Get Recital Ready

Dance Teachers, it is time to get your classes Recital Ready. There are many ways to prepare your classes for the stage to ensure they feel confident and it is the time to get started! Most of us have not been in a theater for a Recital since 2019, so many of our students don’t know what it takes to be Recital ready. With this in mind, teachers are a bit out of practice when it comes to getting their classes recital ready. I am going to share three ways to help get your students Recital Ready. I encourage you to give them a try and to share with your dance teacher friends.

Show and Tell
Have a show and tell week at your studio. This is a great way to prepare your dancers

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and build up their confidence. At my studio we do this the last week of April each year. We have all of the classes gather in one room and show their dances. This gives each class the opportunity to perform in front of a small audience of students before they take the stage for a larger audience of mostly adults. For younger dancers, you may need to do this more than once to help them feel ready for the stage. I also love this as a tool to help the students learn how to be a good audience. While they are sitting and watching, they learn to sit quietly as well as learn the importance of applauding for the performers.

As an added extra, I like our teachers to reward students that had great memory of their dance on the spot. This not only rewards the students that have put in the time and effort, it also motivates the other students too!

Another added extra for the younger dancers is to have them bring their favorite stuffy to class one week and have their stuffy be their audience to introduce an audience to them in a fun way.

Cover the Mirrors/Draw Your Audience
To help dancers work on their memory of their routine, we cover the mirrors with white paper on the last days of April each year to coincide with our Spring Week that happens the first week of May. We like to cover the mirrors instead of turning the class around as we find that it is less confusing for them. Without the ability to look in the mirror, they have to rely on their memory for the routine. By doing this for the month of May, it gives them four weeks to get adjusted, realize what they need to work on and remember, and then finally become confident in their dance.

We use white paper to cover the mirrors so we can have our classes draw their audience.

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This is one of the activities we do for spring week each year. Our teachers talk to their classes about the Recital and then have each student draw an audience member that they will practice performing for. Students young and old love this exercise and look forward to it every year. As you can see by the photos I am sharing, they get creative with their audiences!

Cleaning Routines
The final piece of getting a recital ready is cleaning your choreography. This is something that is important to do for each class, but it looks different for each age group and level. Once the routine has been taught, start cleaning right away. The order to clean your routines matters to the success of your routine. Start with the biggest impact items and work your way down.

➔ Arms
➔ Right Vs. Left
➔ Feet & Legs
➔ Entrances & Exits

Finally, Here is a list of Do’s and Don’ts as you get your students Recital Ready. When

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you are thinking about what recital success looks like consider the
following:
➔ Routines are entertaining
➔ Routines are clean
➔ Students look and feel AWESOME!
When all three of these things are true, your students are Recital ready and you will have a successful show! Sending out good vibes to you all as you get your students Recital
Ready!

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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.

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