A dance class for kids is full of imaginary pixie dust and glitz until you’re faced with the task of preparing for the recital. A weekend recital is when parents bring their best cameras on and take endless snaps of their grooving kid. On the other hand, it can also be stressful with agitated kids and the worry that the performance might not turn out as rehearsed. Knowing what to expect in a dance recital for toddlers will prepare you for the possible scenarios, both the touching and ugly ones.
The first thing you need to know is it could be a very busy time. A few days leading to the performance is dotted with rehearsals, both at home and in the studio, as well as tireless clothes fitting courtesy of your excited kid.
So what should you be bracing for? Here are 12 of the usual things that happen during a recital:
1. Crying, and lots of crying
As much as it’s an exciting day for some kids, stage fright and pressure can cause a crying fest. You should have lots of tricks on your sleeves during this day to perk up your kid and have him or her grooving onstage. The last thing you should do is give the child the “stare” or shout because it’s getting into your nerves.
Be patient and accept the fact that it’s all part of it. If this is the first time of your toddler to perform, he or she might have an episode of separation anxiety backstage. Usually, teachers will allow the parents to guide their little ones backstage before the show starts.
Not just that. Crying can also happen during the show. This is the biggest thing you should prepare for. You might end up dancing along just to encourage the kid to finish the performance. This is just the start of what to expect in a dance recital for toddlers
2. It’s gonna be long
Depending on the size of the studio, dance recitals won’t just include the class where your child belongs. It will likely include all the classes. That means you have to endure an excruciating four-hour show with song medleys from the latest Disney movies. You love it or you hate it, but you can’t leave the show just yet after your child finished performing. Some studios impose a rule that parents stay until the entire recital is over. If that’s not enough to bore you, watch out for an encore.
This is just a small sacrifice for your kid. Also, fellow parents and teachers expect that the guardians will cooperate. You wouldn’t want to leave an ugly mark, right? You have to bring a lot of patience to last the whole show. Pack your phones with lots of games or anything that will keep you occupied.
3. You’re in constant worry of your child falling
So the little toddlers are grooving on the stage when your kid suddenly walked too close to the ledge. Your heart will jump in every leap he or she does and prays that a bad fall won’t be the highlight of the show. The good thing here is that some studios request the parents to be onstage too so they can guide their kids and prevent accidents. This is an awesome way of ensuring safety, but if you’re not much of a dancer or a stage mom/dad, you have to brace yourself. You should know what to expect in a dance recital for toddlers.
Whatever happens, don’t be the bitch parent that will make a scene. Suck the shame of dancing in front of other parents. It’s just a little sacrifice you can do for your kid to make him or her feel loved. Doing so might even strengthen your bond with each other.
4. There would be injuries
Scraped knees are common in dance classes and even recitals. A sudden fall can hurt the little knee of your tiny dancer so make sure that you’re ready. Bring some cute band-aids, preferably those with fun designs and colors. Your kid will love it and it will probably stop him or her from crying. Also, carry lots of tissues all the time. Sweat, tears, runny nose, faded make-up, and stains will need your fixing.
In case of cuts, opt for bigger adhesive bandages. But watch out if the injury is quite serious. It might be sad for the kid to pull him or her out of the recital, but it’s better than making the situation worse. Anyway, it’s rare for toddler classes to end up with broken bones unless you enrolled him in a competitive hip-hop class.
5. Hunger strikes hard
One of the biggest enemies of recitals is hunger. It can turn a happy kid into a grumpy, tantrum-filled being. And for a big show like that, you want to do everything in your power to put your kid in a good mood. Pack up with easy-to-eat but filling snacks like sandwiches and water. An hour of rehearsals before the show can feel very long for your child so make sure that you have enough food to keep them energized. Also, you may consider giving in to some of their guilty pleasures like that chocolate bar or a bag of Doritos. You’ll never know, but what to expect in a dance recital for toddlers can go really crazy. But avoid snacks that will piss their stomachs and cause puking onstage.
As much as possible, avoid foods that stain like soda or fruit juice. The last thing you want is a messed up costume with an orange spill in front. Pack each serving with a Ziploc bag so you can retrieve and store it in the run.
6. Prepare some extras
Bring extras: leggings, leotard, dress, elastics, comb, and so on. Little kids can become inevitable. You leave for a moment and you’ll come back with a spilled juice on the pink tutu. Also, leggings may have runs so make sure that you bring another pair together with a small bottle of transparent nail polish. If ever the last pair got runs, cure it with a little nail polish. Also, double on accessories so if ever one got misplaced; you have another one to save the day.
