide training for ushers, parent volunteers and child care helpers.
Plan activities to keep kids entertained backstage such as coloring supplies, games, movies.
Establish a clear system for dancer drop off and pick up.
Make name badges for staff and order recital crew t-shirts. Communicate dress code expectations for staff regarding rehearsals and recitals.
Make signage for venue. A “Dancers: This Way –>” sign will give first time families a sense of belonging and direction as soon as they get to the theater.
Make reservations for sub sandwiches or other meal options to be delivered to the theater on heavy rehearsal nights or show days for your staff.
Assemble an emergency kit for the theater including first aid supplies and extra safety pins, bobby pins, hair spray and makeup. We also include shout wipes, a sewing machine and a steamer.
Planning as it relates to vendors, community partners and venue:
Email tech sheets to the theater including headcounts, entrance and exit information, costume descriptions, music files and lighting requirements for each number.
Finalize any music licensing or insurance certificates needed for rehearsals and recitals with the appropriate agencies.
Arrange for a local flower company to sell flowers at the show.
Arrange for delivery of recital t-shirts and program books directly to the venue.
Order any other recital swag you may be interested in selling or providing, such as recital bears, bracelets, trophies, awards or “Step and Repeat” banners for the lobby.
Get a report from TutuTix regarding your ticket sales and make a decision about what you want to do with unsold tickets. We donate a percentage of our unsold tickets to students at the Boys and Girls Club and Big Brothers, Big Sisters each year. Senior citizens also appreciate the opportunity to see a show.
Send invitations to important community leaders encouraging them to come see the big show and celebrate the accomplishments of the students.
Submit a press release to your local media outlets and community calendars.
Hire a photographer to take shots during rehearsal or recital that can be used at a later date for publicity or marketing for your studio.
Write thank yous and put together care baskets now for your those who will be helping you to put on an amazing show for kids and community.
Do you have other ideas? Please send your ideas to MistyLown@gmail.com. I would love to hear what you do at your studio! Blessings for a GREAT show!
Download a printable version of the Studio Owner Dance Recital Checklist here:
A dance recital program is a great keepsake for your students and their parents, but they can be time-consuming to create and expensive to print. If you sell ad space in your programs, you probably can cover your costs, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a little extra cash to put back into the studio? Use these tips to get high-quality programs printed for the lowest price possible.
1. Double- and Triple-Check
The year you’re not diligent about proof-reading will be the year that you end up with a major typo in the program. If you’re not careful, you could misspell a student’s name – or leave her out altogether – and face the costs of reprinting your programs. Make it part of the design process to double- and triple-check your text for errors. The more people that look over the piece, the better. Ask your instructors or a few trusted parents to proofread the program. You’ll be surprised at how many small mistakes a fresh pair of eyes will find.
2. Compare Prices Online
Even if you have a vendor that you trust, you should still shop around before picking a printer. Unique Venues explained that many online companies have extremely competitive prices and can turn around jobs more quickly than other vendors. If you’re concerned about the quality of work you’ll get from a company you haven’t used before, take advantage of free proofs. It might take a little extra time to get everything printed, but you can save some serious money when you compare prices.
3. Adjust the Specs
Making small adjustments to your programs is another efficient way to cut costs. The OmniPress blog noted that you can save up to 40 percent by changing the specs. Some less expensive options are using offset stock instead of glossy paper, designing pages without bleed area, consolidating pages or printing just the cover in color. You can also alter the size and shape of your program to fit your budget. Talk with your vendor about which types of changes will cut costs the most. Most of times you can adjust the specs of your dance recital program slightly and your customers won’t even notice. When you’re savvy in the design process, you can save quite a bit of cash on printing!