Studio Owners

The Pros and Cons of Having a Yearly Holiday Show at Your Studio

Holiday shows are a stalwart in the dance community. Whether it's The Nutcracker, Nutcracker-inspired or simply a charity performance, studios across the country spend the month of December performing something that marks the season. So, the question is, should you join the ranks of studio owners who are running themselves to the breaking point?

It's all up to you! Here are some pros and cons to consider as you begin thinking about a potential holiday show for next year. Whether you're a studio owner who does or doesn't do a yearly holiday show, let us know why over on our Facebook page.


Pro: It teaches unity and selflessness.

Preparing for a yearly holiday show provides an opportunity for your studio to bond over something that isn't self-focused. Throughout the year, competitions and recitals are largely about the success of your individual dancers, or the team. A Christmas show is meant to contribute to the general joy and spirit that's spreading through your community. If you are doing a benefit concert, it's particularly generous and selfless. Use your Christmas show to help your dancers look to others in need, rather than simply improving their skill, or even winning an award.

Con: It's time-consuming.

It can be difficult to find time to set and clean an entire show's worth of choreography amid all the other things you have happening. Competition season is ongoing, and many of your dancers are preparing to audition for summer intensives. A Christmas show takes sacrifice that may not always be worth the result.

Pro: Each time your dancers perform, they grow.

At the end of the day, each time your students perform, they learn new skills and gain more confidence onstage. Adding more performance opportunities can only add to their capacity to connect with the audience and tell a story.

Con: It requires costuming that can be expensive.

Unfortunately, your recital costumes likely won't work for a holiday-themed show. Costuming is almost always expensive, and many parents aren't happy about the extra fee required to dress them. Be prepared to have to problem-solve here!

Pro: It gives your dancers a chance to break out of competition choreography that's becoming stale, and come back to it with renewed focus.

By this time of year, after your dancers have been rehearsing their competition pieces for months, taking a break to focus on new movement and styles can be refreshing. Oftentimes it is the recharge they need in order to come back to their routines with new insights, confidence and excitement.

Con: Scheduling is a nightmare.

Christmastime is bananas. No matter how far in advance you book the venue for this performance, you're bound to have a parent who has a conflict with it. Once again, be prepared to manage the minefield that scheduling in the holidays has come to be.

Pro: It can be a big money maker.

For some studios, this is an event that brings in a lot of money. If you do it right, ticket sales from your holiday show can make all the cons #worthit!

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Getty Images

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"Nutcracker is a tradition that is ingrained in our hearts," says UBC co-founder Lissette Salgado-Lucas, a former dancer with Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. "We danced it for so long as professionals, we can't wait to pass it along to dancers through this competition."

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Movement was more than a metaphor for the fight for women's suffrage—dancers played a real role, most notably Florence Fleming Noyes, who performed her riveting solo Dance of Freedom in 1914 to embody the struggle for women's rights.

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