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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Do they make t-shirts saying “I survived the dance recital”?

If not, they should. Heh. Ro and Ree took a dance class this year and when the teacher asked if we wanted to be in the recital we said “Um, sure?” with absolutely no idea what was involved.

Turns out that dance recitals are Very Serious Business to dance folks.  Huh, who knew? There are multiple costumes to buy (6 for us, ouch!), two-to-three-hour practices, dress rehearsals on stages, special lighting, recital fees, professional photographers, hair-dressing requirements, tickets, raffles, and I don’t even remember what else. Recitals = $$$$$ if you ask me. Especially if you’re multiplying everything times two girls. Wow.

Anyhow, Ro and Ree have now kicked butt in their first dance recital and had fun doing it (big sigh of relief). They were adorable (my take on it) and got to hang with the big girls and wear fancy costumes (their take on it).

Their first dance was a ballet one to “Roar of Spring” from Classics of Spring (Ro is on the left and Ree the right in this first photo, then they kind of swap around so mouseover the photos to see identifiers):
IMG_0458LRRo: DSC_6005Ree: DSC_6005-Edit-2LRDSC_6004-EditLRRee left, Ro right: DSC_6012Ree left, Ro right: DSC_6019LR

Then they performed a tap number to “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham (Ro is the one without a belt – it must have fallen off):

In the middle of this dance I think they were a little unsure of the moves and grabbed hands. Awww!DSC_6061LR-2

Then they danced to “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas in the exciting finale that all the dancers participated in. I think there were around 35-40 dancers and maybe 6 or 7 different classes. (Ree left and Ro right in these pics):Ree left, Ro right: DSC_6072-EditLRRee left, Ro right: DSC_6078LRDSC_6087LRDSC_6088LRDSC_6090LRIMG_0470LR

Whew!! Happy girls (and parents and grandparents) at the end of a successful show.


Then we got a bonus call that Uncle Bobby had flown in and was laying over in our city!! Whoohoo, we left in those plastered dance hairdos and jumped in the van for a little family time.

And some fierce pillow fighting.

Fun day. Long day. And today? It’s lunchtime and I’m still in my pajamas. Might stay that way all day... Have a great weekend!

So, have any of you tried the dance recital route with your kiddos? What was your experience? And, most importantly, did you do it again? Heh.

PS: Last few days to enter our $100 Visa giftcard giveaway, it closes on the 9th.


  1. They are adorable! I'm so glad they had fun.

    Now my take on dance recitals:

    Faith did 3 years of dance.

    Recital 1 - I was told you had to stay till the end, she was in 1 of the first 5 dances, we stayed, most people left, I was ticked off royally. Ben was 9 months old and had just started walking, so he was miserable and there was no reason I couldn't have grabbed my almost 4 year old and left.

    Recital 2 - We were in Europe, darn. ;o) Best recital year ever!

    Recital 3 - Kids who did two dances were in both halves of the show so you couldn't sneak out early. Ben still didn't want to be there and the costumes cost me a fortune.

    Needless to say, when she told me "I don't want to do dance anymore!", I had no desire to argue with her.

    Taekwondo is more our speed, she can kick butt & take names, and I'm never forced to sit through recitals. Even at tournaments, I can leave when my kiddos are done. Volleyball is good, Brownies, church classes, etc, but dance was torture for me.

  2. We've done quite a few.

    My general impression of all dance shows, skating competitions, choir concerts, school assemblies is always 2 hours of show and only 2 minutes of my child performing....

    Now I am a lot more selective about which shows we actually buy tickets too, and I feel no guilt about dropping her off at the stage door and collecting her later (she's 13 though, so we've been doing this for 10 years or so)

    Oh and they are always expensive.

  3. They look beautiful. Those dance costumes are ridiculous how much they cost. I did it one year with my daughter and thankfully she didn't want to return just for the expense but if she had liked it I would have done it anyway b/c when they get up on stage your heart just melts b/c they are just too precious.

  4. Anonymous6/05/2011

    Darling girls with cute costumes. I spent many years in that world with my only daughter. It is a different world for sure. We got into it pretty heavy and let me tell you the dance people have never understood that kids need to eat and go to school and do homework. When you are in "Show Business" it is a different world. Needless to say she even has danced in her adult years but switched to clogging which she would still do if it was not so time consuming with 3 boys who do not dance but kick soccer balls!

