Recital Survival Guide

Autograph & Photo Memories Some kids like to use their free time during recital week to collect autographs and photos from their fellow performers, friends and fellow stars.  Don’t use pens and markers while in costume, however.
Calm Calm begins with the parents.  Let’s all try to be a model of calm and keep the volume and urgency levels set on “low” all week.  There is no challenge that can’t be worked out.  We always find a way, and it’s an easier road if we all remain calm along the way.
Cameras Remember that the use of cameras is absolutely prohibited during the recital.  It’s distracting to your fellow audience members and, frankly, it’s very inconsiderate.  Bring a camera during rehearsal week and get all the stage and candid shots you’d like.  Since these are dress rehearsals, your pictures should look just like you took them during the show.  When you talk to your family and friends, please remind them that photography isn’t permitted during the show
Class Mothers Class mothers are a gift from Heaven.  Explain to your children ahead of time how long the rehearsal and recital days could be, and that they need to stay with their class mother and behave.  The rehearsals and the recital run so much smoother and faster when everyone stays together
Costumes Put all costumes and their accessories into garment bags — one costume per bag.  This keeps the costume clean and everything organized together.  Put your accessory bag inside the garment bag.

No eating, no sitting when in costume.  Costumes are put on just before stage time.

Director It happens every year.  Someone thinks they know better, they do it their own way instead of the recommended way, and it messes things up for others or delays things for everyone.  Ms. Valerie is the Director.  She has learned a few things by doing these shows for decades, and we do things her way because they work.  Please listen to her.
Dressing Rooms Please respect others’ space and property in the dressing rooms, and coach your children to do likewise.  More time will be spent in the dressing rooms than on stage or in the auditorium, so let’s all do our best to make it a pleasant place.
Drinks & Food NO FOOD or DRINK WHILE IN COSTUME!! Bottled water only.  Colored fruit juices and dance costumes DO NOT go together!  Before dressing, eat a healthy snack Avoid sugary snacks
Extra Everything Now is not the time to get a run in your tights without a backup.  Have at least one extra pair on hand of each color that you need.  Also bring extra hair gel, hair nets, bobby pins and hair spray with you.  A few less obvious things that have come in handy for others include:

  • Baby wipes/Shout wipes (to fix makeup mistakes or dirty hands);
  • Baby powder (for itchy costumes);
  • Safety pins (for emergency costume repairs);
  • Clear nail Polish (to repair minor holes/runs in tights when there isn’t time to change them);
  • Tylenol, Advil, Motrin or your pain reliever of choice;
  • Extra contact lenses (because the show can’t be stopped to search the stage for one);
  • Band-Aids (the “invisible” kind — stage is not the place for Sponge Bob Band-Aids);
Fan Clubs Family members and friends don’t belong backstage or in the dressing rooms during rehearsals or the recital.  The same applies during intermission and after the show.  There is a lot of backstage activity in a limited space, and dressing rooms are a private area.  Please remind your family and guests to be respectful of these areas.  If they wish to greet a performer after the show or present flowers, they should do so in the lobby areas. Plus our great security volunteers get mad!
Flowers and Gifts Students often exchange small good luck gifts with their friends and classmates during recital week.  If you do so, keep it reasonable, and keep it small.  (See previous note regarding flowers and gifts from others.)
Hair and Makeup:Part I Hot weather may cause some to wait until they get to the dressing room to apply the makeup.  You can save time by doing the hair at home, but you may wish to leave the makeup until you arrive. There is always help available.
Hair and Makeup:Part II Bring your own makeup kit.  Foundation one shade darker than your skin tone (and yes, tots and pre-ballet students need color – the lights are very bright and wash out even the best of skins. Off white eye shadow, brown contour shadow, mascara, eyeliner, blush and lipstick.  High quality kits are available to buy and 10% of the proceeds goes to our costume fund.
Hair and Makeup:Part III Get the right makeup that you are directed to get.  Makeup is as important to the look as the costume.  You wouldn’t send your child onto the stage wearing a different costume than everyone else just because you think a certain color looks better than the chosen costume.  Why do it with makeup?  Everyone should strive to look as identical as possible — costume, makeup and hair.
Have Fun Parents tell us that once they get over the initial uncertainty, they actually love the dress rehearsals — the fun, the excitement, and the talent.  You are welcome to take all the pictures you’d like and to capture the rehearsals on video tape.  (If you get some good photos, please share them with us for the ABC web site!)
Jewelry No jewelry allowed, that means, necklaces, rings, earrings.  Please leave valuables at home to save worry and tears.
Keeping Your Cool:  Part I Dressing rooms can get very warm on those June afternoons.  Coordinate with your class mother to ensure you have a couple small fans (and extension cords) in your dressing room to keep the air moving
Keeping Your Cool:  Part II If you or your child is on the verge of a meltdown (it can happen to 6 or 16 year olds), please find a quiet place to work it out (outside, the restroom, etc.).  Sorry kids, but mom is in charge.
Label Everything Put your child’s name on everything.  These are busy days and it is easy to lose a piece to a costume, shoes, accessories, etc.
No Nail Polish Nail polish is NOT permitted at recital.  You may think those bright red nails look great, but we don’t want the audience noticing one dancer’s finger nails.  To the greatest extent possible, everyone should look alike, so please, no nail polish.
Passing the Time Rehearsal and recital days are very long days.  Bring a deck of cards, a game, a book, or activities that will keep the kids busy while they are waiting to perform.  TV’s with a built in VCR and some good movies are a great idea.  This will keep a whole room quiet for a couple of hours.  Also, board games that several people can play at one time are a good idea.  Avoid markers, glitter and glue, for they can ruin a costume.  For older kids, bring something to read.
Patience Bring plenty of patience.  You will need every ounce of it.


