It’s recital season! If you’re like our gymnastics family, we ramp up the fun and get crazy busy for recital season. Check out my post here for why dance is so helpful for gymnastics. Here are some tips we use to be dance recital ready.
Are your costumes dance recital ready?
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At the studios my daughters have attended dance, costumes are ordered many months in advance. However, there are often accessories that the dancer is responsible for. Make sure you know your studio requirements ahead of time. They want the dancers to look polished and uniform for the group dances. There are often specific color requirements.
Do you need tights? Biggs likes these convertible tights that can be pulled up to be footless, or worn over the foot when needed. As she has progressed in her skill level, she has grown to prefer these split sole shoes, to really move with her foot. For Little Bit, the requirement has often been leather ballet shoes, so we have stuck with these, which fit her narrow foot well. And for her combo classes, Target tap shoes fit the budget well. Check shoe fit with your dancer before recital! Growth spurts seem to get us every time, and I find out last minute they have outgrown their shoes.
Have you practiced your hair?
Many ballet classes require a bun just to attend class. However, a bun that’s suitable for class may not be suitable for the stage. Check out my post here on gymnastics competition hair. Thankfully so far dance has been simpler. While they aren’t as likely to mess it up doing crazy rolls on the floor, I still want to make sure it stays looking nice with all of their activity.
The most common hair requirement has been a simple ballet bun. I definitely rely on these bun makers to make it look polished, with this gel, and/or hairspray. A pack of bobby pins is a must for my kiddos to keep things secure. In early days I relied heavily on recommendations from dance moms I knew, and those hair products haven’t failed me yet. If a ponytail is required, or to make the ponytail to form the bun, I love these hair elastics. Easy on the hair, and fantastic stretch to adapt to any thickness while keeping it secure.
Is your make-up recital ready?
Stage make-up was a little foreign to me as a gymnastics mom. Young gymnasts are expected to have clean faces aside from possible glitter or team spirit such as temporary tattoos provided or approved by the coaches. However under the bright stage lights, dancers are generally expected to wear make-up that prevents them from washing out. Most commonly the request is red lipstick, blush, mascara, and possibly eye shadow, even for the young girls. This is the inexpensive lip stain that was recommended to me, and has worked well enough. I stuck with my favorite mascara, and a cheap blush from the grocery store. My pale kiddo could have definitely used more color under stage lights, but lessons learned.
Are you ready to take pictures?
If I’ve put the work and money into classes, costumes, hair and makeup, I want some good pictures! I am a sucker for live action photos. Having dabbled in photography a bit, it started to get under my skin to pay for photos at gymnastics competitions. So few of the pictures really captured the moment! Sure, they had a higher quality camera, so the photos were crisp. But so often they missed the picture moment. Even my gymnast would complain about hearing the camera constantly clicking, and thinking about what a horrible picture they had just captured. What a distraction, and how disappointing to pay for subpar shots.
As someone that doesn’t have a huge budget, but loves good pictures, this camera has been amazing! I have seen several gymnastic parents and new photographers with these cameras. For the price point, and ease of use, it has been amazing. The photo above was captured in “TV” mode. No manual settings required. While it may not rival the professional cameras, capturing the picture moments by anticipating the movements is better in my opinion. And I love that this bundle comes with a good lens for portraits, along with the great zoom lens that I took the above action shots with from the back of the auditorium.
Parting tidbits to ensure readiness for recital
For young dancers, extra practice can be helpful. Some studios will post videos of the dances online for dancers to practice at home. Above all, prepare to enjoy the moments. They go too fast!