Awesome Audience Etiquette

With the date fast approaching for concert, we thought this would be the perfect time to share with you our tips for awesome audience etiquette!  Following these tips will help us ensure an enjoyable concert experience for everyone involved.

Tip #1: When entering the theater take a quick note of where the exits are, just in case of an emergency.

Tip #2: Plan to turn off or silence all of your devices prior to the start of the show.  The sounds and screens are very disruptive.  There is no need to use your phone during the performance, because we have a professional photographer and videographer attending the show! Sit back and relax while you enjoy watching your child perform live instead of through your phone screen!

 Tip #3: It is courteous to applaud after each routine in the concert, but please avoid shouting or screaming as it can be distracting to both the dancers on stage and to other audience members.

Tip #4: There may be some high-energy routines where you are encouraged to clap along in time to the music; we invite you to do so.  (Just remember: no hollering!)

 Tip #5: Avoid entering or exiting the theater while there are dancers performing onstage.  A good rule of thumb is to only move from your seat in between routines, if necessary.

 Tip #6: Following Tip #5, if you have a baby or young child who is sitting with you and they become disruptive, please exit with them quickly and quietly between routines.

 Tip #7: Refrain from talking or whispering with other audience members while the dancers are performing.  Quick comments in between routines are OK!

 Tip #8: Don’t litter.  Please take care not to leave any belongings or trash behind so we do not incur an unexpected cleaning fee.

Studio 56 Dance Center has an excellent reputation for being well-organized, gracious, and respectful of our venue so we will be welcome back!  As members of our concert audience, your cooperation is much appreciated in helping us maintain this good standing!  If you will be inviting other family members and friends to the show, please share these tips with them too.

As you enjoy the show, don’t forget that our students are dancing their hearts out for you, the audience!  Show them your appreciation by following these tips and recognizing their hard work. 

Please let us know if you have ANY questions before the big day!

Performing to Show Progress, Not Perfection

Practice makes perfect.”

 Chances are you’ve heard this saying many, many times in your life.  (We sure have!)  It’s one of the most well-known proverbs, with roots that go all the way back to the 16th century.  And while we appreciate its intention, here at Studio 56 Dance, we much prefer to say practice makes progress.” 

Why?  Because we don’t teach perfection as a goal.  Especially when it comes to the concert, we strive for every dancer to showcase their knowledge and skills, and to express their joy.  We want the performance to be their opportunity to celebrate achievements big and small, public and personal.  And a focus on perfection detracts from all of those things. 

We do need to be clear that although we don’t teach perfection as a goal, we do teach excellence.  Excellence, to us, is different than perfection.  Excellence means we are holding our students to a high standard yet still giving them room to grow, to be themselves, and to develop at their own pace.  Excellence is realistic; perfection is unachievable.

We know all too well from personal experience that perfectionism can be a difficult mindset, one that takes years to overcome.  For dancers, perfectionism can result in frustrations and tears because they do not see any other path forward.  We’re working to change that mentality!  Part of our mission is to uphold an environment where every mistake is actually a learning experience, and every disappointment leads to a stronger work ethic.

Live performances, too, always have some measure of unpredictability.  Sure, we plan and rehearse (and plan and rehearse!), but we do so with the understanding that the concert is still a live event, which means there may be moments where a dancer forgets a step, stumbles, or freezes.  And the power of that moment is in their ability to keep going and finish strong, not in the anguish of missing the target of perfection.  They can only find that power if we instill it in them.

There is beauty in the real-ness of the concert, the true reality of it.  In no other way can you see—up close—the courage, vulnerability, strength, and pure emotion that dance brings to your child.  It will take your breath away to see all of this onstage!

So when you watch your child onstage at the concert, we want you to rejoice in their growth.  Witness their joy.  Tell them how proud you are of their effort and confidence onstage.  Show them you see them.  And celebrate their path to progress!

Concert Expectations for Your Little Ones

Performing in the concert is a brand new experience for most of our young dancers.  And while some will find it exciting, others might be a little nervous!  In our experience, one of the keys to concert success is encouraging your child to do their best and reassuring them that you are proud no matter what. 

