Recital Prep Day

New Dancers & Parents Get Ready for Recital

"Recital Prep Day" is a fun event that’s not only a fundraiser, but also a great way to make sure new dancers and parents understand what is expected for your spring recital or performance. Be ready to supply parents with the details about what happens backstage at your next recital and the information they need to have dancers arrive at the right time and at the right place. Offer costume alterations to help save busy moms some time! Hold lessons in stage make-up and hair styles especially for the big day. Finish off the event with a delicious lunch provided by a local restaurant! Take orders for flowers and recital memorabilia. This fun Parent-Dancer event is a great way to help ease the fears that new dance moms may have and bring in some extra revenue for your dance school.
This type of event is great for new dance students ages 3-8 and their parents. 
  1. This event is perfect for holding on a Saturday morning a week or two before your recital. Before deciding on a date, you may want to take a survey from parents. May and June weekends are often full of various recitals, competitions, and sporting events as the academic year comes to a close.
    • It would be most beneficial to host this event about 1-2 weeks prior to your performance so that the information will remain fresh in everyone's mind.
    • You may want to make this a required event for all young or first-year dancers along with their parent/guardian. You could require them to attend the entire day’s event or just the activities that you believe are the most important.
  2. Ask several older dancers and/or parent chaperones to supervise the younger dancers and help teach skills. Meet with your volunteers the week prior to the event to be sure everyone understands what their responsibilities will be and what your expectations are. Your volunteers may not know what their role(s) will be and will need to be told explicitly.
  3. Post flyers on your bulletin board and send home flyers about the event with young dancers 2-3 weeks prior to the event. Include an RSVP card which parents should sign and return so you can count on them attending with their young dancers. This will also help you know how much food to have prepared for lunch.
  4. Charge an entry fee of $15-$20.
    • Remind them that this fee covers a delicious lunch, alterations to costumes & basic sewing instructions, and a hair & a make-up kit!
    • As an alternative, you could charge an entry fee that covers only lunch and ask that parents purchase the various supplies and services separately as needed.
  5. Dancers would need to come dressed in the attire they usually wear to their dance class (i.e. leotard & tights with hair pulled back).
  6. Help get everyone in the mood by decorating the studio with colored tulle, white Christmas lights, ballet posters and Ballerina Mobiles!
  7. Open the event by giving a summary of the rules and series of events that will happen at the recital, such as:
    • When to arrive at the performance location and where to sign in.
    • When and where dancers are to put on their costumes.
    • How dancers are to to listen for their cue and how little ones will be instructed backstage
    • Rules about shoes, the presence of family members, noise levels, etc.
    • Describe the theme of this year's recital (if you have one) and how the young dancer's performance fits with the theme. Helping them understand the "big picture" will make it more fun and help things run smoothly.
    • Be sure to inform them of how many chaperones will be backstage with their children. If possible, have the chaperones attend the event and let them introduce themselves. This will help put the dancers' parents at ease knowing what to expect when they can't be with their child(ren) backstage.
    • If you have yet to chose backstage chaperones, this would be a perfect opportunity to let parents sign-up to volunteer.
  8. Sewing is a valuable skill, but in today’s busy society with lots of 2-working-parent families, many moms just don't have the time to learn or maintain their sewing skills. On your Recital Prep Day, volunteer moms with sewing skills can help alter dancers' recital costumes or sew ballet shoe elastics, etc. for a small fee donated to the school.
    • These volunteers do not need to be highly skilled seamstresses. They would just need enough knowledge to know how to do basic alterations on recital costumes.
    • Consider offering to cover their material costs for the volunteers.
    • Mothers with sewing skills can also teach the basics to those interested (i.e. hems, shortening straps, taking side seams, sewing shoe elastics, etc.). Have at least one volunteer available to demonstrate hand-sewing for these techniques for parents who do not own a sewing machine.
  9. Teachers and experienced dancers can give instructional sessions on hair and stage make-up to young dancers and their parents.
    • Teach the hair and make-up styles that the artistic director/studio owner prefers as a base – this is important so that there is consistency in the appearance of all dancers on stage. Directors often have preferences for particular colors and brands of make-up. Be sure these requirements are made clear in this informational session.
    • Show first-time dance moms how to pull their daughter's hair back into a bun or ponytail suitable for the performance. Show tricks for controlling loose ends and thick hair by combing hair gel into wet hair as it is pulled back.
    • If an upcoming dance or role calls for any special hair styling, provide instructions for those as well (i.e. teasing, curling, crimping, hairpieces, etc.)
    • Offer mini make-up kits at a price for dancers to use in the class and for future performances.
    • It may be helpful to have printed handouts with the hair and make-up basics so parents can take them home and have them on hand when the big day arrives.
  10. In a separate room, have some older dancers play ballet or dance-themed games with younger children so parents won’t need to find a babysitter for younger siblings in order to attend the event. They can do activities like:
    • Dance Charades – Guess which ballet performance this pose or variation is from!
    • Play Musical Chairs using music from ballet performances.
    • Ballet Bingo
    • Twister™
    • Watch a dance-themed or kid's movie
  11. Offer pizza, sandwiches, or other type of lunch – try to get a donation or discounted price on food from a local restaurant.
    • Be sure to offer the restaurant(s) ads in your performance's program or other venues (T-shirts and Posters also work well for this).
    • Don’t forget plates, napkins, cups, & beverages!
    • Ask other hosts/participants to volunteer to bring bottles of soda, juice, or lemonade.
    • Be sure to have a designated place for all trash when everyone finishes their lunch.
    • We recommend holding this event on a Saturday morning so that the event can close with lunch. This will give attendees an added incentive to "stick around" for all of the planned lessons and activities.
  12. This event is also a perfect opportunity to take orders for T-Shirts or other fundraising items for the recital or performance. Be sure someone is available to take orders or make sales at this event. Some fun recital gifts that make great fundraisers include:


One More Thing...
Remember to have a camera ready and be sure to take photos! Photos from fundraisers and school events are a great way to help promote future events. You may even want to frame a great photo to hang in the studio lobby.


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