The best performances are often the ones that end with a bang. You know that feeling after a movie where you just sit back in your seat and think, “Wow!” as the credits roll? That’s the same emotion that you should leave your dance parents with at the end of your seasonal recital. A show-stopping dance recital finale is not only rewarding for your students, but it can also encourage parents to re-enroll their little dancers at your studio. That’s why you’ve got to knock their socks off!
Need some inspiration for a killer finale? Here are four tips that will help you impress the audience this recital season.
1. Leverage Your Theme
No matter what theme you pick for the recital, it should be clearly tied into the final performance of the show. Sometimes studios like to do a feel-good piece, like “We’re All In This Together,” as the finale, but you should only go this route if it’s relevant to your overarching theme. Otherwise, you run the risk of having a disjointed show. It doesn’t really make sense to have fairies and butterflies flitting around the stage for dance numbers, then to end with “The Time of My Life.”
Let your imagination run wild with your final performance. The Brooklyn Dance Center demonstrated how an out-of-the-box theme can translate into a fun, unique finale with their #Dance #Selfie performance. The students used old cellphones as props for the show-stopping performance, perfectly capturing the “Instagram” theme.
2. Think Beyond the Stage
Some studios have hundreds of dancers who perform at each recital, so it can be tough to showcase all that talent in the finale. You may choose to have classes prance across the stage in waves, but another option is to bring the performance out into the audience. When you think beyond the stage, you can create an innovative piece that really gets the crowd involved. Older dancers can perform in the aisles, which gives parents a great photo opportunity and contributes to a 360-degree dance experience.
3. Come Full Circle
Take a page out of your favorite novel or play, and use a full-circle ending for your recital. This technique is often used in literature to create the feeling of completeness for audiences. The trick is to clearly tie the beginning of your show into the ending. You can do this for your recital by staging a short introductory performance that gives a preview of what the audience can expect throughout the evening. For example, if you’re doing a “Through The Ages” theme, you could have a few dancers in their decade costumes perform a short piece to kick off the show, then bring this same concept back for the finale.
4. Bring New Life to Old Favorites
Certain dance recital finale songs are tried and true favorites in the industry. Studio owners and dance teachers chimed in with some of their best show-stopping choices on a Dance.net forum. Their picks included:
- “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now),” C+C Music Factory
- “Y.M.C.A.,” Village People
- “We Are Family,” Sister Sledge
- “Let’s Dance,” David Bowie
- “You Can’t Stop The Beat,” the cast of “Hairspray”
- “Footloose,” Kenny Loggins.
These songs are all classics that your audience will enjoy singing along to, but you can make the show more interesting by giving new life to the hits. See if you can find a modern arrangement of the song or a mash-up that includes a current Top-40 track. This will give another level of interest to the finale and make it one to remember.