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Tag: dance recital

Find Royalty Free Dance Music Your Students Will Love

Royalty Free Dance Music

If you’re on a tight budget and can’t spare the expense for music licensing, you’ll probably turn to royalty free dance music or public domain dance music for your performances and classes. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get the latest Katy Perry hit, but you can find some fun tunes that your dancers will enjoy – if you know where to look!

Become the Queen of Royalty-Free Music

The key to finding royalty free dance music of high quality is to find the right artist. There are so many aspiring musicians out there that write their own songs, and these are the people you want to work with. For example, composer Kevin MacLeod started a website called Incompetech, where he makes his songs available for people to use. He has a variety of different genres, including pop, rock, jazz and classical. You can also sort through his selection by “feel” – bouncy, calming, mystical and more. There are lots of similar sites around the Internet, so do a little digging. You can also put some feelers out into your community. If there are any aspiring stars with demos out there, they might be willing to partner with you to gain some exposure. As long as their songs are original, they have full say on who can use them.

Another option is to search on Amazon.com, iTunes or Spotify. These music aggregates will often have playlists of royalty-free pieces. You can narrow down your options by song length, genre or cost. If you use one of these sites, chances are you’ll pay for the song. But it will only be a couple dollars, and then you can use the music as much as you’d like.

Or the Princess of Public Domain

Your other option is to search for music that is in the “public domain,” meaning that its copyright has expired. The Public Domain Information Project explained that many song or musical work published before 1922 are considered public domain. However, sound recordings are not. That means you’ll have to find a new recording of an old song. The Public Domain Information Project is a great resource to get you started, as it provides the guidelines of public domain music and an extensive list of songs. You may think that your students will stick their tongues out at such “old” music, but there are a lot of instrumental pieces you can use. Plus this is a great option if you decide to do a throwback performance!


Ideas for Dance Recitals: Best Practices for Volunteers

ideas for dance recitals

You know just how much work is required before, during and after a seasonal recital. It’s certainly more than your two hands (and the hands of your instructors) can handle! If you’re thinking about asking for volunteers to help out at your next big performance, it’s a good idea – if you do it right! Use these ideas for dance recitals to choose the best people for the job, ensure everything goes smoothly and make it enjoyable for everyone.

The Best Helpers

Your first thought will be to ask parents to help, and while they will probably be happy to volunteer, Dance Studio Life suggested you only use parents as a last resort. The parents paid you to teach their children, so if possible, let them enjoy the performance in all its glory. Instead of parents, ask studio alumni to help. Former students can run the front-of-house and backstage operations while your instructors take care of the dancers. Offering to organize an alumni dance will often be all the incentive your alumni need!

Delegating Tasks

You know best what you need extra help with on performance days, but don’t forget the little things. Use volunteers in the following roles:

  • Costume patrol
  • Bringing classes to and from the stage
  • Backstage security
  • Ushers
  • Ticket collectors
  • Concession sales
  • Bathroom chaperones

Depending on how many volunteers you have, some helpers may need to take on multiple roles. Make sure you have a list of assignments ready to go on the performance date. Assigning tasks is much easier than letting people choose and having a list will ensure everyone knows where to be.

If you do have parent volunteers, make sure they get a job near their children. Dance Advantage suggested having moms coordinate fun and quiet activities to play with kids backstage or adjust costumes and jewelry. This ensures they’ll get quality time with their little dancers and can watch the show from behind the scenes.

Communication Best Practices

It may take a few years to get your communication practices to flow smoothly, but in the meantime, communicate with your volunteers as much as possible. Dance Studio Life recommended you send out a detailed letter to each individual a few weeks before the show. Lay out the date and time of the recital, where they will be stationed, what their responsibilities will be and how they can contact you. Encourage volunteers to ask any questions beforehand. A few days before the show, reach out via phone or email to make sure everyone is still on board. This way you won’t be caught off guard if someone has a last-minute commitment.

Thanking Your Volunteers

If you want your volunteers to come back next season, ensure they have a good time and know how much you appreciate their help. There are a number of different method you can use, depending on your budget. If you have some money to spare, you can throw a pizza party for everyone or provide some desserts for after the show. Another fun idea from Non-Profit 2.0 is to give each helper a personalized thank you letter and a T-shirt from your studio. It’s a small token of your appreciation that will serve as a reminder of their experience and hopefully encourage them to stay involved. Finally, you can create a volunteer board in your studio with pictures from the show or post an photo album to social media with a public word of thanks.


Dance Recital Photos: How to Choose a Photographer

Dance Recital Photos

At the end of the dance year, dance recital season is an important opportunity to honor your dancers’ hard work, capture memories for their parents, and showcase your studio. Dance recital photos, whether staged beforehand or done as live-event photos, are an excellent way to commemorate the occasion and capture the spirit of your studio. However, just like choosing a photographer for your wedding, picking the perfect cameraman for your pictures is tricky. To get the best dance recital photos possible, you need to put the necessary time and research into your selection. When you begin the search for a photographer, use these three considerations to guide your process.