 So, what’s it going to be like when the big day rolls around?  What’s reasonable for you to expect from your child?  We’ve put together some of our best advice for a rewarding recital experience with your little one!

 Remember that ….

  • Dancing on stage in front of hundreds of people is a pretty big deal! Some dancers are shy and others ham it up.  However they react, all of our young dancers are gaining a tremendous amount of confidence by performing in front of a crowd.  Through this process, they are learning about self-expression, demonstrating their skills, and gaining a sense of accomplishment.
  • Strong emotions might occur, and that’s totally OK!  We’ve seen dancers who are so excited to perform they can hardly stand still, and others who suddenly become worried that they can’t see mom and dad way out there in the audience.  In our experience, most of these big emotions dissipate after dress rehearsal.  But we do have a few special tactics to calm and comfort our littlest performers when needed, so rest assured they are always in good hands!
  • Live performances can be unpredictable—and often in positive ways. But you may wonder whether your little one will forget the dance routine or if they’ll have a case of stage fright.  Though those things do happen sometimes, they don’t mean your child’s future in dance is over.  (In fact, far from it!)  We know we can’t predict exactly what will happen, but we can guarantee that we are as proactive and prepared as possible.
  • Our curricula are designed to focus on gross motor skills and dance fundamentals.  Our students are being taught age-appropriate movements that align with their physical development.  Don’t expect your little one to perform with the same knowledge and skills of a dancer who is older or more experienced!  Technical progress comes over time as each dancer moves through our class levels at just the right pace.
  • Success come in many forms, and we do not promote perfection as one of them!  Instead, we talk in class about the dancers trying their best and having fun while they perform.  Success is both the child who comes off stage beaming with joy AND the one who shyly admits she enjoyed it; it is both the child who remembered every step AND the one who forgot a few but worked super hard.  We want to celebrate every version of recital success!

We hope you enjoy watching your dancer onstage at the recital and seeing how far they’ve come this year.  All of us at Studio 56 Dance Center are super proud of our young dancers’ progress!

Taking Care of Costumes – Dos & Don’ts

There’s nothing else quite like a dance costume—it carries the excitement of the performance yet to come, and of course, there are all those sparkles!  For many children, wearing a costume brings out the confidence and poise they’ve been working so hard on in class, and it is one of their most favorite parts about dancing on stage. 

Because dance costumes are made from specialty fabrics, they can’t be treated like regular clothes.  From stretchy lycra-blended leotards to the embellishments of sequins and beading, costumes are made from finicky materials.  For this reason, we do not recommend washing them, but a little extra TLC can go a long way! 

Taking care of your child’s costume can be simple if you keep these Dos and Don’ts in mind:

  • Do encourage your dancer to find a safe place at home to keep their costume.  Help them understand that this will keep it in tip-top shape for photos and performance time.
  • Don’t allow playtime in the costume.  If something spills on it or it rips, it is too late to purchase a new one!  Save the dress-up time for after the recital.
  • Don’t allow your child to eat messy foods or drink anything but water when wearing the costume for photos or the performance.  This helps prevent irreversible damage that can be caused by the dyes and enzymes in food and drink.
  • Do keep tutus upside down on the hanger, unless otherwise specified by your child’s teacher.  This helps keep the tutu fluffy!
  • Do purchase a nude leotard undergarment for your child if they complain that the costume is itchy.  These undergarments can be worn at all times for comfort and modesty; ask us for recommendations.
  • If the costume is wrinkled, Do allow it to “rest” outside of the garment bag.  Using a steamer is OK too if you are experienced with one.
  • Don’t forget that costumes are made-to-order but not custom-made, so small alterations (such as tacking straps or hemming pants) may be needed to ensure the fit is just right.
  • Do make sure the costume is ready to go when needed!  Make sure it is not crumpled or missing anything, and bring it with you in its garment bag.

If you ever have a question about the best way to store or care for a specific dance costume, please ask!  We understand that costume care can feel like completely new territory, so we’re happy to help anytime.