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Seven Things I Wish I Had Known Before My First Recital

As a mom of three Dance Extreme dancers and one DX alumna, I’ve been through more than a few recitals. Recitals are exciting for parents, faculty and especially our dancers and while it may seem a bit overwhelming at first, I have a few tips that can help.

1. Read The Emails (yes, all of them!)

To help with planning, Dance Extreme often send out emails as the information becomes available. This means that schedules and important information sometimes come at different times in separate emails. Save your emails to a separate “Dance Extreme” folder and go back as needed to review.

2. Bring A Pair of Flip Flops

To help keep the change rooms clutter free and the floors clean (not to mention any lost/misplaced items to a minimum), parents are asked to drop their dancers off in their first costumes and to leave their shoes with parents at drop off. While dancers can wear their dance shoes, I prefer to send my kids with a pair of flip flops that can easily tuck into their dance bag or better yet, the sleeves of their jacket. This way their dance shoes stay in their dance bags and don’t get lost or dirty.

3. Pack a Bag for Recital

Include a water bottle, some dry snacks (examples: dry cereal, crackers, granola bars, fruits and veggies that don’t stain) and things to entertain them. Some great entertainment ideas include colouring books and crayons or pencil crayons (no markers), board games (a big hit) and electronics for games and movies (but nothing too valuable).

4. Label Everything

This means tights, shoes, each costume piece, headpieces, etc…

5. Bring the Make-up

Dancers are to be dropped off with hair and make-up done before the show, but if your dancer is in two back to back shows, be sure to bring the make-up with you for touch-ups between shows.

6. Parking

Come early and leave time to find parking downtown London. There are often other events happening downtown during recital weekend and finding parking can sometimes take a bit longer than anticipated.

7. Drop-Off and Pick-Up

It’s busy and yes, the back door of the Grand Theatre is a very tight space. But despite these things, drop-off and pick-up are very organized and your dancers are well supervised. So leave the organization to the Dance Extreme faculty. At drop-off be ready to say good luck and give a quick kiss goodbye as you take your dancer’s shoes (see tip #2). For pick-up, don’t wave your dancer(s) over, instead make sure the teacher sees you and they will get your child safely to you. If this is your first recital and you have a younger dancer, make sure you read Melissa Nash’s post too!

Bonus Tip: Bring Tissues!

Seeing the pure joy your child has when they dance on stage is a moment you will remember forever.


Happy Recital Everyone!


Allison Hartman is a truly experienced dance mom! Read more from Allison here.

Seven Things I Wish I Had Known Before My First Recital