Before you even start looking for potential candidates, you should establish how much you’re able to spend. You don’t want to fall in love with a photographer who’s way above your price range. Having an established budget will also help you negotiate if need be. A professional photographer may be willing to drop event prices to fit your needs if they know you’ll be a recurring client.

The other part of this consideration is how much parents are willing to spend to purchase prints. You can find this out by simply asking around or sending out a questionnaire. If this is your first recital, try to get as much information as possible. Find out if parents want photos of different outfits, the class or of the action. The more detail you can provide to your candidates, the better.


The Professional Photographers of America recommended that you interview several photographers before making your choice. Ask questions about their experience taking dance recital photos, their style and other studios they’ve worked with. Ask candidates to bring samples of their work and supply them with some images you like. You want to make sure that the photographer you choose can deliver up to your expectations. It’s also a good idea to check references. A photographer may have shot recitals before, but that doesn’t mean he or she is good with children. Calling a past client can give you a better idea of how your hire will interact with your students and instructors.


Finally you’ll want to discuss what equipment the photographer has and what, if anything, you need to provide. For staged photographs, you’ll need a backdrop, lighting and props. Ask to see the backdrops each photographer has. If you want photographs of the live dance recital event, make sure they have the proper lenses and discuss if they will need special arrangements, like a reserved seat. You’ll also want to ensure that they have backup equipment and someone who can stand in if they fall ill on the recital date.


Choosing Fun, Age-Appropriate Music for Dance Recitals

Tips for Selecting Age-Appropriate Music

As the owner of a dance studio, it’s your job to make sure recitals are an enjoyable experience for both your dancers and their parents. When you’re preparing for that end-of-year showcase, you’ll likely be in charge of picking the music to which classes will perform. While the students will probably want to dance to the biggest radio hits, you’ll need to make sure to choose age-appropriate music. Use these tips to pick the perfect beats for your big show and wow the audience, while still giving your dancers what they want.

Consider Your Audience

It’s important to keep your students happy, but if their parents are in the audience, you should be catering music choices to them too. No matter what age your students are, Dance Fullout recommends that you steer clear of overly sexy or vulgar music. Be sure to listen to the full song, paying close attention to the words, before you decide to use it.

If there will be other audience members, consider their tastes as well. If your dancers are inviting their grandparents, Dance Fullout suggested picking an older song for one routine. If your dancers are going to perform for their peers, it might be better to choose a popular radio piece. Again, make sure to listen through the song and purchase edited versions of any songs popular on the radio so you’re not surprised by tunes that aren’t age-appropriate music on the night of the performance!

Use Musical Favorites

If the songs your students suggest are wrought with parental advisory warnings, it might be beneficial to start looking for age-appropriate music in other places. Dance Teacher recommended browsing through the soundtracks from fun musicals. If you choose to base a routine off a musical, you can watch the show as a class to get everyone excited. Dance Teacher suggested that songs from “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “My Fair Lady” or “The Lion King” would make great age-appropriate routines for young dancers.

Go Instrumental

Instrumental tracks are an easy way to eliminate controversial lyrics. Dance-Teacher recommended browsing international compilation CDs to mix up your recital. These tracks provide a great beat and allow all focus to be on your dancers. If the music inspires you, you can create a unique routine that showcases your dancers’ talents.

Hire a Professional Editor

If you choose to edit a song, make sure that all transitions are smooth. Dance Fullout explained that professional editors can ensure that sections are cut out perfectly, the track is the right length and that there are no skips or malfunctions. This is especially important if you choose to create a mashup of songs. The audience will be distracted if your music is of a low quality. It’s a worthwhile investment to tailor your music perfectly.


Hottest Dance Costume Trends for 2015

2015 Dance Costume Trends

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.

Woodland fairies

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.

Sparkles galore

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.


Last Minute Choreography Changes

In the midst of competition and performance season, you may notice parts of your choreography that might look better with this adjustment or that adjustment.

Generally, is it a good idea to implement last minute choreography changes prior to a performance?

No, probably not.

(Especially if you are working with younger or less experienced dancers.)

The dancers learned the routine a certain way and committed it to muscle memory. Changes will make them second guess themselves onstage, which will not encourage a confident performance. Granted, being adaptable and able to make quick changes is a required skill set for professional dancers, but when working in an educational environment, be sensitive to and considerate of your dancers’ age, skill set, and needs.

(The only changes I have found to be effective and beneficial are simplification of arms and/or skill replacement (e.g. a walkover instead of an aerial).)

When it comes to choreography, make sure all of your studio affiliated Instructors, Owners and Artistic Directors are on the same page about all the choreographic expectations. At the end of the day we want to make sure we set our students up for success, so that we can watch them shine on stage!