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Tag: dance recital

Pre-Show Announcements for Dance Recitals

pre-show announcements

At your performances, pre-show announcements regarding safety, etiquette, and intermission should be conveyed to your audience members. You may choose to deliver the announcements on stage, from backstage, or via a pre-recorded message.

General Pre-Show Announcements Template

ProduceAPlay.com had a great template for a standard announcement for the performing arts:

“Welcome to the Sidewalk Studio Theatre’s production of Milk and Cookies by Jonathan Dorf.

At this time, please turn off or silence any cell phones or electronic devices and refrain from texting, and please keep in mind that recording the performance or taking photographs is not permitted.

There will be one fifteen-minute intermission, and next month, we hope you’ll join us for our production of Great Expectations, adapted from the Dickens classic by Rocco P. Natale.

In case of an emergency, please exit through the door through which you entered, or through the curtain to your left. Thank you, and enjoy the show!”

The language can be customized for your studio. Produce A Play is clearly geared towards a drama production, not a dance recital, but they nail some of the basic information to include:

  • Welcome and Introduction to the evening
  • Cell Phone / Photography / Recording
  • Information about the order of events (this may already be in the program, but it’s often worth it to mention it again)
  • Announcement about any other dance studio events coming up
  • Emergency exits or other emergency information

This year, we are going to start our show with our Opening Number (in order for the audience to be attentive), and THEN we’ll play the pre-show announcements. This method also helps us facilitate some quick changes before the second piece!

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Dance Recital Shoes: Making Sure Your Students Are Prepared

dance recital shoes

This year, in order to make sure everyone is fully prepared for recital, we are taking a proactive approach to dance recital shoes and checking shoes in class. That way, we can directly communicate with parents that may need to purchase or borrow a new pair or clean up their current shoes.

The details really do matter for a stage ready look! When checking shoes, take the following into consideration:

  1. Correct Style – having recommended brands for parents to go find can be a HUGE help in this category
  2. Correct Color – do the recital costumes require a different color than what is typically worn in class?
  3. Proper Fit – has the dancer’s foot grown throughout the course of the dance year?
  4. Condition of Shoes – has dance class taken a toll on a pair of shoes, making them preferable for practice instead of performance?

It’s very important for dance recital shoes to fit properly, and to look the part: performance-ready!

For dancers who need to replace their pointe shoes, or who want to have an extra pair just in case, make sure they and their parents know the right way to get fitted for pointe shoes. Sometimes a studio will go as a group to get fitted, or might bring in a fitter for a class’ first pair. But close to recital season, studio owners and teachers won’t have time to help each dancer prepare their own materials.

If parents require some redirection, make sure you give them plenty of time to properly replace shoes. Last minute notices may create unnecessary tension or frustration. When you approach it collaboratively, it will usually yield the most successful results!

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Planning Recital Pictures Ahead of Time

recital pictures

Want to make your recital picture days as efficient as possible? Pre-plan the classes’ portrait poses, so that they can be immediately prepared when they enter the photo room. There are several things to think about when planning your studio’s recital photos. But, if you put in a little preparation you’ll save yourself stress and save everyone time on the day of recital pictures.

Timing and Location

When are you going to have your recital pictures taken? Will it be at the dress rehearsal, or on the day of the recital? Will you be having your dress rehearsal at the performance venue?

Answering these three questions will determine a lot of things about your recital pictures: the scenery and setting, how much time you’ll have to get good pictures, if you’ll be hiring the photographer for one or two nights.

Let’s say you take your recital pictures the night of the dress rehearsal, and have access to the performance venue.

This means that your advance work might mean going by the venue and picking a good spot for photos, and scheduling the pictures as part of the evening! The only downside might mean the cost for the photographer for an extra night (unless you have a package deal that includes recital pictures and performance pictures).

With some good logistics and planning with your teachers, you can have one group of dancers taking pictures, and then heading for the stage so that there aren’t any dancers (and parents) sitting and waiting.

Dance Recital Prep: It's the Final Countdown

If you take your recital pictures prior to the recital but don’t have access to the venue, you can be a little more flexible in your setting! But, timing is important: having pictures on a night where all dancers are required to be there (like the dress rehearsal) helps to ensure that all of your dancers actually attend. As far as the photographer, it’s the same situation: are they charging by the night? As a package? That’s up to you and the photographer to figure out.

If you take your recital pictures on the night of the recital, at the venue, you’ll be in great shape to have everyone there, and in a great setting! Keep in mind that you’ll be in a little more of a time crunch, since parents/family/guests will be eager to get into the venue space. Plus, even if you take pictures somewhere different than the stage, dancers will be easily distracted by their family members. Preparing recital pictures will probably be the MOST helpful in this kind of situation.

