The flow of your show is key to keeping clients happy and pleased with your year-end performances. The goal should be a quick, seamless, and stress-free performance, which requires a significant amount of time and strategy on the back end.
The number one place where planning and flow can go awry is at the transition points. If you spend some time thinking them through, you will be rewarded with amazing memories, happy clients, a fast-paced show experience, and strong enrollment and retention.
1) Keep It Concise
Think about your audience’s attention spans:
- Are your shows a reasonable length?
- Do they contain variety?
Take the ego out of the mix and think about:
- The audience member who may be a grandparent or parent of a dancer.
- The performer who may only be in 1-2 dances.
Will they feel the value of their performance?
If you keep it concise, everyone will leave feeling upbeat, positive, and energized.
2) Pre-Show and Post-Show
You’ll want to have a clearly communicated game plan for:
- Dancer Drop-Off
- Backstage Expectations and Behavior
- Seating Time/Expectations
- Theater Etiquette
- Dancer Pick-Up
- Post-Show Exit Strategy
Family members are going to want to know their dancer is safe, happy, and engaged throughout the duration of the show. Communicate how you’ll make that happen and what role they’ll play in the process.
If a dancer is feeling stressed or anxious, make sure you have a plan for handling it.
For safety and organizational purposes, you’ll also want to have a system that accounts for everyone that is coming and going. Check In Pointe is a great tool to consider.
3) On-Stage Tips to Keep the Show Moving
- “Deadtime” on a stage will steal the momentum, excitement, and energy of your show.
- Make sure there’s a clear stage enter/exit strategy for each routine that alleviates traffic jams and congestion.
- Set your program so costume changes can be executed in a timely manner. Identify quick changes ahead of time. If you need a filler, organize it in advance.
- Keep three to four dances “on deck” so routines are continually moving on and off stage.
- If you have an emcee or host, clearly detail your expectations, time constraints, etc., from the beginning.
With a little forethought and planning, these transitional moments that can trip up flow will be smooth, seamless, and will leave everyone gushing about your studio and show!
Looking for more great ideas from Chasta? Check out the following articles:
- F@!* and Other Four-Letter Words to Remember this Recital Season
- Spread Some Sparkle!
- The Studio Owner Dance Recital Survival Guide
- Playing the Long Game
Chasta Hamilton is the Founder/CEO of Stage Door Dance Productions in Raleigh, NC, and the Founder/President of the non-profit Girls Geared for Greatness. She authored the best-selling book Trash The Trophies: How to Win Without Losing Your Soul and continued sharing her story in her TEDx talk “You Weren’t Built to Break.” She loves sharing what she’s learned while empowering other studio owners to pursue truth, purpose, and passion in their unique journeys.