Tips & Advice

Are you recital ready?


Believe it or not, recital will be here before we know it. It’s certainly an exciting time of year, as you teach and drill choreography, have your students try on costumes, hold photo day at your studio. When that highly anticipated performance day finally arrives, you want everything and everyone to run smoothly.

Here is Dance Informa’s Recital Ready Guide, a helpful list that you can print out and hand to dancers and parents to ensure that everyone is organized for the big day.

Besides the costume…

You probably won’t forget your costume. That sparkly jazz jumpsuit or floral tutu has been in your closet and has had you excited for weeks. Don’t forget the things under and around that costume, though; it’s all one package!

From stage, it looks best and most professional to have a new pair of tights set aside for show day. Other pairs can become faded and develop runs from wear to wear and wash to wash. It may even be a good idea to have an emergency pair on deck, should yours get a little snag or run. We love tights from Só Dança, which now come in 10 unique shades! So you can find the perfect style and color to match your skin tone.

Sometimes it’s also nice to get a new pair of shoes for your recital. Older pairs quickly develop wear and tear, or get dirty, from all the dancing you do in them. Some shoes, such as pointe shoes and tap shoes, may require more breaking in, but ballet slippers, jazz shoes and modern shoes are usually ready to wear right away. We’re big fans of Capezio’s high quality footwear!

Body Wrappers has a great line of bodyliners, undergarments, nude leotards and briefs, as does Eurotard. You’ll definitely want some kind of undergarments to wear underneath your costume. They’re perfect for quick changes backstage and also just for extra security. Make sure everything is tucked in and hidden to create the cleanest lines. 

And for keeping warm backstage – stock up on things like legwarmers and warm-ups. Eurotard has a great knitwear collection, and Só Dança’s Warm-Up Booties are a must-have.

Shoe secrets

Even if you don’t have a new pair of pointe shoes for show day, it still looks nice and neat to buy and sew on new pointe shoe ribbons, which will be clean and blend in nicely with your new tights. Ribbons aren’t too expensive, so buy a multi-pack so you can save some for future recitals, or share with friends, or use them all if you have multiple pairs of pointe shoes on hand.

No one wants to see a pointe shoe ribbon fly out on stage! It could be very distracting to yourself and to the audience, and your teacher would be much more pleased if everyone’s ribbons remained tucked in and kept put. A couple tips from the pros: take a couple quick stitches to your ribbon knot to keep them secure, or use a few spritzes of hairspray. 

A Stitch Kit is a wonderful addition to any dance bag. Its sturdy needles and heavy-duty thread, all in one tiny container, can save the day for last-minute sewing jobs for ribbons and elastics and also for quick costume fixes.

Hair care

Avoid any hair scares and make sure you have plenty of hairspray, bobby pins, hairpins, hair elastics and hair nets with you on recital day. More is also better! Fly-aways can happen during quick changes or by dancing away on stage, so these items can fix up your hairstyle in no time.

Recital day is not the time to try out that new updo you saw on Instagram. Test your hairstyle beforehand (and make sure you shake your head and dance around to be sure it’s really secure!).

For a super easy and nearly perfect ballet bun, try the Bun Builder, a fabric “doughnut” that makes it simple to create a beautiful, neat bun.

For the face

For performance day, you want to look your very best. And from the stage, that may mean putting on a little extra makeup. Don’t forget the blush and lipstick so you won’t look washed out under the stage lights. Some false eyelashes will really make your eyes pop! They arereusable, too, complete with adhesive, and are easy to remove.


After the performance, there are a couple things you can have with you that will make you feel instantly refreshed. Bring some makeup wipes to help you remove thick stage makeup quickly and refresh the face. Baby wipes or antibacterial wipes are great for your feet after sweating in shoes and dancing on what can be dirty stages. If you’re going out after your show, makeup wipes and body wipes are a must. They will also help you smell a little better, too, particularly if you use them for a quick underarm wipe.

May you enjoy a wonderful recital season. Merde!

By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa.

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