  5. Both my girls love dance as much as I do (thank goodness), so we live at the dance studio. When my oldest (now 22) was little, she was extremely shy and dance made her come alive, she used to tell me the dance floor was the only place she felt free and comfortable. My little, now 4, and adopted, fell into the right family, becasue as good as her big sister is, I think she is going to dance circles around her. Yes, we dance folk take it very seriously. My older one received a full ride college scholarship for dance, now owns a dance studio and is a terrific role model for the children she teaches. We did spend lots of money on costumes and classes, etc, but I wouldn't trade it for anything, those were great years and she looks back on them now with pride,

  6. Anonymous6/05/2011

    So, are you doing it next year with the girls?

  7. Anonymous6/05/2011

    Does your brother fly for fun or is he a commercial airline pilot?
    The girls look cute in their outfits.

  8. adoptive mommy to 26/05/2011

    BTDT for 5 years with dance recitals! It is a zoo and crazy and tiring especially since my daughter had 3 shows over an entire weekend plus rehearsals and photos and make up instructions and hair instructions etc. It is a lot of money but she always had fun :) Sounds like your first time went well. We are now done with dance (except for Chinese Dance) for the next year or so as she does gymnastics :) Glad they had fun!

  9. They look adorable!

  10. Love the pictures, they are so cute.
    Rieley had her first dance recital a coouple of weeks ago. She loves dance class, and we were lucky for this one to start in our small town. She is signed up for classes next year and is excited about having not one but 2 recitals. We only had 2 outfit changes, I have posted pics on our blog.
    Glad you were all able to enjoy the day. can't wait to see pics from graduation.

  11. I think Wela could make a FORTUNE in dance recital outfits and give a "courtesy discount" to her daughter ;-).
    Caroline did ballet/tap, but didn't like the ballet part so much. She like gymnastics, but doesn't want to go to lessons. She much prefers to ride her bike so far....

  12. Wow, feel so blessed with the way our school is organized. The only class that performs is our girl's class (and in fact is split because there are 22 girls in that class!)

    Our Dance School Owner's Mom makes all the costumes and they are reused so we don't have to buy a thing!

    The class does about 6-8 different dances and between sets the older girls perform for us and each child has a dresser. It's so fun and we are out in 90 minutes!

    Our classroom is incredibly decorated in addition to everything. We love our studio this is our 3rd year and we are going for #4! (Kelsey is about to turn 6)

  13. oh and Mary Mia, your girls look so adorable, I hope they had as much fun and loved it because they looked cuuuuute!

  14. Oh yeah BTDT and barely lived to tell about it! It is a LOT of work, a LOT of money but it is fun (?) too. LOL Em decided not to dance this year but I think she missed it and will probably go back next fall.

    Our studio does a recital weekend, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. It is insane!

    As for the costumes....they make great trick or treat costumes for Halloween. :D

  15. Anonymous6/05/2011

    My daughter's first dance recital was this weekend. Like you, I had no idea how serious this was!! Anyhow, we survived and all went beautifully. I overheard her tell her teacher it was so much fun and she'd like to do it again next year!! So..if you find that t-shirt, I'm buying one.

    Elisa in Cincinnati

  16. Anonymous6/05/2011

    15 years of dance recitals under both my and my daughters belt, we are weary veterans. My number 1 tips:

    - Don't feel pressured to sign up for anything, as much as they may guilt trip you, you dont have to be one of those mums who volunteers, you contribute plenty already

    - make a parent friend to carpool with (preferably one who is better at hair and makeup than you)

    -name e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g those dance clothes are so expensive and easy to lose!

    - always always feed your kid before rehearsals, performances etc- they will be much better behaved and less likely to fill up on candy and melt down (sending them with a big waterbottle and snacks helps too)

    - enjoy it, the kids are gorgeous and have a great time doing it

  17. They are just too cute for words! Just yesterday Alayna took her first "trial" ballet class and I posted a plea on fb on how to get her china slick straight hair to stay in a bun. What is your secret? Did you use a whole can of hairspray??

    Last Dec I took Alayna to see the local youth nutcracker production and talked with some of the participants over ice cream afterwards. Turns out you have to pay to audition, pay to participate in the mandatory practices and rehersals on top of your regular dance lessons, pay for each of the costumes that you cannot keep--on loan only for about $150 a pop (!) plus pay for the actual performance. Then the company charges the public and all the relatives of the dancers $30 per ticket. Guess where it was held...a high school gym! Sounds like a huge moneymaking scam if you ask me. (This was the Seattle area)

  18. Oh ma' God, ours was Friday night. 4 costumes for 2 girls...the chaos, the expense, the happy look I gave them when they said they had a blast but wanted to try gymnastics next year.

    In Indiana, these Moms take it seriously too. They couldn't BELIEVE I wouldn't pay $80 for 1 fake hair piece. Why? So Sara could look like a dog died on her head? Some Moms came into the show with full trunks that folded out with drawers of make up and hair stuff...HUGE suitcases. After hauling all of our bags, I was thinking that suitcase looked pretty good.