Performance List During rehearsal week, make a list of all of your child’s dances and note the corresponding act number in the show.  (They will be posted at rehearsal.)  Type or write an 8-1/2″ x 11″ page with your child’s name at the top followed by a list of their dances in order of show appearance with the number along side (to help gage change time).  Make several copies — one for you to carry, one to tape on the wall in the dressing room (which is why your child’s name should be on it), and an extra one to lose.
Planning Recital isn’t an “on that day” activity.  Pull together all of your costumes, accessories, shoes and makeup several days in advance to give you a little cushion in case something isn’t exactly right.  Make a check list of your child’s routines, listing their costume, color tights, shoes, and any accessories.  Make sure you have all your supplies before arrival.  The checklist helps when leaving to ensure that you have everything.
Questions If you are unsure about something, please feel free to approach your class mother, the studio staff or a member of the studio’s recital crew with your questions.  Please be mindful that when teachers are on stage during rehearsals, it is for purposes of running through routines, so try to catch them with your questions when they are not busy teaching
R-E-S-P-E-C-T Heed Aretha’s advice and give a little respect.  Let’s respect the teachers, the parents, the dancers, the audience members and other’s belongings.  If we all make a point to give a little respect, recital week will be a more pleasant experience for everyone.
Security We take the security of your child seriously.  We will have a staff of security personnel on duty during recital performances.  For the safety of your child, they will not permit dancers out of the backstage area, nor will they permit anyone other than properly credentialed class parents into the backstage area.
Shoes Give dance shoes a little extra attention before the recital to make sure they look nice, but check with the studio for guidance before using ANY polishes or cleaners on them. Do NOT MACHINE WASH ANY SHOES.  Ribbons should be securely sewn and fresh looking.
Snacks The best snacks during rehearsal week are “neat” snacks.  May we suggest apple slices, string cheese and crackers as a few good examples.  Remember:  Don’t pack anything messy.
The Show Audience should be in their seats prior to curtain.  Late arrivals will not be seated until intermission.  Arriving late disturbs those already seated and is disrespectful of those children performing
Tickets Be sure to get your recital tickets.  Recital only happens once a year, so make it a big event for your child by bringing your entire family and inviting friends to the show.   All seats must have a ticket.

Grandparents love dance recitals.  Tickets are available at link to Tower Theatre or by calling 541-317-0700

Timing Arrive at the rehearsals and the recital at the instructed time.  You will need this time to get ready and receive instruction from the director and teachers, and the show WILL start whether you are ready or not.  Dances will not be repeated during the show to accommodate late-arriving dancers.
VOLUNTEER As with any collaborative event, many hands make for light work.  Don’t wait for someone to ask for your help.  Go to your child’s instructor or Tricia Huggin and ask “What needs to be done today?”  Or better yet, sign up to serve as a backstage helper, it really is lots of fun!
Video Taping Please instruct your family and friends to leave their video cameras at home on recital day.  Remind them that the show is being professionally videotaped.  The professional DVD will be far superior to what they might shoot from the audience — no wiggles, no backs of heads of audience members, and no disruption to those around you.  You and your family members are welcome to bring your video cameras, tripods, and still cameras to dress rehearsals, but not to the recital itself. And one final parent-to-parent appeal…  Every year someone believes they are above this rule.  They see the signs and they hear the announcements, but they decide the rules don’t apply to them.  Please, don’t you be that inconsiderate jerk.
Watching the Show If you are the class mother, you can watch your child’s dance from the stage wings.  If you are not the class mother you shouldn’t add to the congestion backstage.  Stay in your seat and be considerate of those around you.  Don’t hop up and run out after your child performs.  That’s really an insult to the children who are performing next.
Zzzzzz A pillow and blanket can come in handy backstage during rehearsals and the recital if your child wants to lay down for a little bit.  Plus, the blanket keeps their costume clean when they are sitting on the floor playing

Lastly – Enjoy your child’s performance!