Composition

Depending on the age of your dancers, the simpler the arrangement, the better. Your goal with these recital photos is to make sure everyone’s face is clearly visible. Very basic setups put taller dancers in the back, shorter in the front. From there, you can arrange dancers in a way that shows off costumes, featured soloists, etc.

Depending on your agreement with the photographer, you can ask them to come by the studio to help with this planning. They might be able to offer some creative tips to make your recital pictures really pop!

Even if your professional photographer can’t make it to a planning session, you might know that one of your dance parents enjoys photography, and might be able to help out as well.

Make notes and keep track of every class’ designated position. When it’s time for the official photo shoot, make sure your studio representatives have access to and knowledge about all of the poses for each of the pictures. While poses may be adjusted slightly to work for the camera, this will create efficiency, evoke creativity in the photographic composition, and save time.

*Editor’s Note: This piece is based on an article written by Chasta Hamilton-Calhoun of the DanceExec.

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Dancer Nutrition: What to Eat Before a Dance Recital

dancer nutrition

As the big day approaches, dancer nutrition choices are very important. You need to make sure performers’ bodies are getting the right nutrition, so that they are healthy before, during, and after practice, and build muscle to come back better and stronger for the next rehearsal. On the day of recital, don’t make big changes to your eating habits! In this article we’ll talk about some best practices for dancer nutrition, especially in the 24 hours before a recital.

Eating For Performance Day: The Night Before

Staples of great dancer nutrition: lean protein, healthy carbohydrates, veggies, and PLENTY of water.

Several professional ballerinas were interviewed by Coveteur magazine, and they offered some of their favorite choices for meals and ingredients packed full of nutrients:

Proteins:

  • Baked salmon (or other fish filet, not breaded!)
  • Grilled chicken breast
  • Steak

Healthy Carbohydrates:

  • Rice (preferably brown)
  • Roasted Italian Potato Salad

Veggies:

  • Steamed and buttered broccoli
  • Sliced tomato, cucumber, avocado

Eating For Performance Day: The Day Of

Onstage Dance Company has an great article that talks about various dancer eating strategies:

“Dance nutrition experts mostly agree that the best approach to performance day nutrition is eating small meals throughout the day, starting with a substantial breakfast to get your body and mind fueled and ready to go.”

They recommend a few breakfast choices like:

  • Oatmeal with fruit
  • Plain greek yogurt
  • Whole grain toast with peanut butter*
  • Fruit smoothie

As far as small meals throughout the day go, it’s up to the individual dancer as to what foods they like and what kinds of foods can keep them feeling full.

Here are some of our favorite snack choices we found from Emily Cook Harrison, who collaborated with the Dance Informa on a great article on high-energy snacks for dancers:

  • 1 banana with 1-2 tbsp peanut butter*
  • Hardboiled egg or string cheese with 5-10 whole grain or rice crackers
  • Pre-made bar or oatrolls (see article for recipe) with fruit, dates, nuts and/or whole grains.*
    • (You can make a large batch of these and freeze them, then just put frozen oatrolls in his/her dance bag in the morning so by the afternoon they are thawed and yummy.)

Gluten-free or dairy free snack requirements?

  • Rice cakes with nut butter and a piece of fruit
  • Popcorn, pumpkin seeds, GF pretzels, and dried fruit trail mix
  • Coconut water, dark chocolate almond milk or coconut milk

*Author’s note: In past articles, readers have mentioned their concern about bringing nuts due to possible peanut or tree nut allergies among the dancers. Please be sure to consider those with nut allergies when deciding what to bring to the studio or to a performance, and remember that some severe allergies can be triggered by contact with very small amounts of the allergen.

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The Studio Owner Dance Recital Survival Guide

studio owner

The experienced studio owner knows that putting on a great recital takes a lot of preparation, and a lot of quick thinking! Having the right supplies and tools on hand can make a tremendous difference for you and your staff. We’ve put together a list of (potentially) essential items that will help you have the best recital yet!

Oh before we get started, we’ll include a link to our Dance Competition Survival Kit. Reason being: think STORAGE. In the competition kit, we suggest bringing some kind of rolling container, bag, etc, that is easy to move around and easy to organize.

At the end of the night, you’ll want to be able to pick up all your supplies as quickly and neatly as possible. If you can opt for a few simple storage containers that are easy to move, it’ll save you so much time and energy at the end of an already-tiring evening.

