You may be a seasoned dance recital planner or it may be your very first time organizing a dance performance. Either way, there are points and tips that can be removed and improved upon each year to ensure that your next dance recital is a smashing success.
Whether your recital is for ballet, modern, jazz, or another form of dance, there’s a lot of planning that goes into a successful performance day. There are sets, programs, costumes, photographers, and the management of the performers themselves—not to mention their parents! It definitely pays to start planning your recital early and carefully, paying close attention to details and by following a recital checklist.
- Set a Budget
Price out your venue, setting, decorations, lighting, costumes, photography, and awards. Based on all of these expenses and the seating capacity at your venue, you can set out a realistic ticket price for the event.
- Book a Venue
The most expensive part of your budget will be the venue. Make sure that the venue you choose is not only appropriate for your budget and with a suitable stage, but that there is also ample room backstage for your performers. It’s a good idea to pick a venue in a convenient location and with accessible parking. A good venue can really set the tone for your entire recital.
- Save the Date
Once you’ve determined the availability of your venue, lock into a date and announce the recital with a Save the Date invitation so that families have plenty of notice.
- Get the Right Tickets
Once you’ve set your ticket price based on the expenses in your budget, it’s a great idea to have your tickets prepared early so that you can start selling them at your studio and at dance classes. Whenever students attend their rehearsals, you can remind them about picking up tickets for their friends and family.There are professional and convenient recital tickets available online via Worldwide Ticketcraft that can be ready to ship within 5 business days. Choose from reserved seating or general admission tickets that are fully customizable; your dance recital will stand out with full color and “Design-It-Yourself” dance recital tickets with recital themed images to choose from.
- Call for Costumes
Get measurements of all of the children well in advance and keep a record for easy reference. An Excel document or an organized database will allow you to sort by name, size, etc. Costumes are one of the key points of a dance recital so this is a great item to get started with early.Order your costumes and check them carefully for the correct styles and sizes when they arrive. Make sure to have your dancers try on the costumes several weeks before the performance.
- Set & Decoration
There is a lot that you can do for decoration, no matter your budget. Depending on the theme that you’ve picked, your decorations might be quite simple, like a season (spring) or an element (water) or more involved like a time period. Whatever theme you choose, make sure to stick to your budget. Recruit volunteers with a creative flare and make it fun to participate in the decorating process.
- Source a Photographer
Contact experienced photographers and choose one who fits your budget and who also has excellent customer service. Confirm the dates and times as well as the package options. Give parents the option of both individual and group photos. Photographers with recital experience should offer both in packages. Check in with your photographer again one week before the recital.
- Prepare for the Show Content
Consider all of your dance groups and levels and have them begin to prepare their choreographies several months in advance. Practice makes perfect and the lead up to the show is one of the most memorable, exciting, and educational experiences that the dancers will ever partake in. As the rehearsals progress, keep an eye towards the arc of your show and what order you would like to put the run of show.
- Plan your Awards
Your awards, whether they are medals or trophies, should fit into your allocated budget. Consider how you will conduct the awards portion of the presentation. Why kinds of awards will you give out? “Best Team Player”, “Most Dedicated”, “Finest Improvement”, “Top Troupe Member”, etc. Spend time considering the allocation of the awards and give yourself enough time to have the awards ordered and shipped. Also consider the presentation of the awards and how that will fit into the arc of the recital.
- Lock In to your Programs
There are many moving parts to putting on a recital and many pieces of the performance can change and shift as the months go by. For this reason, it can be better to start with a very rough template but then leave your program until the month before the event takes place. This will give you some wiggle room to change the order of performances, to include all of the appropriate people to thank, etc.
There’s a lot more to running a recital than just taking snapshots of adorable children dancing. There is a lot of thought and care that goes into the planning over the course of several months or even an entire year. Staying on your game will keep the focus away from backstage angst and instead on the showcase of the performers. When you layout a clear plan and refer back to your checklist regularly, you’ll avoid a lot of stress and hassle and ensure that your recital is a smashing success!