Dance Recital Etiquette for Audience Members

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I have 2 girls that are in dance classes. Throughout the year, before the dance recital, my girls along with several other girls and a few boys practice anywhere from one to six times a week. Many of these kids live for dance and are constantly focused on dance. As a mom of 2 little dancers, I enjoy watching my girls practice each week and always look forward to their annual dance recital. One thing that I am not sure that everyone knows is that dance recitals are not free and can become very costly especially if your child is in multiple dances or if you have more than 1 child. With that said, after attending my girl’s most recent dance recital I decided that it was important to share dance recital etiquette for audience members.

Know how to act before going to a dance recital.

Before a dance recital, there is a lot of preparation, cost, and time that goes into it. In an effort to pay for the recital, along with the dance pictures, DVD’s, and outfits, most parents will participate in the dance companies fundraiser to help pay for these items. In addition, these kids practice up until the day before the recital. The kids are excited and can’t wait to show their loved ones how amazing they are. Oftentimes, the day before the recital, a parent or family member has to take off of work to take their child or children to the final dance rehearsal. With all of this said, it’s important to remember, follow, and know dance recital etiquette.

Dance Recital Etiquette for Audience Members

  1. Seat Saving– In my opinion, it is okay to save up to 2 seats for guests that may not have arrived or are busy getting their dancers ready and settled. It is not and I repeat not okay to save a row of seats. Saving an entire row is, to be very honest, rude. If your party cannot arrive on time, then there is no way to justify them being able to get better seats than those that arrived on time and waited in line.
  2. Little Ones– Being a parent is hard and requires a lot of responsibility. With that said, if your little one cannot sit still or cannot handle being quiet for a long period of time then you may consider hiring a babysitter. If you are unable to hire a babysitter, which can be costly, it is important that if your child is being loud, begins to cry or scream or cannot stay in their seat that you remove them from the auditorium until they can behave. I understand that parents do not want to miss out but as a parent, it is what you have to do.
  3. Crossing Over– I was 100% guilty of this until I was corrected. If there is a performance on stage, do not cross over people to get to your seat or to leave your seat until the performance is over. These dancers are on stage for a brief moment so no one wants someone blocking their view as they try to cross over when they can simply wait for 2-3 minutes. Of course, if there is an emergency then do what you have to do.
  4. Think Before You Speak– Unless you are speaking positively about something or someone, don’t say it. You may think that your whisper is only heard by the person next to you but it’s heard by everyone around you.
  5. Food Intake– I understand that these recitals can be long, so snacking is sometimes necessary but if you need to snack then avoid loud and crunchy foods. While you are trying to watch a beautiful performance it’s very distracting to hear loud crunching.
  6. Keep Your Little Ones Quietly Entertained– Being a kid can be hard. Not every child can sit through an entire recital without wiggling or making noise, so make sure that you pack a backpack full of quiet entertainment along with quiet snacks.
  7. Dress for the Occasion– You will want to be dressed for pictures. Your little one will look adorable in their dance outfit and I am sure that you will want to have a nice picture taken with them, so make sure that you are dressed appropriately.
  8. Remember Where You Are At– As an audience member it is important that while you are watching the kids perform the dances that they worked so hard on, that you remember where you are at. You are not at a basketball game or a Pro Spirit competition. You are at a recital that has groups of kids working together to perform beautiful pieces of art. Please do not yell your child’s name, do not whistle and do not hoot and holler but instead, sit quietly and clap when it is appropriate. Yelling your child’s name at a dance recital, especially when they are dancing with a group, can not only make them nervous but it can make other kids nervous and distracted. In addition, there are most likely parents that are filming their kids and they probably don’t want their video to include your obnoxious hooting and hollering.

5 Reasons My Girls Are in Dance 

It is important that you know how to act when you are attending a dance recital. This is a must read.

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