Costume Fixes and Makeup Adjustments

It doesn’t get much more “last-minute” than backstage at the recital!! Having some tools to help you deal with last-minute makeup adjustment and costume fixes will help you do the best job you can before your dancers hit the stage.

Bobby pins

Hair ties

Scissors

Safety pins

Lighter

Sewing kit

Extra tights

Clean up kit (for any on-stage accidents…)

Blush

Lipstick

Makeup Remover

Body tape/butt glue

Nail polish remover

Cotton balls

Hot glue gun

Baby wipes

Hairspray

Communication

It’s so important to have clear communication with your studio staff, venue staff, and any volunteers who are helping to run the show. Clear signage, reliable ways to talk with one another, and lighting for a dark backstage are at the top of the list.

Headsets (instead of walkie talkies, so audience members don’t hear your chatter)

Lighted Clipboard

Flashlight

Headlamp

Pens

Sharpies

(Multiple) Printed Schedules

Signs for dressing rooms, age or class-specific rooms

Nametags / Buttons / Lanyards / Shirts for volunteers and staff to wear

Logistics

There are a lot of moving parts (and moving people) at a dance recital. Thinking ahead and preparing to bring (or request that the venue provide) essential event items will keep you from those day-of “whoops” moments!

Fans (for a hot backstage full of moving people)

Gaff tape

Extra Gaff tape (for when the first roll disappears somewhere)

Spike tape (to help dancers see their spots in the dark)

Extension cord(s)

Power strip(s)

Fanny packs, aprons, or other extra-pocket items for your staff

Phone Charger (and outlet brick)

Extra Phone Charger (for when someone borrows the first and it never makes it back to you)

Mobile battery

Backup sound system

Coloring books/crayons (for the little ones)

Binder clips (to close any curtains in a dressing area, etc)

Tables and tablecloths (for merchandise, studio marketing materials, admission)

Rosin

Thank you list (so you don’t forget to thank anyone at the end of the night)

Speech

Change for cash box

TutuTix POP for credit card transactions at the door

Health and Comfort

Everyone at the recital (yes, including yourself) needs to take care of themselves in the high-stress, fast-paced environment that is a dance recital. Snacks and beverages should be available for any dancers, as well as you and your staff. Plus, recognize that you and your staff will be moving around A LOT and should think about comfortable (but appropriate) attire for the night.

Presentation and speaking outfit

Comfortable shoes

Band-Aids

Ice Packs

Ibuprofen

Water / Gatorade

Granola Bars* / Animal Crackers / Saltines

*Editor’s note: Several readers have mentioned their concern about bringing nuts due to possible peanut or tree nut allergies among the dancers. Be sure to consider any dancers or family members with nut allergies when deciding what to bring, and remember that some severe allergies can be triggered by contact with very small amounts of the allergen.

 

Are there any other items you’ve found that can really save the day at a dance recital? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add them to our list for other studio owners to see.

Please like and share this article if you thought it was helpful!

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Curtain Call Choreography: Planning the Final Curtain Call

curtain call choreography

The curtain call is the final moment of the show where all of the students re-appear for a final time. This year, I challenged myself to heighten the organization and systemization of our Curtain Call for our varying shows. To do this, I planned out specific curtain call choreography and practiced it in our classes for the weeks leading up to recital.

This is the culmination of your year, as a studio, and the results should appear effortless, organized, and fun for students. Select fun, inspiring music (or a mix of music) that compliments your theme, and delegate times for each group to take their bows.

Each year, the Curtain Call is organized into group numbers (for example, a 2-3 year old class might be Group #1). Prior to curtain call, the hallway backstage is lined up with the group numbers to make the curtain call process easy to fluidly feed into the stage area.

All students are asked to remain onstage after the curtain call. If the students were held in the younger students area, then their room chaperones take them back to their area. If the students were held in the backstage area, they return to their dressing rooms to wait for dismissal.

The final product is a tabled infographic specific to each show and showtime, which you can see below:

Recital Name

CURTAIN CALL 2017

**Song Name**

 Show Time (7PM)

 CHOREOGRAPHY DIRECTIONS:

3-8 Counts to Walk Out / 1-8 Count to Bow / 1-8 Count to Move to Final Pose

curtain call choreography

curtsy

This is an easy to read, easy to understand diagram. It will be posted in all of the studio rooms with a copy of the music for class rehearsal. We usually rehearse the Curtain Call for 5 minutes at the end of each class for 4-5 weeks before recital.

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Dance Recital Preparation Timeline: How Early Should You Start Planning A Recital?