    I took a sheet and some clips and made a tent under the make up table. I threw in the iPad and some snacks, and the girls were thrilled. I snuck Mojitoes in a cooler, disguised them in coffee cups, and handed out "Sprite" to any Mom who seemed to be game. After 3 hours of sweating, running the girls from stage left to stage right, those Mojitoes might have saved my life.

    I do like our formal portraits, the girls loved it and did a GREAT job, and the family thought it was precious. Worth it, glad they did it, won't do it again!

    By the way, your girls look amazing! I'll post our pictures this week. I was back stage and not behind the camera, so my pictures are only so-so. Win some, lose some, dance some...

  19. Oh so adorable! Three costumes and all so sweet but you are spot on with all the costs, just crazy. Maisie did dance but had all the talent of a dancing storm trooper and no love or passion for it so it's a thing of the past.

  20. I can't believe you had to get so many costumes! I was complaining about the ridiculous price of the costume I had to buy for my daughter - but at least it was only one! I told my husband that I think they charge $1/sequin on the outfits. The recital is next weekend - and my daughter is SO excited. The fact that she gets to wear blush and lipstick makes it even more fabulous. She is actually more into her gymnastics than her dance class - but the "competition" leotards are very pricey too.

  21. They look SOOOO cute!!! Worth every penny and minute :)

  22. Thanks for all the input -- your comments make me smile!!

    Anon: My bro is a commercial pilot.

    Teresa: So true! If they had a class in monkey bars I think our girls would be all over it. In the meantime though, they try different things about every six months.

    IndianaLori: Genius!!!! Seriously bemoaning the fact that you guys are not in our dance class. Oh man we would have fun.

  23. Love the pictures and I know what you mean. My girls did ballet and Chinese dance recitals. Sticky hair, bobby pins, expensive costumes, admission and the list goes on and on. The pluses are how cute they look and the smiles you get watching them shine on stage :).

  24. We only do ballet and I skipped Natalie's first recital. It was being held in the school classroom, not with the big kids, and was $110.

    I thought $110 was insane for a "recital" when the class costs just $43 a month. Shoot, that is 11 gymnastic classes.

    I have X$s allotted to her activities until she leans one way or the other. She'd much rather go to ballet summer camp than be in a 10 minute recital.

  25. I did the recital thing with L this year. I had no clue what I was getting into! She took a hip hop class and I just wish it was only that...a class for her to enjoy....not a class that works on one thing to build up to the final moment...the recital. I was so glad when it was over.

  26. Anonymous6/06/2011

    Maybe you could look into another less intense dances studio? My daughter takes dance class at the community fine arts center in our city. They do a great job! We have some of the super intense dance studio places in town too, but they are so incredibly expensive just to enroll and the the cost of those costumes that have to buy for recitals-yeash! We have one recital a year and it is DARLING & we just need to pay a $25 costume rental fee. We don't need to purchase them all and have them just fill our closets.

  27. they are sooooo adorable! cutest dancers ever!

    That said, I did dance, and suspect my mum would agree with Shannon (she never stayed to watch class if she could avoid it, and I was 10-17, so she COULD and did leave me!)

    I have two boys - we all do taekwondo. Way less fuss than my friends' girls' dance stuff...and still cute!

    Glad you survived and got such lovely pics :-)

  28. Ok, I've never seen cuter ballet costumes or cuter ballerinas for that matter! My little guy Marin is in dance, but he's only 2 so his class doesn't do recital. I danced in college though and I will tell you that nothing is more exciting to a dancer than recital. All your hard work being showcased makes all the practice worth it. Yeah, the costumes do put a hit on the ole wallet. But now that recital is over they will have awesome outfits to climb on the monkey bars and sword battle in! Dance is awesome for building confidence, getting comfortable in front of a crowd, and other essential resume builders for aspiring actresses! :)

  29. Well, don't they just look fabulous. Looks like they had a good time. Recitals are definitely good photo / video ops.
    Our daughter has been in ballet for 2 years now (since requesting classes at age 3). We're about to have the 5th or 6th recital here in a couple of weeks. It's definitely some crazy business..and it gets crazier as they get older. It's run like a military operation sometimes.
    I think our daughter is losing interest now though. She doesn't love the repetetive practices for shows (or how crazy the instructors get right before and during one).
    After spending something like $60 on a costume for the upcoming show, all of the parents still had to sew some of the jewels onto each one. Yes, I belive I'm losing my interest now too.

