Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dance Recital Tips - The Way They Should Be Written

Wow, it's pretty dusty over here on this blog.  Please don't turn me in for neglect.  I've had things to say, things to write about, but...

 I don't want to whine every time I write.  Things are still not great. My mom is very, very sick. My son is...16...and being very challenging. I still don't have a new job lined up - and the whole process of that is very -well, depressing.  It's either rejection letters or just plain being ignored and it doesn't do a lot for the self-esteem. And then, there's the...well, no money thing. know, this place is a funny happy place.  That's why I have not spent a lot of time here.

My Preshush Little Snowflake

So, here's what I want to say:  Yesterday, at dance, some of the rookie moms were asking questions about recital.  I've been there. Honestly, for years, I had no idea what was going on because no one shared info (even the academy.) It was like some weird secret society.  I told them I'd answer some questions for them.  I was really self conscious. I had 5 adults undivided attention and I don't like public speaking.

After talking to them, I realized that there are two other classes of rookie parents and I'm not around to impart my wisdom to them.  ;-) I told the dance coach that I'd be happy to type up the answers to the questions that the parents had because I knew the next week that they'd be passing out a note anyway and those two girls are BUSY...and if you read paragraph 2, you'll know, I have time on my hands. ;-)

After doing so, I realized that there is another list of helpful tips that I'd like to include, but for reasons that you'll see in a moment, really aren't...PC ;-)

#1 Your child is a preshush snowflake. We know this.  So is the person's child beside you. Remember that. Everyone wants to to see their child perform. As a result, please refrain from the following behaviors:

  • Stressing yourself out as if recital is an audition for the Joffrey Ballet.  It's not. And even if it was, it's the child's audition. Not yours.
  • Yelling at your child and then yelling at them for crying because their eyes will be red on stage.
  • Standing in front of people during the performance, thereby obstructing the view of someone else's preshush little snowflake.
  • Talking during the performance. Just because you aren't interested, doesn't mean the person beside you isn't.
  • Criticizing another child.  You don't know if their parents are sitting next to you.
#2 Respect the dance teachers and staff.  
  • They will be busy. Do not take this time to ask if Little Suzy did a good job or if there will be dance class next Thursday.
  • Do not ask the photographer (if there is one)  to take special pictures for you. He/She is also very busy.  There is a picture day for these kinds of requests.
  • If you want to watch the dances, have a seat. Standing at the side of the stage is rude. It distracts from the dance, especially if your child is very young.  Buy a ticket and sit down. Many parents have to run back and forth between costume changes. It's part of the experience. Embrace it. 
#3 This relates to the first item. The recital is more than your child's class. There will be many, many numbers performing as there are many children involved. 
  • Your child's dances will not be the first few numbers so that you can "get out of there."
  • Allowing your child to watch the older kids will fill them with wonder and develop a deeper love for the art.  (Trust me on this.)
  • If you must leave, do so quietly, without making a scene.
  • Yes, it may take 2-2.5 hours for the recital to be finished. Enjoy it. These children have worked hard for many months to put on a good show for you.
#4 Things that I shouldn't have to say, but...
  • Please refrain from using profanity in front of the children. It may be ok for you, but it may not for the kid standing next to you.
  • Turn off your phone. No one cares that you're so important that you have to take a call in the middle of a performance.  It's rude.  And if you must take a call, go outside.
  • Applaud for everyone.
  • Thank the teachers for teaching your children.
Of course, they can't really put this stuff into a parent note.  But it would make things easier on everyone if they could. ;-)


  1. What's the Joffrey Ballet? Is this some Game of Thrones reference?

    1. I've never seen Game of Thrones, so...I'm thinking not. It was a reference to the actual institution. ;-)

  2. Great post, Crystal. And Jim, yes, I think they did that dance at his wedding feast. ;-)

  3. Love it! Maybe you should hand this out anyway? I'll back you up.

  4. I believe you forgot to tell them not to stand in the aisle and perform the dance moves themselves while watching their children on stage. Or maybe that's just cheer moms?

    And your little snowflake IS precious. (p.s. proof that I'm a better speller than you ;)

  5. You are always my favorite dance mom!

  6. I just finished a four hour dance recital and I must say, reading your blog, that we were lucky with our audience. With 500 kids dancing through the evening, the parents were very well behaved.

    Only addition? No texting or tweeting or checking emails, please. The light of the phone is very distracting and, unless you're an orthopaedic surgeon on call, what could you possibly need to do in the middle of the theatre?

    1. That is wonderful to hear. Maybe it's the polite Canadian thing. ;-)

      The older the kids get, the better the parents behave. (As a rule, this is not true for everyone.) But since I'm starting over with a 3 year old now, I'm embracing the crazy.

      I'm glad you have a nice time.

  7. I'm not sure what was so un-PC about this - I think it was perfect, myself, and perfectly appropriate to provide to the parents. I coach soccer - very different world - but parents are parents and a lot of the same principles apply, and having a hand out like this (soccer-appropriate, of course) would be FABULOUS.. ;)