We know your recital is planned. Your theme was chosen and your venue booked long ago. Sizes were taken and costumes ordered long before the drop-dead deadlines. Music is chosen, dances choreographed, and classes know them flat. Recital fees have long-been explained, charged, and many have been collected.
You think you’ve done everything. And you probably have. But it’s coming down to the last few months, and there are some things that you should do to ensure that all of your amazing plans are coming together. If you do these things now, you may still have time to adjust your details in the event that something has gone awry.
These six simple-sounding questions will let you know exactly how close you are to having an amazing recital:
1. Is your venue confirmed?
And not just your venue but all the parts of your venue for all the times you need it?
Confirm your venue (if different than your studio) and make sure it is as you thought it would be.
Make sure you’re scheduled for the correct hours (with plenty of time for arriving and cleaning up) for both recital and dress rehearsal days.
Make sure that you’ve reserved not only the performance area but also any space to be used for dressing rooms and backstage and costume/prop storage.
Make sure there are (or you’ve scheduled) enough chairs for guests and tables for doing such things as selling flowers, putting on makeup, etc.
2. Have students tried their costumes?
You don’t want dress rehearsal to be the day that dancers figure out their costumes don’t fit or are uncomfortable. Or that you are missing a costume for a student. After all, you want these items to enhance their dancing, not hinder or distract from it.
Make sure costumes have been fitted and confirmed early enough to get alterations and tweaks done. You could even make an event out of it, complete with providing parents with contacts for a seamstress for alteration resources. Doing this as a group also will help you maintain some quality control over the alterations that may need to take place.
It’s also a great time to make sure students have all the accessories that accompany their costumes, as well as garment bags and shoe bags to transport their costumes.
3. Is your program ready for the printer?
Yes, programs can be a pain, but if you include advertiser pages, programs can really give a boost to your business’ revenue around recital time.
One month from the recital, finalize everything that your program should contain and figure out how many programs you need to print. Don’t forget – you can use the Recital module of your Jackrabbit software to make creating your program a breeze!
Find a printer who will print your program to your quality standards at the best price and make sure that he/she accepts the type file that you can provide.
- Be very organized with your advertisers so that there are no questions about their expectations.
- Make sure that they have their advertising fees paid in plenty of time for you to produce your program. Or better yet, find a printer that is willing to donate his/her services in exchange for free advertising in your program!
- Make sure that students who are performing have confirmed and that you have as much accurate information as possible in hand. Of course, last minute emergencies and illnesses happen, but the more confirmation that you can get, the more you reduce the risk of calendar conflicts for parents at the last minute.
- Before you ever start your layout, have everything you need together and confirmed as accurate so that you have no hold-ups when you start to produce the graphic file for the printer. Jackrabbit’s Recital module can help you to make sure your class details, performance orders, students’ names, etc., are correct as you pull your program information together.
- If you are looking for a flashy program cover, you may want to hire a professional designer or ask one of your talented parents to do this for you to relieve some of your own stress. You have many other things to focus on and a good designer can work quickly and efficiently to get the highest quality file ready for your printer. All of these things can help you provide a snazzy, high quality and accurate program that makes you and your students proud and your advertisers happy! And happy advertisers this year will be easy to recruit again next year!
- Proof it, have it proofed by someone else, and then proof it again and finalize the file. As an extra option, if using the Jackrabbit Recital module to create your program content, you can export the program and send a draft to your parents for review. No one can catch a misspelled or missing name from a dance faster than a mom or dad!
- Deliver your program file to the printer, giving him/her plenty of time to do a good job and to make sure that you actually have your programs ready for in time for your recital.
4. Do you have your recital extras organized and ready?
Whether you want to offer extras like logo t-shirts, posed and candid recital photos, flowers, trophies, stuffed animals, and/or recital CDs, you can easily have these details figured out ahead of time. Use the time before recital wisely, so that you’re only confirming what you have, how much you will charge for your items, and how the sale or distribution of them will be managed. This is a great bonus for your families and can be extra income for your studio.
If you want to sell pictures, you need to have a photographer scheduled and your set-up for making these pictures planned. It’s best to take posed pictures at rehearsal or ahead of time so that you can have that out of the way on performance day.
Be sure to promote to your families the extras that you will have so that they can decide what they want ahead of time and come prepared to pay for them.
If you have multiple items for sale, it’s also a great idea to have a branded bag for families to take their goodies home in!
5. Are your recital packets ready for distribution?
There are many details for your families to remember about recital. It will make your recital more enjoyable for you, for them and for the students featured in it if you organize and communicate all of the details early in an organized packet that will not get lost amidst dance bags, costumes, and accessories. Don’t forget, Jackrabbit can help with this too! You can use the Family Recital Detail in the Recital module to provide families with multiple students a compiled list of all performances for their family; use the Costume Module to print bag labels for your costumes; and more!
What should you include in a recital packet?
- Rehearsal information
- Posed/recital photo sessions/information
- Recital day schedule/info, including drop-off/pickup information, parking, etc.
- Costume reminders/information
- Ticket purchase information
- Cost of recital extras, and any related order forms
- Information about remaining volunteer needs/perks
Don’t stop with providing the packet itself. Use email, texts, and social media to send reminders as well.
A great way to distribute your recital packet is to have a mandatory recital meeting. This is really helpful for your new dance parents and will help them to feel engaged in all of the excitement without being overwhelmed.
6. Do you have enough trustworthy volunteers confirmed?
It’s worth spending time to organize your thoughts about volunteers. Ask people you can trust because you want to be able to hand off these tasks for them to handle without worrying about all the tiny details.
Be sure you cover all necessary areas with enough folks to handle your students and your crowd.
Make a list and check it twice because it’s easy to forget some little jobs that require volunteer help to get them done.
- Who is manning the flower and DVD tables?
- Who is helping to organize dancers backstage?
- Do you need someone specifically tasked with looking after your tiny dancers?
- Do you need someone who checks make-up or props?
- What about someone who collects props as dancers come off stage?
- Who is helping with lighting, set design, and sound?
- Who is taking tickets and giving out programs?
- And who is helping with parking? Failing to have someone in this position can create chaos!
You may have already asked volunteers by now, but if you haven’t – get to it. Be sure to confirm, confirm, confirm. If you feel you’re falling short of help, recruit more. You will regret not doing so if you fall short on your rehearsal and recital days.
Make sure that your volunteers have all of the details they need about their responsibilities to do a good job. If necessary, create task sheets for each one.
Another reason to make sure your volunteer areas are covered is you. You cannot expect to remember and manage everything. Tasking people you can trust with this will help you make it through the rehearsal and recital with your sanity too.
A really cool thing might be to provide recital volunteer t-shirts to those who are helping you!
After you’ve worked your way through this list, you will know what is left on your agenda over the next few months. You will know if you have any gaps and be able to fill them. You will be able to catch something that is going awry while it’s still possible to adjust. You will be able to relax – even if it’s just a little bit – and help your instructors and dancers polish their routines and fine tune your details in plenty of time for an amazing recital!