Praise His name with Dancing! – Psalm 149:3
It’s that time of year! It’s exciting, emotional, and a little (okay-A LOT!) hectic. Drumroll…IT’S DANCE CONCERT TIME. If I was Ms. Karin I would add a woot woot to the end of that! For some people, this is their very first dance performance. The schedules, the hair, the make-up can all seem a bit overwhelming and the excitement of performing on stage is tangible. For others, this is their last dance performance with MKS- it’s a time for closure and celebration. In between, we have all ages and years of experience. I’m guessing there are even some tips and tricks I could still learn from some of our devoted veteran parents and students. I recommend talking to someone who has already been through a dance concert. It can be super reassuring!
As I thought about this post, a myriad of catchy titles, top ten lists and survival 101 ideas popped into my head. All this is floating around while I’m watching our leader, Ms. Michelle prepare the behind the scenes logistics for pulling off dance concert. Seriously–SO. MUCH. PAPER! I’m worried about the usual things a dance teacher is thinking about this time of year-blocking and cleaning choreography, helping students to show themselves through the steps they are doing, and of course, finale. That’s when I realized what I needed to be remember. How to enjoy dance concert. So here goes my list of things that I am daily reminding myself of and hopefully it’s helpful for all ages and levels of experience to hear. Don’t worry–I’ll have some practical advice at the end as well.
REMEMBER we love Jesus.
REMEMBER we love to dance.
REMEMBER we have a place where we have the privilege of showing our love for Jesus to others through the art of dance.
Colossians 3:17 says “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” It’s literally the best of two of the most important areas of my life–Jesus and dance. I know it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. There is a ton of hard work that goes into pulling off the dance concert. But if you find yourself getting bogged down in the details–step back, take a deep breath and remember the big picture. It’s common to see some dancers thinking so hard about remembering their steps and their spacing that they forget to enjoy the dancing. Ms. Heather and I are constantly reminding some of the older dancers that if they are having fun–the audience usually has fun. I know I’ve seen Ms. Dawn, Ms. Emily, Ms. Stefanie, Ms. Traci and Ms. Vicki actually prompt their students to smile when they are leading the class. It’s pretty much the first thing that happens once the curtain opens. Staying positive is a huge step towards enjoying the dance concert experience.
- Before you do anything–pray. Pray that it is a great learning experience for the dancers, pray that the audience is moved closer to God just by seeing dance concert, pray for the leaders and teachers as the final touches are put on preparations for the show.
- COMMUNICATE If your dancer is having a less than positive experience–ask them why. Try to help eliminate any extra drama or confusion going into the weekend. Have a quick chat with the teacher or send an email if there is something that needs to be cleared up. Also make sure that the front desk or the teacher is made aware of any last minute scheduling concerns. If an emergency pops up on the weekend-call the front desk. We want to know and we can only help troubleshoot if we know what is going on.
- It feels like we have been preparing for months–we have! The best thing a dancer can do at this time of year is show up to class. This will help them be prepared for being on stage and help them stay current with any last minute changes or corrections. At the end of the month, the classes are usually showing each other their dances. This is invaluable performance experience and they get some of the pre-show jitters out before they are actually on the stage. Practicing at home can also be very helpful once your dancer gets a little older and is no longer being lead by their teacher.
- ORGANIZE. This is a big one!
Have every piece of your costumes labeled. Attaching a labeled Ziploc bag to the hanger the costume is on with all the extra pieces of a costume is a great way to keep it all together if your dancer is in multiple numbers.
Double check your dress rehearsal dates, show dates and call times.
Make sure you have the correct color tights (and back up pair of tights), shoes and accessories. Do this before dress rehearsal!
It’s a good idea to double check what kind of hair/bun your dancer should have. It can be a bit stressful to have to pull off a last minute hair change at the school.
If your dancer is bringing bags or make-up with them, have it all labeled and in easy to carry containers.
If you have a fast change, check in with your wardrobe mistress and find out who is going to help you change (if you need help) and where you should change–that way your costume is in the same place you are going to be.
- FOLLOW DIRECTIONS. Ms. Michelle works very hard to keep everything organized, efficient and clearly communicated. I know it’s a lot of information but if you haven’t read the dance concert packet–you should take a few minutes to do so. Most questions are answered. And-if new ones come up while reading, you can ask the front desk for clarification sooner rather than later. Any rules or procedures are in place for a reason, and have been put there with our dancers best interest in mind.
- ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE!
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens – Ecclesiastes 3:1
Personally, I’m taking that as the go ahead for the weekend of June 10th & 11th to be a time to dance! See you there!