Ask the Experts: Should We Do Separate Recitals for Comp and Recreational Dancers?


Q: Our recitals are too long when we have both competition and recreational dancers performing, so I'm considering having two separate performances. Do you have any advice on how to do this without creating drama?

A: If you get a reputation in the community for long shows, it can have a negative impact on attracting new students for future registration. Your recital reflects a year of hard work for your faculty and students. Beyond this, it's an opportunity for your parents to see why this financial investment in their children is worthwhile. You want them to leave the show absolutely delighted and looking forward to next year.

Depending on your student body and the availability of your venue, you can distribute your numbers in a pleasing and workable way. For instance, we have an evening show that is for teens and adults only. But our matinee shows are for a mixed group and include more recital numbers than competition numbers. Our daytime show represents the diversity of age, levels and styles we offer at our studio. We keep our shows to no longer than two hours with no intermission, and add additional shows if necessary. Some studios have found success with very short, under-one-hour, preschool-only type of showcases that are separate from their full-cast show.

We recommend you position any change as a positive improvement for your entire studio. Have a plan in place to address questions or concerns by creating an FAQ sheet and section on your website, hosting a parent-info night about the recital, or hosting a Facebook live for people to watch when convenient. If you can come up with a financially viable yet family-friendly approach, it can help create a positive buzz about your studio growth and evolution.

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