  30. Ha ha. Yup, dance mom here. Sophie just started this year, but it's EJ's 8th (and maybe final?) year. She's on the competitive team at her studio, and trust me, a recital is NOTHING compared to the competitions. We're the ones with the big trunks and rolling racks of costumes, fake hairpieces, etc. My daughter loves it, it's good exercise, etc, but it's very time-consuming, and she's ready to try some other things now at middle school (sports, band, yearbook, musicals), so I think this will be it for her. Not sure about Sophie yet...she's enjoyed her first year, but also talks about soccer and gymnastics. We'll see. After 7 costumes this year (5 for EJ, 2 for Sophie), I really need a break. There's a great Tshirt on CafePress for dance moms - How to Tell Time at a Dance Competition. Under the 7AM clock is a cup of coffee, under the 2PM clock is a Diet Coke, under the 10PM clock is a margarita...

  31. Anonymous6/06/2011

    Great outfits great pics. love it. When one of my daughters took ballet/tap I couldn't believe the cost of costumes plus professional group and solo photo shoot in each costume..Ummm yeah goodgrief. Maybe I should have invested in my own dancewear shop. Small fortune. :)


  32. Anonymous6/06/2011

    And wasn't it worth every cent?!

  33. We did not do dance recitals.. but Gymnasti "exhibition" and we loved it - the kids loved the trophies (for completing the year and participating in the exhibition - they were too young for competition) we are probably going to start Irish Step Dance (Long story) in a few weeks.. so no recital - just Feis (competitions) so we'll see, we may go back to gymnasti if the Dance doesn't work..

    The girls looked DARLING in their costumes.. very very sweet!
    Missy +3

  34. We have the best experience in the world. Our dance teacher goes to our kids' school (private school at a church in downtown San Antonio) and teaches dance during aftercare to those who sign up and pay (no cheaper than what we paid at a studio, though).

    To make things easy, the teacher does the same dances with the kids at each school. She orders the same costumes. You ONLY attend the recital for your own school. The teacher is there from 9-4, and we were assigned to go from 2-3. There are only 2 classes at our school. Little kids and big kids (3-4 yr olds and 5-7 yr olds) They each do their tap routines, then they each do 2 ballet numbers. You are watching your own child for at least half the show (the whole show if you have, say, a 4-yr-old and a 6-yr-old). Then you are scooted out so the next group (wearing the same costumes, LOL) can start. Small time commitment, 50% your own child. Not bad.

  35. Loved your pictures! My 16 yo just went through a dance recital. Both my kids (girl and boy) use to dance and sometimes it was tramatic, but mostly it was fun. I usually was the stage manager for a lot of it, so that was fun too.

  36. We just had our 3rd recital/showcase this past weekend. $200 for two kids included a costume for each, 2 tickets, a DVD and the performance fees. Not bad since their teacher will recycle the costumes for Nutcracker at the end of the year (5+ performances and free to us). Helps when your kids don't grow and can still fit into their costumes from 3 years ago! Amazing the work that goes into choreography alone. The teacher/choreographer looks at each child and figures out which movements they do best and most naturally, ties it in with every other child's best and most natural then puts it all together for a number in keeping with the theme. Add in kids (parents rather) who pull out at the last minute or decide to participate at the last minute, don't show up for practice, don't pay until the last minute, plus all the technical shenanigins... It's a huge undertaking. I love being a ballet mom.

  37. Anonymous6/07/2011

    I have taken dance for 29 years- since I was 2 1/2! The good thing is that my dance school is very non-competitive. They just teach dance for the enjoyment of it. We have recitals and they are longish- 2 1/2 hours- but other than one 1 hour long rehearsal (which parents are supposed to just drop their child at and leave) there isn't any other time commitment than your child's normal class time. Costumes tend to be 25 dollars per costume but for the little kids (3-7) there is only one costume. The ballet tu-tu is crunched up and turned into a tap skirt. After kids turn 7 they can take Jazz and then there is another costume. If kids really like dance, by the time they are in 5th grade they can join the junior company group but there is no cost for that group and costumes are re-used so there is no costume fee. There is definitely no professional photographer (unless a family takes there kid to one) and no hairdressers. In fact most of the kids just have french braids at recital.
    Ladystargazer @ hotmail . com

  38. We have the last two years. It is not opptional. Our studio is serious about recitals. I found out recently the high schoolers practice for 6 hours on Saturday! Yikes!
    The daughter loves it because she is in the Nutcracker every Christmas. She LOVES the stage. But the rehearsals are long. I seriously want to make the tshirts for us moms!

    Kim O

  39. Ooooooohhhhhh, they are just TOO CUTE!!!!!! They look awesome in those outfits for the recital!!!