Months and months of planning go into our annual recitals. We pour our hearts and souls into every detail to make sure it is a success and in a matter of a few hours, it is over. This brings on a mix of emotions. We are proud of our students and our team, and we are happy with the outcome, we may feel some stress about something that did not go quite right, and then we get a rush of sadness that it is over. You might also start having anxiety about having to start it all over and try to top what you just did this year.Regardless of how you feel as you finish up your Recital, it is essential to take some time to reflect on the entire event. I spend some time the next day reflecting on how I feel and take some time to jot down any notes that I have that I want to share with my team. Our Recital team meets the Wednesday after our Recitals for a Recap meeting. During this meeting, we each weigh in on how we thought the overall event was and then we dive into the details. During this meeting, we take time to go over each major area of the production to see where we won, where we could improve, and where we can adapt for next year.
I like having this meeting right away because everything is still fresh in our minds. I always make sure to celebrate with my team and have genuine positive feedback for the work that they did, the contributions they made, and the effort they put into making things happen. If there was an issue, we talk it overand come up with solutions for the next show. We document all of this in our Recital Google Drive so it is easily accessible. This is also the time that we learn if there are any issues that we need to address after the fact to thank a staff member or parent volunteer that went above and beyond, or one that we need to contact regarding something that did not go well. Having this meeting right away does allow us the opportunity to address anything that needs our attention.
During our recap meeting, we break the topics into the main sections of the show.
1. Front of House- Ticket sales, ushers, decor, security, merchandise sales, check-in/check out
2. Backstage-Lining up dancers, dressing rooms, quick change, sound, lights, tech
3. Venue-Staff, schedule, met our needs, followed the schedule, parking, air-conditioning.
4. Overall experience- Feeling of event, staffing, culture, policies, procedures, quality of dances, and choreography.
5. Logistics-Schedule, the timing of arrival, set up, rehearsals, dress rehearsals, any issues with parents or staff, any volunteers or staff to give extra praise, food.
Once we have gone over these details we make a list of things that we will adjust for next time and set reminders in our project management system of the changes and add reminders on the Google calendar as needed. We do a brief discussion about next year’s theme and brainstorm about that before we close out the meeting.Once this is over, we take some time off to rest and recoup. It is ok to rest and take some time off for YOU! You deserve it and so does your team. It is important not to just go on autopilot for the remainder of the summer. You want to be sure to keep your momentum going and start making some of the adjustments that you discussed in your meeting. I always set some appointments on my calendar to work on Recital-related items during the summer to keep the momentum going. Summer is a great time to do much of the pre-planning that needs to be done while you have a clear head.
For our team, we meet every Wednesday to work on a Recital related project and have all of the tasks and projects spread out throughout the year. This makes it all more enjoyable and also ensures we take care of every detail. Recital season is my favorite season and I am one that gets sad when it is over. I love the planning part, but what I love most of all is seeing the kids on stage with their big smiles living their best life. I also love watching our students grow from year to year in not only their dancing but in their confidence as well. If you are like me and get sad when it is over, dive right into planning the next show!!
Enjoy your summer and remember, there is life after the Recital.
Pam Simpson is the founder, president, and driving force behind Forte Arts Center, which was established in Morris, Illinois in 1993. In addition to building her business from a small, one room studio to a large, multi-location organization that offers dance, tumbling and cheer programs as well as private music lessons, Pam is a leading force in the realm of small business ownership in the dance and tumbling industries as she travels all over the country speaking to and educating for large organizations such as Rhee Gold Company, Dance Teacher Summit, and More Than Just Great Dancing. When not working on her businesses, Pam enjoys spending time with her family and visiting her daughter, who is a performer at Walt Disney World.