TutuTix Default Featured Image

Planning a big show takes a lot of time, and a lot of preparation. So, it’s important to get started early!

In putting together the Official TutuTix E-Book, we consulted several studio owners to get an idea of how and when they plan their recitals.

Take a look at the dance recital preparation timeline we’ve created below, and see how it stacks up against your current planning schedule!

 

 

According to the studio owners we worked with, these are some recommended checkpoints throughout the year to make sure you’re on track for a successful dance recital.

July

Use summertime to your advantage by preparing for next year’s recital now! But, keep an easy pace: you’re helping yourself by starting this early, so there’s no need to rush through these early planning sessions.

Consider:

August

By August, try and have your music for the recital chosen, even if your choreography isn’t fully fleshed out yet. By having music picked, you can move more quickly to build choreography that fits the music’s narrative. Plan some specific choreography moves – start your dancers on their tougher moves from day one!

Also, go big this year and start planning your performance venue and booking a recital date. The earlier you get your location settled, the sooner you can focus on getting parents involved.

September

Build some of the tougher choreography moves into class warm-ups and technique sessions. Adjust your choreography to best fit your group of students.

October – December

Keep your dancers’ muscle memory and flexibility intact by continuing to practice the spring’s tougher moves. Come spring, you and your dancers will be pleasantly surprised by the progress that’s ben made all throughout the year!

Costumes. Costumes. Costumes. Get those costume orders in! Misty Lown of “More Than Great Dancing” explains in detail how her studio saves money every year from a carefully planned approach to costumes.

January

Set up as much as possible for the final recital before you really dig in and start teaching final choreography. That means:

  • Finalizing Venue Details
  • Online Ticketing
  • Program Printing
  • Audio Rental
  • Parent Volunteers
  • Merchandise

If you can nail down the details early, only a follow-up is needed later in the spring.

February – March

Hopefully the logistics of your recital are mostly taken care of by now, and you’re in full teaching and dancing mode. Don’t forget to wrangle parent volunteers and have costumes fitted, but otherwise put your energy into your students!

April

Time to follow up with ANYONE and EVERYONE involved with your recital to make sure everything is in order! And, it can’t hurt to send out several final reminder emails to parents.

May/June

Final Recital Season Once Again!

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6 Dance Recital Mishaps: Preparing Dancers for the Unexpected

dance recital

It’s that time of year again: time for studios to showcase their students’ talent and put on a big show! And like any big event, there are bound to be a few (sometimes unwelcome) surprises. So it’s best to be prepared and in good spirits! Prepare your dancers for whatever situation might come up during a dance recital with the following tips.

1. Costume Issues

Whether it’s something relatively minor like a run in someone’s tights, or something more perilous like a broken strap, be prepared with a performance survival kit. You’ll want to have extra tights, shoelaces, bra straps and double-sided tape, a multipurpose tool to tighten taps, and any other items you need for potential repairs.

Hopefully you’ll be able to check the status of everyone’s costume during dress rehearsal, but it’s best to prepare your dancers in case a problem arises during their performance. For minor problems, coach them to keep performing – it will be more distracting if they try to fix the problem mid-dance. If you are truly concerned about how well a costume will hold up, have them wear a nude leotard as a base layer.

iSport’s Ballet section included a list of potential costume malfunctions that might come up, with some great solutions and tips to keep dancers dancing.

2. Stage Fright

Sometimes, dancers can get nervous – especially your youngest students! Make sure that everyone has had a chance to rehearse in the performance space. If you can simulate the performance experience by letting fellow dancers/staff act as an audience, even better. That way, you can encourage your dancers by reminding them that they CAN do their recital piece in front of a crowd – they already have!

If your dancers are still feeling stressed, have them try one of these 5 fast ways to relieve stress before a recital.

3. Forgetting Choreography

Hand-in-hand with pre-show butterflies are those moments on stage where a dancer might draw a blank and forget the next step. Many of us have experienced this firsthand, and know how upsetting it can be!

Dance Advantage recommends reminding dancers that they have practiced the routine, and know them so well that muscle memory will kick in once they relax! Encourage them by reminding them that they have prepared for this day, and if they focus on the dance and enjoy the moment, they will be fine! If they do happen to miss a step, coach them to jump right back into the dance, and shake off the mistake – learning to recover from a misstep is an important part of being a performer.

4. Makeup Mishaps

Makeup is just as important as the rest of the costume! And applying dance recital makeup is tricky, no matter how many years a performer has been dancing.

For younger performers, it’s best to let a parent volunteer apply the makeup AND be ready to clean up a smudge or other problem that comes up. If they need help, you can refer those parents to our guide on applying dance makeup to younger dancers.

