The Annual Showcase for our dancers is a fun and exciting time for dancers to showoff what they have learned for the family and friends!
Your child’s first dance show can be full of nonstop surprises for any first-time dance parent. Dance has its own unique culture of expectations and traditions, and they all converge at showcase!
It’s a lot to take in, and we’re here to help! Stay tuned to emailed schedules and information – most studios communicate primarily through email (we also keep our SHOWCASE PAGE updated!).
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, these insider tips can help you make the most of your first dance show – whether your dancer is a toddler or a teen.
Pack snacks and activities. Dress rehearsals and shows can feel long to young children. They can be about an hour and a half with a short intermission. Packing a small bag with a water bottle, non-messy snacks like nuts, dried fruit, crackers, granola bars, and fruit snacks will help your dancer stay fueled and focused for their performance. Please do not pack sodas, juices, or sport drinks so we have no chance of spills or stains on their beloved costumes. Activities like a coloring book/colored pencils, card games, books, or a stuffed animal help to (quietly!) entertain dancers backstage.
Costume tips and tricks. You may have several costumes to manage. When your child brings their costume(s) home, avoid the temptation to let her wear them before pictures and dress rehearsal. They should look fresh for the performance. Costumes can be itchy sometimes. Sequins and glitter may come at the cost of comfort. Nude-colored leotards are a good option for your dancer to wear under costumes. This also provides coverage and helps reduce shyness about having to do quick costume changes in front of other dancers. Also note that many studios provide instructions on how each accessory should be worn. Keep notes on those and bring them with you to avoid any confusion. It also helps to keep accessories for each costume in a zip lock bag with each bag attached to the corresponding costume (we often poke a hole in the ziploc bag and hang it on the hanger). And whatever you do, don’t forget your dancer’s shoes and tights!
Come equipped. Planning and preparation are key. Pack tissues, make-up supplies, plenty of bobby pins and hair elastics. A hairbrush and hairspray are crucial additions to your recital bag. Look for double-sided “fashion tape,” a costume tape that is magic for keeping costumes in place in a pinch. Clear nail polish works wonders on last-minute runs in tights. At The Pointe, we will have our full staff working backstage with dancers to make sure they have help with any makeup touches or hairpiece changes – dancers packed with the essentials are well prepared and will have all of the assistance they need backstage
About the hair. Speaking of bobby pins, a little bun know-how can go a long way. Dance buns can seem daunting at first, but with a few practice runs and some insider knowledge, you’ll master them in no time. Every dance should have hair in a low bun.
Damp hair is much easier to work with than dry hair with all its flyaway action. Texturizing spray is also a great tool to tame and prepare your dancer’s hair. Brush her hair out and pull it into a tight ponytail.
We recommend using a bun-maker—also known as those squishy nets shaped like doughnuts. Please tuck the ends inside the bun – wrapping hair around the outside of the bun stands out and easily falls out.
If your dancer has very long or thick hair, you can skip the bun-maker. Instead, twist the ponytail. Wrap the twisted ponytail around the base of the ponytail, and voila… you have your bun. (Note that this technique works on medium-length hair, too). Two important secrets: wrap your bun in the same direction you twist, and invest in some high-quality hair pins to secure the bun.
Look for hair pins that are the same color as your dancer’s hair, and tuck them in tight. Keep in mind that your dancer is going to be jumping and twirling, arms moving every which way. Building a bobby-pin and hairspray fortress will help to keep that bun in place through all the action.
Have your dancer “check” the bun – shaking their head or standing up and turning and jumping will show how the bun will last through their dancing!
Expect to purchase a ticket. Virtually all studios sell tickets to their shows to cover the cost of the venue and other expenses that come with producing a top-notch experience for the children and their families. If you attend a studio that performs in a professional theatre with top-notch lighting and sound equipment and staff, expect to pay more for those amenities.
Plan for a gift. Show day gifts are a strong tradition in dance. Flowers are typical; sometimes, dance studios will partner with florists and you can pre-order flowers to be delivered to the event. This is a nice, stress-free option. If your dancer is not the flower type, you may consider a recital t-shirt, studio apparel, or a stuffed animal. Our dance boutique will have many gifts available at the show lobby for purchase.
Enjoy the show! Planning ahead and running early on the big day will help your dancer perform their very best. Please arrive at the theatre with your dancer dressed in their first costume, hair and makeup all ready, 30 minutes before their show begins. This will give you time to drop your dancer off backstage, get them checked in, and then find seats in the theatre. At MC Dance, we want parents to get to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show! We work hard to keep our shows at a reasonable length, and we will keep dancers backstage with a room mom until a guardian has come to get them.
Save the memories. If you can be at the dress rehearsal, consider taking photos and video there. The crowd is less…crowded, the children are usually in costume, and this frees you up to just be present and celebrate your child during the actual performance. Photography and videography are not allowed during the show! (nobody wants to sit behind someone lifting their camera in the air!). The staff at the theatre will be present and may ask families trying to photograph or videotape during the recital to leave. Even easier: just order the professional digital download. It’s an extra investment that pays for itself when you can put the phone or camera down and enjoy the show.
Most of all, remember that our children are little emotional sponges. It’s normal for parents to feel anxious or nervous about their children’s first events – and we know that dance and theatre have their own unique language and traditions. Please work to avoid channeling your nerves to your child, who is just excited for a fun experience. Remind yourself of what’s most important (your child’s enjoyment of the performance experience), take a deep breath, and cheer for your dancer. If you notice that your dancer is nervous, remind him or her that everyone is there simply to celebrate a great year of dancing and to enjoy the show!
AMAZON SHOPPING LIST: (some suggested items) https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/7JAPR83VAJYU?ref_=wl_share
SHOWCASE PARENT VIDEO: https://www.mcdanceco.com/performances