Ask Rhee Gold | The Importance of the Recital

Advice for dance teachers | The Importance of the Recital

Q: Dear Rhee,

At the end of last season, I had parents who were upset because they thought the recital experience was too much trouble. One parent actually sent me an email to say her child would not be returning unless I decided to drop the recital. I would never do this, and I think that many parents would not return if we didn’t have a recital. Do you have any advice on how I can better present the benefits of a recital for the children? Any info is appreciated. —Barb

A: Dear Barb,

Yes, I do have some advice on this matter. My response is an excerpt from a recital handbook that I created for studio families.

Dear parents and students,

For years, our school has provided students with an exciting performance experience through its recital. The recital—that annual staple of the dance school—conjures images of childhood and Americana for many. It’s a rite of passage for thousands of youngsters, a chance to shine in front of family and friends that students anticipate with nervous excitement.

The recital offers our students a professionally directed performance that allows them to present to their families and friends the results of a year’s hard work and dedication.

A big part of dance training is learning through performance. Although performance opportunities can help prepare some students for a possible career in dance, they also contribute to children’s success in non-dance activities. The performing experience helps build self-esteem and self-confidence and can result in better in-school presentations and improved social skills.

The rehearsal process is a tremendous learning experience as well. It helps the children develop retention skills, and by working with their classmates on a group performance, they learn the positive aspects of working as a team to create the best result.

Dedication to recital commitments is the responsibility of both students and their parents. We’ve created this handbook in an effort to clarify what we expect from you in terms of commitments and responsibility to the annual recital, the school, and other students and parents.

I hope this helps. —Rhee