Welcome to 5 Weeks, 5 Recital Tips, our mini blog series where every Wednesday I'll be giving you helpful tips to not just make it through recital season, but make the best of recital season!
To kick off our mini series, here is tip #1:
Practice, Practice, and then Practice some More
I know what you're thinking. "Seriously? Isn't this obvious?" Well, yes, it should be obvious... but not only do some dancers not actually practice (or practice enough) outside of class, but if/when they do, they are not practicing effectively.
I know the weather is getting warmer outside and the end of the school year is not far off, but you need to find the time to rehearse your recital routines. Just randomly running through them in your head from time to time is not going to cut it. The following will make your rehearsing efforts much more effective:
1) Choose a time each day you can commit to. Whether you wake up a little earlier, take time before bed, or use your lunch break, pick a time and stick to it. Carve out at least 10 minutes for each routine. Put on the music, clear the space around you (as much as you can), and run through it as full out as you can in the space you have. Don't forget about your facial expressions! How we practice is how we perform.
2) Visualize yourself performing perfectly. Don't underestimate the power of visualization! Find a quiet space, put the music on, lay down, get comfortable, and close your eyes. Now run through your dance in your mind. Visualize yourself landing every leap, perfecting every turn, and using every ounce of energy in every movement. Imagine every formation change, effortless transitions, and perfect timing as you dance in sync with your fellow dancers. See it. Believe it. Achieve it.
3) Ask for an audience. Practicing performing in front of an audience (big or small) is a great way to not only get rid of those pre-recital jitters, but also to feel the excitement of sharing your passion and showing off what you have been working so hard on all season. This is your chance to wow your audience with your newly developed technical feats and your performance quality. Ask friends, siblings, parents, or anyone who will sit and watch you do what you do best!
Your child's dance education is an investment. You have spent time, money (oh, so much money - who said dance was cheap? lol), and your support has been unwavering. Your dancer needs you now more than ever as they prepare to hit the stage. Whether it's your first recital, or you're a seasoned veteran, the following will help you prepare your dancer for show time:
1) Remind and encourage them to practice. As committed as your dancer may be, at the end of the day, she/he is still a kid and needs your guidance and support to ensure they are making the proper amount of time to practice their routines. If they are tempted to ditch class to enjoy the beautiful weather, don't be afraid to be firm with them (in a loving way of course) and remind them that they have a performance coming up and they need to focus on that. Missing classes affects the whole team.
2) Offer to watch them perform. Some parents don't want to see any part of the routine until the big day, and that's okay! However, having your dancer practice performing in front of an audience (even one or two people) is extremely helpful. You don't need to offer corrections, so don't worry about that - just be supportive and encouraging. If they forget a part, let them know it's okay and pull up the routine video and let them try again.
3) Invite lots of friends and family. Nothing is as exciting for a dancer as knowing they have a ton of supporters coming out to watch them perform! Invite as many people as you can and let your dancer know there will be lots of people in the audience rooting for them.
There is your first recital tip in our mini series! Be sure to share this with all your dance friends/parents and stay tuned for next week's recital tip!
Keep on dancing!