Aside from making sure that your kid is prepared, having some extra might also save a parent from losing his or her mind. Also, bring a stain remover pen. It will save your day more than you imagined it will.
As a parent, I’m sure that you’re used to putting out some extra in terms of finances, patience, effort, and love. This part of what to expect in a dance recital for toddlers wouldn’t be that hard for you, at least, in my opinion.
7. Watch out for itchy costumes
Aren’t the costumes pretty? Sure, it is. But it can also be itchy. It can cause discomfort that will send the kid grumpy and pulling the piece of clothing off. Make sure that the sequins and rough materials aren’t touching the child’s skin. Since you’re probably going to handle multiple costumes, make sure that each one has a layer of comfy fabric inside, say cotton or polyester. The same goes for the shoes. Make sure that before bringing the costumes home, you let the kid try it first.
Before the recital, stop your kid from fitting at home. This will keep the excitement going so he or she is keener than ever to dance in the recital. Kids can become shy when asked to strip off for a quick costume change. Make sure that you make him or her wear nude leotards.
Also, I suggest that you get an accessory box where you can stash everything from elastics to necklaces.
8. Practice hair and makeup
You don’t go to a fight unprepared. Make sure that before the recital, you have practiced the makeup and hairdressing on your kid, especially if it’s a girl. This will save you from frantic styling that will either make your kid look like a drag queen or a child from Les Misérables.
Practice how to use bobby pins to come with a long-lasting bun hold. You should also be armed with hair sprays to tame flyaways and cowlicks. Knowing what to expect in a dance recital for toddlers should push you to have a game plan for the look of your kid. Most likely, you can style the kid at home and bring him or her to the recital venue with the costumes in tow. You can do that if there’s no last rehearsal that will take place.
If you don’t have the skills, you might as well ask somebody else to style your kid.
9. The recital isn’t free
As far as we’re concerned, recitals are never free. Even if you get the tickets for free, you still have to spend on costumes and shoes that although little in size will cost as much as $75 a pair. Some studios will charge a recital fee to parents aside from playbills, venue, and posters if there are any. If you’re planning to bring the whole clan to the show, you’ll spend more on additional tickets.
Even before you enrolled your child in the class, you should have projected these charges. You have plenty of time to save some cash to pull off a nice dress and other stuff during that day. That’s just one of the sacrifices you have to do if you’re bent to see your kid on the stage. Besides, it’s worth all the hassle. By knowing what to expect in a dance recital for toddlers, you can prepare ahead.
10. You got to bring a gift
Gifts and any tokens are traditions in every recital. It’s an offering to the dancers who just finished their performance. If you don’t have time and enough ideas as to what you’ll get from the store, stick to a nice bouquet of flowers. But in case your little one isn’t fond it, a nice plushy toy would nail the job. You can always pre-order this stuff or grab them the next time you go out for groceries.
Although this isn’t a requirement, if you can, get some gifts for the dance classmates of your child. It’s a kind gesture for the kid and their parents. Also, it’s your way of saying that you appreciate the time you spent with them and the friendship your child has built while on the studio.
Don’ forget to give the dance instructors flowers too. It’s the least you can do for all the patience they exhibited all throughout the program. They are the ones who established what to expect in a dance recital for toddlers.
11. You won’t fight the urge to take photos
From leaving the house up to the end of the recital, you won’t fight the urge to take photos. The little kid who used to cry on the first day of the class is now clad in a nice leotard ready to dance onstage. Make sure that you have enough space for the photos and a nice camera to capture the moments. As a proud parent, you’ll take videos and snaps of the dress rehearsal. You might even film the entire performance. Don’t worry, it’s completely fine.
If you don’t want to waste the time watching the performance on your camera, tag someone else to take photos of your child. That way, you can enjoy the show and be in full support.
12. You will be teary-eyed, if not bawling
So here’s the honest part. You will cry, okay, teary-eyed if you insist. No matter how out of sync your kid is onstage, there’s a part of your heart that will melt. It’s a proud moment for all the parents in the venue. Seeing the progress of your toddler from day one up to the recital is the culmination of all the efforts and sacrifices. I told you, bring lots of tissue all the time.
Knowing what to expect in a dance recital for toddlers and preparing will keep your sanity during that day.