There Are Two Camps:
Put them onstage Small, short, sharp. Those are the qualities Danie Beck of Dance Unlimited in Miami looks for in her competitive dancers when choosing leaders for her tots' recital numbers. The studio pays for the leaders' costumes—which match the tiny dancers', so the leaders don't stand out—and the leaders get to keep them. Leaders start attending the minis' classes in mid-April and must be present for that class' auditorium rehearsals, too. "The leaders love being chosen—it's considered an honor," says Beck. "Best of all, the younger ones actually perform their routines! No one just stands there and cries."
Hide them in the wings Demonstrators for Dance Connection in Islip, New York, stand in the first two wings, near the front of the wing space, so the first line of onstage dancers falls behind them. "It makes it much more about the kids to have the demonstrators off the stage," say owners Joe and Mary Naftal.
Tip: Tori Rogoski of Dance Education Center in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, has her demonstrators dance onstage with the little ones. They coordinate their outfits to the class costume with the help of a gift certificate from her studio's apparel store.