Behind the Scenes: Preparing for a Dance Recital

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Behind the Scenes: Preparing for a Dance Recital

At Ark Dance Academy, our annual dance recital is one of the highlights of our year. It’s a magical event where our students, ages 1-18, get to showcase their hard work, dedication, and passion for dance. But putting together a successful recital involves much more than just rehearsing steps and routines. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how we prepare for this special event. In italics you will find our sillier remarks… read at your own risk 😂

Choosing the Music and Choreography

We select music that fits each age group and skill level. Our instructors then begin crafting choreography that highlights our students’ strengths while challenging them to grow. For our youngest dancers, this might mean simple, joyful movements, while our older students tackle more complex routines. We also value storytelling and strive to evoke emotion in our audience… aka YOU! 

This process involves weeding out all music with unwanted adult innuendos which proves to get more difficult every year because apparently ALL songs contain them 😠


The Rehearsal Process

Rehearsals start in our regular classes. Each session includes time to practice recital dances, ensuring that every student feels confident and prepared. Instructors provide individualized attention, helping each dancer master their moves.

Get your dance teacher a coffee and a hug during this process. Trust us. Here’s a glimpse at the emotional roller coaster of just the first run through of the day: “How do they not remember that we did it yesterday? If I see 1 more unpointed toe I might need to leave the room. Oh that looks beautif– oh nevermind we have to fix that. Ahh 1 2 3 AND FOUR! Ok it’s done where the heck do we start?” 

Costumes & Props

Costumes are a big part of the recital magic. Our team spends countless hours selecting the perfect outfits that align with our theme and make our dancers shine. We consider comfort, safety, and style, ensuring our costumes are both beautiful and practical.

You have no idea the state in which our costume room gets to during this time. The literal Saint that is Ms Candice is our saving grace and we would be chickens with no heads without her. She makes sure all of our dancers are fitted, dressed, and organized AND has an accessory for each dance and dancer. Like we said… A SAINT.

Props add an extra layer of excitement to our performances. Whether it’s a set of fairy wings, a sparkling wand, or a foam sword, each prop is carefully crafted or selected to enhance the storytelling of our dances.

The amount of “no hitting!” that gets said here is astronomically high. Kids always find a new way to misuse a good prop 🤣



Backstage Organization

A well-organized backstage area is key to a smooth recital. Our team ensures that every dancer knows where to be and when, with clearly marked areas for costume changes and props. We have dedicated staff to assist our youngest dancers, making sure they feel comfortable and supported. Volunteers are our saviors at this stage. We could NOT accomplish a smooth show without them!!

“When can I see my mom?” “I forgot all my pants” & “Sorry I got juice all over my tutu Ms Lexi” are just some of the things we hear backstage during our shows. Bless us, we know.

The Big Day

Warm-Ups and Last-Minute Rehearsals

On the day of the recital, excitement is in the air. We start with group warm-ups to get everyone energized and focused. Last-minute rehearsals of lifts and big jumps help shake off any nerves and give dancers a final chance to perfect their routines.

This is a terribly unorganized event in all honesty. But we faithfully get each dancer to jump around and point a toe so they are on stage without a hitch! 


When the curtain rises, all the hard work and preparation come to fruition. Our dancers step onto the stage with confidence, ready to dazzle their families and friends. The applause, smiles, and cheers from the audience make all the effort worthwhile.

It also takes our stress levels to an all time high and then an all time low. Quite the event for us owners 😆

At ADA, our annual recital is more than just a performance. It’s a celebration of growth, creativity, and community. We are incredibly proud of our dancers and the amazing journey they take each year to bring a little more dance magic into the world. Thank you for being a part of our dance family and for supporting our students as they shine on stage.

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