For older performers, who might do their own makeup or may need to quickly make an adjustment in-between pieces, emphasize that the dance is key. Their dance recital survival kit should equip them with the critical Q-tip or baby wipe to adjust a smudge. But if they have long lashes that are threatening to block vision or throw them off, lose them and make sure the piece takes precedence!

We found a few great ideas at Dance Spirit for some “recital rescues” like addressing stained quick change clothes, or fast makeup solutions.

5. Music Woes

Music malfunctions can catch even the most experienced performers off guard. For older performers who may be able to more easily recover from a music glitch, encourage them to continue to perform if a sound issue arises. For younger dancers, instruct them to pay attention to their teacher, who hopefully is stationed nearby and can guide them in the event of a technical problem in the performance hall.

6. Unfamiliar Environment

As we mentioned above, it’s critical that performers be given a chance to rehearse in the performance space. Letting dancers acclimate to the stage, lighting, sound, etc. can go a long way towards alleviating related issues.

There are other environment-related considerations, however. Especially for younger or less-experienced performers, the dance recital day can be overwhelming due to the sheer number people, level of noise and change in environment. Experienced studio owner Misty Lown has some great tips on managing your backstage area in a way that creates a positive environment conducive to the success of your dancers.

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Dance Recital Prep: It’s The Final Countdown

Dance Recital Prep: It's the Final Countdown

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 you have the best recital day yet!


  1. Schedule a production meeting with your staff
    Communication is key to a successful show. Getting your staff together for a final round of show notes, last minute lineup changes and planning for prop transitions will help to avoid surprises during the show. This is also a great time to thank them for all of their hard work to remind them of the positive impact they will have on so many children on show day.
  2. Assign specific staff duties
    Make sure your team knows where every staff member should be and what they should be doing during pre-show, backstage, finale, dancer pick up and post-show clean up. Post these assignments backstage and provide printouts for each teacher.
  3. Create signage to dressing and audience areas
    Nothing makes parents more anxious on show day than not knowing where to go or feeling like they might arrive late. Help parents get their dancers to the appropriate pre-show gathering place by providing signage and friendly staff/crew members to personally guide the way.
  4. Prepare info-boards for each staff member
    Equip your team for success by giving them a clipboard for each show containing all all pertinent show information. Be sure to include all costume information for each class as new parents are likely ask ANY staff member for help, not just their own teacher.
  1. Identify quick changes or back-to-back numbers
    Notify back stage crew of any tight spots in show flow that may require changes backstage. Prepare the emcee ahead of time to plan on engaging the audience a little longer between numbers in the event you have back-to-back numbers for any dancers.
  2. Build a backstage entertainment kit
    Keep little ones busy while waiting for their turn including non-messy snacks, coloring books, movies and games. Parents will be more confident leaving their little ones in dressing rooms with your staff if they know they will be entertained while waiting for their turn to dance.
  3. Coordinate a backstage show for the little ones
    Giving the older students an opportunity to run dances before they hit the stage can double as entertainment for little ones waiting to dance. We call it the “backstage recital”!
  4. Equip your staff to be able to figure things out
    We have a saying at recital that says everything is “figure-out-able”. This means that my team has to ability to solve problems in all situations. Lost shoes? We can borrow from someone else? Costume left at home? We can put that dance later to give Dad time to run home? Communicate now that everything is “figure-out-able” if you work together.

Are you looking for some more recital tips and ideas? Check out these other articles and resources from Misty:

The “Expert Advice from Misty Lown” series is brought to you by More Than Just Great Dancing™ and TutuTix.

More Than Just Great Dancing

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Don’t Miss Promotional Opportunities at Your Recital!

Don't Miss Promotional Opportunities at Your Recital

Literally speaking, producing a recital is the act of looking back and showing what you have learned or accomplished over the course of a school year. It’s all about making great memories that can be enjoyed for years to come. The whole recital experience is full of memory-capture elements such as the recital program book, the celebratory trophy, the annual t-shirt and the commemorative DVD and group photos.

In fact, if you really think about it, most of what we promote at recital celebrates what has already been DONE. Today I hope to convince you that we should be spending as much, if not more time, promoting what IS TO COME at our spring shows.

Don’t miss promotional opportunities at your recital this year.

Keep reading for 5 ways you can serve your audience by promoting what’s coming up at your studio at recital 2017.


