At The Ballet Studio, we do a full performance every other year. Performance years are always a lot of hard work, but when the shows come together, it really is rewarding. And then the year off from a performance is a nice change to focus our energy elsewhere. This year with the launch of Lafayette School of Performing Arts, we are doing a holiday show in addition to our regular year-end performance, so this topic is on our minds a lot as we adjust our schedule and take a closer look at what makes things work smoothly.
So let's chat about preparing for a show...
Putting on a show is way more complex than what the untrained eye sees. The audience may think it's all costumes and choreography, but we know it takes so much more! We picture it like the circus performer who spins plates and wins over the crowd... It may not seem like the most original act and when done well looks effortless, but it ends up being mesmerizing and when you think about it quite mind-boggling. Isn't putting on some type of performance what everyone expects from a dance school, but isn't it also incredible that even after a performance leaves us completely exhausted, we agree to do it again, over and over, again and again? That's because even though we are sweating it balancing all those plates (that we often feel like we are single handedly spinning!) and hoping desperately that we don't drop and crash one or all of them, all the audience sees is something they love! And when we get glimpses from the wings of what we've taught in action, the joy of all the dancers, and the pride of their families... that makes all the hard work fade into the background, just long enough to convince us to do it once again.
So let's take a closer look, how do you keep all your plates spinning, and what's even on all those plates?! Just like the circus performer, making it look easy requires practice, practice, practice and dropping plates often leads to the most learning — what have you learned in your years of experience and from past mistakes? Do theatre rentals and ticket coordination make you cringe, but tiny tots dancing onto stage for the first time melt your heart? We can't wait to hear, and especially look forward to responses to the last question below. Leave your thoughts below, please and thanks!
Here are some questions to get the conversation started:
- How often do you have performances and/or recitals at your studio?
- Tell us a bit about what your performance and/or recitals are like!
- What is your process like for preparing for performances and recitals?
- How do you decide on the content — music, choreography, theme, story, etc.?
- What's your time-frame for pulling it all together?
- What parts do you most like about preparing and putting on a show?
- And what parts do you least enjoy about it all?
- Where are you currently at in this process?
- How do you help your dancers prepare for performances — from learning choreography to keeping backstage nerves at bay and everything in-between?
- What are three things you could do now to create a less stressful performance experience?
Feel free to share anything else, like your most memorable performance stories and those tips to keep you sane through it all. And come back often to see what others have to say too!