My daughter’s dance recital is right around the corner. Wait a minute – I guess I should say, one of my daughter’s many dance recitals is right around the corner. I think I have 3 marked on my calendar at this point. She takes dance in school and is also signed up four classes with a wonderful studio. Natalie meets up with her friends and together they create routines of their own. And naturally, we even bring down the disco ball every night after dinner to host a family dance off as well. We live and breathe dance and I am so thankful for it.
But if you are someone who is just getting into dance, I want to give you a few tips. There are some things that happen that you might not know about as a new dance mom and this post is really about catching you up to speed with all things necessary. This information is especially pertinent to families that have other siblings that are not involved in the sport. Yes, I do believe dance is a sport. Your child’s dance recital is like the Super Bowl to them. Get ready for the big game… err…. show… and come equipped with everything you need.
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10 Things To Remember About Your Daughter’s Dance Recital
- Buy the extra tights. I know you don’t think you are going to need them. I know you think your daughter will be extra careful with her set of neutrals, but believe me, it’s just better to have an extra set hidden somewhere in your house. Murphy’s Law says that you will lose almost everything you need on the big day, and your tights will be the first thing to go.
- The girls will wear makeup – but you don’t have to put on a LOT of makeup if you don’t want to. When your children are really young, you usually get them ready ahead of time and at home. That gives you enough time to do whatever you want and play around with your personal stash of goodies. But as they get older, odds are they are involved in a number of classes and will need to freshen up a bit in between numbers. This means that you will have to supply your child with some makeup to take with her on her own. What you do with that information is up to you? Natalie stopped wearing red lipstick once I was longer the one applying it. When she had to take all her stuff with her, I opted for light pinks instead. In the dressing room, you might find a few stage moms who will help with applications, but it’s best to not count on anyone. Your child should go in needing minimal work, but also know how to fix whatever she needs to. Again, there will be plenty of women backstage, but try to show them how to put on some gloss. Have I mentioned that you don’t need to put on the makeup if you really don’t want to? Don’t get caught up on this step.
- You need to learn how to do a hair bun. Most studios require a clean hairstyle because all that jumping and flipping and flopping is chaotic enough without hair flying in everyone’s eyes. This was like rocket science to me. I ended up buying one of those hair bun makers and use it every single recital. It saves me a load of time and keeps your bun FIRM.
- Bobby pins are your friends. They will become your best friends. Buy them. Hoard them. Love them. Thank them at night for their existence. Maybe your daughter doesn’t have thick, thick, thick, (did I mention thick?) hair like my daughter… then this isn’t an issue for you. But for all you Italians out there… this one is for you!
- Get the flowers. I know it’s expensive. I know it’s silly. I know you are sitting there thinking that you’ve already spent an arm and a leg on the costumes and the tickets and the classes and everything else in between… but get your daughter the darn flower bouquet. It will light up her LIFE. It doesn’t mean anything in the long run, but in that very moment, she will feel like a queen and that girl deserves it. You can usually order them ahead of time through your dance company or you can head to your local supermarket and spend less. But you have to be on top of your life. Are you on top of your life? I’m not. We usually just pick them up at the recital.
- The shows are super long for young kids. What am I saying? The shows are super long for my husband! Bring snacks. Bring coloring books. Bring a blanket and hopefully, your baby will fall right asleep. These recitals aren’t easy on small children. My kids are older now and they can handle them much easier. But when my youngest was in diapers, Natalie’s shows were a TEST for the entire family. We would have to pass Caleb around like a hot potato.
- Also – while we are talking about fussy babies, if you have one, maybe make an effort to quiet him/her. If they are crying like crazy, take them outside for a few minutes. It will just help everyone around. It’s not easy, moms. I’ve been there. I just got out of that war zone… literally. I still have flashing nightmares. I’m still not ok. So, I see you and I empathize with your situation, but please.
- Watch your kids rehearse for as much as they want before the show. It’s scary up there! If you knew my daughter in real life, you would know that she is actually a social butterfly. She is outgoing and friendly and not afraid to talk to anyone. But I can see it in her when she gets on stage. She loses herself a bit. That smile gets lost and instead, she finds herself worrying about what is expected of her instead of just having fun. That is doubt. If she absolutely knew every move, those moments wouldn’t happen. I’ve been through a million shows and I can tell when my daughter feels absolutely confident or not her best the very second she walks on stage. It’s all in her smile. That’s why we let her dance and dance and dance as much as she wants in front of us and all over our house. She needs it. We need it. It’s a good thing.
- Buy the pictures / DVD. Your iPhone camera is going to stink. Unless you get front row seats, those large auditoriums do not play nice with phones. Grainy and low light = disaster. No memories will get documents. Just get the DVD and watch it a million times over with ease.
- Remember, dance recitals are long and expensive and crazy and hot and have I mentioned long? But your daughter LOVES to do what she does. And she will be grown and gone before you know it. So, remember that. See her for who she STILL IS -your baby. Dancing her heart out on the stage. Loving life. Feeling the music. Sharing her energy. Giving herself over to something truly magical. And while it might be easier on your back to be home and on the couch, nothing feels as good as watching your little girl shine. So, don’t blink. Soak her all in. And be sure to get your tickets nice and early for next year’s recital. I’m sure that show will be fantastic.