  1. The captive audience
    Marketers know the best audiences are captive audiences. As a dance studio owner you have better than a captive audience. You have a captive and INTERESTED audience. Consider the other places that companies try to market to captive audiences: taxi cab screens, bus ads, airplane commercials and posters in waiting rooms. Even the backs of bathroom doors in restaurants have become the target of ad placement! Take advantage of the fact that you have a captive AND interested audience by promoting things they might be interested in at your show.
  2. The recital program book
    The recital program book has a long shelf life. Not only is it read by many of the attendees for much of the show (i.e. pretty much anytime the dancer they came to see is not on stage), but it is likely to stay on the kitchen table for weeks to come. Placing promotions for summer and fall classes throughout your program book is a great way to get parents and grandparents thinking of the next thing their dancers can sign up for. Be sure to include an easy link to sign up and don’t be surprised if you actually receive a registration at intermission.
  3. The pre-show video
    I was recently teaching for a convention that had a high energy announcement video playing on a loop before the showcase began. One of the prompts in the video was a reminder to sign up for nationals as well as an announcement of the next season’s event dates. The video gave us something to focus on while waiting for the show while informing us of how to take the next step with the convention. So guess what I did? I ordered a video and looked up their summer camp info. Their promotion definitely worked on me (and I was on staff!)
  1. The on-stage announcement
    Whether you do your own announcements or hire an emcee to play host at your recital, close the show by thanking the families for their participation. Enthusiasm for dance will be at an all time high immediately following the success of recital. Ride the momentum by inviting kids back to the studio in the week after recital for auditions, placements, parent-teacher conferences or registration for fall classes. And, yes, do it right from the stage as a small part of your closing comments.
  2. The follow up thank you
    Immediately after recital parents should get an email (or better yet a text) with a short, but heartfelt appreciation for their hard work and dedication. Include a link to sign up for next year’s classes or to audition for teams for upcoming season. Make it easy by writing the thank you a week ahead of time and them scheduling the delivery for an hour after the show. Don’t worry if you are not tech-savvy. There are several email or text service providers that can do this for you. All you have to do is write a few sentences from the heart and provide a link.

Promoting at recital doesn’t have to feel sales-y. Promoting what you provide for kids and informing them how they can take them next steps at a time when they are most interested in learning more is SERVICE.

Are you looking for some more recital tips and ideas? Check out these other articles and resources from Misty:

The “Expert Advice from Misty Lown” series is brought to you by More Than Just Great Dancing™ and TutuTix.

More Than Just Great Dancing

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Studio Owner Dance Recital Checklist: 4 Weeks Out

Studio Owner Dance Recital Checklist: 4 Weeks Out

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:


  1. Schedule a photo day for groups (and individuals if necessary).
  2. Begin rehearsals for any specialty dances such as Daddy Daughter, Opening Number, Finale or any dance involving new, or large, props.
  3. Make a last call for rehearsal CDs or practice videos.
  4. Make a last call for ads and corrections to the recital program book.
  5. Place an additional order for tights, shoes and undergarments for those who outgrow or lose theirs before the show.
  6. Distribute information regarding how families can order or receive recital videos.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Distribute all pertinent information regarding “Stage Dress Rehearsals” including rehearsal times, costume items needed, makeup and arrival and pick up instructions.
  10. 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:

  1. Finalize the show order and copy edit the recital program book one more time so that the files can be sent to the printer.
  2. Order recital t-shirts for all those who pre-ordered, plus a 20% overage for interest that will surely come up at the show.
  3. Have a planning meeting with teachers to coordinate backstage roles and responsibilities for staff and crew.
  4. Have a meeting to set expectations and provide training for ushers, parent volunteers and child care helpers.
  5. Plan activities to keep kids entertained backstage such as coloring supplies, games, movies.
  6. Establish a clear system for dancer drop off and pick up.
  7. Make name badges for staff and order recital crew t-shirts. Communicate dress code expectations for staff regarding rehearsals and recitals.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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:

  1. Email tech sheets to the theater including headcounts, entrance and exit information, costume descriptions, music files and lighting requirements for each number.
  2. Finalize any music licensing or insurance certificates needed for rehearsals and recitals with the appropriate agencies.
  3. Arrange for a local flower company to sell flowers at the show.
  4. Arrange for delivery of recital t-shirts and program books directly to the venue.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Send invitations to important community leaders encouraging them to come see the big show and celebrate the accomplishments of the students.
  8. Submit a press release to your local media outlets and community calendars.
  9. 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.
  10. 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:

Are you looking for some more recital tips and ideas? Check out these other articles and resources from Misty:

The “Expert Advice from Misty Lown” series is brought to you by More Than Just Great Dancing™ and TutuTix.

