Recitals are a great way to attract new students and demonstrate the success of your teaching staff through the performance of your students. Recitals also help increase student retention and attract new ones! The video footage from the recital makes an excellent ad for both YouTube and your website. Here are some tips that will make sure you make the most of your recital!
1. Open With a “Bang!”
Many studio owners want to save their best for last. However, many parents (especially those of younger students) will leave after their child performs. Showing all of the studio parents an excellent dance by your top group will demonstrate where you can take students who stick with your studio. Within the first three numbers, put in your best dance by an older group of students. This will “wow” the audience and encourage parents to commit to your studio. You can save your second favorite piece for last, but putting your most brilliant piece of the year in the first moments of the show can really encourage your audience to stay at the recital in addition to staying with your studio. So just in case you have “runaway” parents, open with your best number to ensure all clients see it.
2. Organize Your Recital in an Interesting Manner
Instead of ordering your recital by age group (youngest to oldest) or by genre (all the ballet pieces, then all the modern pieces, etc), try mixing up your most talented acts with your younger acts, in addition to mixing up styles. This will keep the audience fresh and constantly taking in new forms of dance. As you plan your recital, make a list of all the pieces with their age, genre, and “wow” factor. Try to create the maximum mix using these three elements.
3. Hire or Appoint a Trusted Troubleshooter
Nothing in the world is perfect, and rarely does any recital occur without some amount of problems. As a studio owner, you should be able to enjoy the day while also visiting with students and parents to promote your business. Many find if they hire a trusted teacher, friend, or even older student who shows promise to be the problem solver for the recital they can avoid a headache and concentrate on the recital as a whole. The problem solver or troubleshooter is the go-to person for any problems during the recital. They are given executive power to make any decision necessary to fix problems that occur. It is a large responsibility, but if you find someone you can trust with this position you will be doing yourself and your business a huge favor. Be sure that all the students are aware that this person is in charge of any problems that occur and that their word is final.
4. Have a “Piece Leader” or “Captain” for Each Number
Whether you choose an older student, a parent, or a helper, appointing a Piece Leader for each number in the recital will help to ensure all of the micro-problems that come up with each piece are managed effectively and efficiently. This will also help ensure your younger students are in costume and prepared to go onstage.
5. Consider Creating a Full Studio Number
At first, this sounds terrifying; your entire studio on stage for one giant number. However, a Full Studio or Full Company Number is incredibly exciting for the audience and helps ensures that all of the parents will stick around to watch your entire show (because their child must stay for the last piece). Whatever you choose for this number, here are a few tips to make it much easier to create:
- Rehearse each group separately, generally during their regular class time. Teach each group one to two eight counts that really show what the group does best (from being adorable to amazing tricks).
- Appoint an older student who is awarded a small scholarship (maybe two weeks of free classes or a discount to your summer program) to lead each group of younger children. This leader dances onstage with them in addition to making sure they don’t miss their cue.
- Use costumes from the numbers already performed. There is no need to have students purchase a costume they may only where for twenty to thirty seconds; instead, have them wear their favorite costume. The diversity and colors on stage make for quite a beautiful sight.
- Keep the choreography simple. There will be more than enough going on what with all of the groups on stage.
- Create a finale phrase where all of the groups are on stage at once performing the same eight counts or two eight counts of movement. There will probably be no space so keep it as simple as possible. If you have a logo for your studio incorporating it can be very impressive if possible.
- Remember, the simpler the better for every single step!