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Making the Most of Your Studio Dance Recital

Making the Most of Your Studio Dance Recital

Of the many hats studio owners wear, one of the most important ones is that of a marketer for our business. In fact, if you think of all of the ways you have marketed your studio over the past year you will probably be surprised to find out just how much time is spent promoting your studio to the next generation of dancers. When I reflected on my studio’s marketing initiatives over the course of this school year I came up with a long list including: printed brochures, postcards, Facebook ads, free trial classes, free dance days, community performances, camps, workshops, master classes, birthday parties, field trips, print ads in the local parenting magazine and various community partnerships.

But if you are only marketing to the public you are missing one of the most powerful marketing tools of all: re-selling to your existing client. Various studies report that it costs anywhere between five to seven times more to attract a new client than to re-sell an existing client. And there is no greater opportunity to re-sell the value of being a part of your studio to your families than the upcoming annual studio dance recital.

Make the most of your annual studio dance recital by adding these 5 Easy WOWs to make a great day-of experience for both dancers and attendees:


  1. Tell your story

    The recital is a great opportunity to tell your story either in a welcome letter at the beginning of your recital program book or laced throughout the show announcements.  For example, if one of your core values is being family-friendly, take time to highlight some of the ways a studio becomes like family. Ideas include having seniors share what it meant to them to grow up at the studio or including quotes from parents and students in your program book. If academic achievement is one of your core values, take time to highlight how your the discipline of dance is helping your students to achieve in the classroom.

  2. Go full service

    There are a lot of details that go into planning recital including rehearsal times, picture information, show details, costume instructions and hair/makeup directions. While it’s important to have all information on a master document, it’s even better to deliver JUST the necessary information so that parents, especially first time parents, don’t have to wade through hundreds of lines of information just  to find the few details that apply to them. Whether you present this info digitally or a hand out, parents will appreciate this concierge approach.

  3. Greet them at the door

    Nothing says “We’re happy you are here!” like actually having someone at the front door of rehearsal and recital actually greeting families in person. At rehearsals we have a rotating team of teachers greeting students at the door and showing them where to go. At recital, our teachers move from the greeter position to the backstage and dressing posts and I take the lead on greeting families. Every year I hear from families, especially new ones, how nice it is that the studio owner is accessible. Recital is likely the only time of year you will see every parent in one weekend so this is your chance to get personal and thank them for being part of your program.

  1. Double down on details

    Over the nineteen years I’ve had my studio I have found that more parents arrive at our rehearsals and shows each year with less preparation. We do our best to combat this trend on the front side with great information, but still we will have parents show up to rehearsal without the proper tights and costumes that need attention. We’ve turned this trend into an opportunity to serve families and provide some WOW with our “Emergency Table.” The emergency table is a place where we can solve most of the common problems of rehearsal and recital. We have a sewing machine, a steamer, extra tights, shoes and makeup. If it’s broken or they haven’t bought it yet, we can fix it. Our Emergency Table has saved a lot of tears over the years.

  2. Adopt the phrase: “Everything is figure-out-able”

    Even with the best of planning you are going to run into issues once the curtain goes up, so have your team adopt the mentality that “everything is figure-out-able!” Did a child forget their shoes? No problem, we can borrow a pair from another student. Missing headpiece? No worries, we can come up with a solution. Did something major happen backstage? No need to stop the show if you can calmly switch the order of a couple of dances. Issues and challenges that happen backstage should never become the audience’s worry. Just remember, “everything is figure-out-able”!

So give these a try! Make the most of a marketing opportunity that you already have and create an even better recital day for your dance families.

Are you looking for some more recital tips and ideas? Check out these other articles and resources from Misty:

The “Expert Advice from Misty Lown” series is brought to you by More Than Just Great Dancing™ and TutuTix.

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Dance Recital Information Sheet Template

dance recital information sheet

Does your studio send home a dance recital information sheet a few months before recital? At the DanceExec’s studio, a recital detail sheet goes home in January/February and includes the following details for each student (for each class) on a customized sheet:

  • Student’s Name
  • Student’s Class
  • Class Routine Name
  • Class Costume Description
  • Class Show Time
  • Class Picture Time
  • In-Studio Rehearsal Time
  • Dress Rehearsal Time

This detail sheet basically conveys who, what, when, and where information that parents need to know. Encourage parents to transfer the information to their calendar and to store the document in a secure location.

Want an easy template to start from? You can download our Sample Recital Detail Information template using the form below! It’s a Microsoft Word document, so you can edit the details according to your needs.

dance recital information


The recital detail sheet can and should include as many details as possible, including: location of each event, call times for each event, costume specifics (color of costume, tight information, hair piece information, hair style information, accessory information, and dance shoe information).

Editing the Dance Recital Information Template

Like we mentioned earlier, you are welcome to make any changes you’d like to the template, and use it for your studio’s needs! Here, we’ll talk about how we built the document so you can easily make your changes.

Logo

To change the logo in the top left corner to your studio’s imagery, simply delete ours and replace it with a jpeg or other image file. The logo and Dancer/Class/Recital Date/Call Time at the top of the document are included in a table, in order to look as neat as it does, so keep that in mind as you manipulate that top portion!

Body

The center portion of the document is straightforward: we chose some of the criteria/details used by the DanceExec, and spaced it out to leave room for comments/notes. Change it up as you like/need!

Address / Parking Information

The bottom portion is a table, just like the very top! One cell per piece of information: venue address and parking information. We built it this way to keep the sheet on one page. You can easily replace information in either of the cells, or you can delete the table altogether and include that information differently.

 

We hope this is helpful!!! Questions/comments/suggestions for the Dance Recital Information Sheet Template? Send us an email at marketing@tututix.com.

 

Do you need any other dance studio resources? Check out some of our other free downloadable content:

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How Much Should You Charge for Dance Recital Tickets?

How Much Should You Charge for Dance Recital Tickets?

Your recital is likely your largest production during the calendar year, and often can be a deciding factor whether or not parents will return with their children for the following year. Pricing your dance recital tickets correctly is an extremely crucial part of planning.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published January 21, 2015. It has been updated with current data as of February 2017.

First, decide your goal.

Are you just trying to cover production costs? Will your recital profits provide some financial cushion for the slow summer months? Are proceeds going to charity? Beginning with the end in mind will help you not only make decisions about the production, but will ultimately help you arrive at a price point that helps you achieve your objectives.

Next, figure out your cost.

Consider all of the cost drivers for the typical recital production. There’s auditorium rental (plus rehearsal), lights, sound, music mixing and licenses, security, insurance, staff payroll, tickets and programs, just to name a few.

Finally, do the math.

Use the simple formula:

Ticket Price = (desired profit + cost) / (Tickets per student  x  Number of students )

If you’re unsure about how many tickets per student, work with the average. In 2016, our studio clients sold about 3 dance recital tickets per student enrolled.

What do others charge?

At TutuTix, we know a lot about dance recital ticketing. Working with over 1,100 studios in the US, we’ve sold over $36 million dollars’ worth of dance recital tickets since we were founded in 2010, including $10 million in the spring of 2016 alone. Here are some interesting stats:

  • The average price for dance recital tickets in the US in 2016 was $13.74.
  • In 2016, the average studio sold more than $11,000 worth of tickets per recital season, and more than $4,600 per event (performance).
  • The most popular prices are $10 (21%), $15 (20%), $12 (15%), and $20 (10%), collectively, and account for more than 66% of all sales.

Can you charge more?

Apart from the overwhelming popularity of these prices, there is no identifiable correlation between ticket price and number of sales, which means that sales DO NOT SUFFER when tickets are priced higher. Further, there is no correlation between price and whether the ticket sold in advance versus at the door, meaning sales aren’t even delayed when tickets are priced higher.

There ARE compelling differences between tickets sold as general admission and those sold as reserved. Ticket buyers are willing to pay a premium for reserved seating, with reserved seats selling for an average of $14.03, over just $10.80 for general admission–an almost 30% difference! Check out our article on reserved seating here for even more in-depth information.

Need more information?

Our dance recital ticketing experts have helped hundreds of dance studios price, sell, and distribute their recital tickets. To request a professional consultation please contact us.

 

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Your Recital, Your Brand: The Complete Dance Recital Checklist

dance recital checklist

Thanks to Chasta Hamilton Calhoun, founder and creator of the Dance Exec, we’ve put together a complete dance recital checklist to help studio owners get ready for their big event.

DOWNLOAD this extensive guide here!

 

As studio owners, we know the power that the recital has on your brand. At the end of each year, this is your culminating event that will ultimately affect registrations for the upcoming seasons. The planning process should be taken very seriously, and you should get started early!

Pre-planning, organization, preparedness, and professionalism are essential elements in creating a strong, cohesive positive performance experience for students, parents, and instructors. If people love your recital, then they will love your brand! In fact, if the recital is an enjoyable experience, your clientele will eagerly anticipate the arrival of the event each year.

 

Looking for more ideas to take your recital and your studio to the next level? Check out these additional resources:

 

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