The Magic of the Recital Season

Level Up Performing Arts Center. Dance recital season

Almost 2 decades ago when we opened there a few things on our list of must haves….one of them was more stage time for our dancers.  Now let me explain, while 95% of our student body take more than 3 classes, those weren’t the dancers on my heart.  It was the dancers who come for ONE class or the 3 year old that has a 2 minute moment to create a memory and honestly sometimes it was one filled with tears and uncertainty.  I mean just close your eyes and imagine dancing under the lights, blinded with almost 700 people looking back at you…… Yep uncertainty LOL and it surely right sizes the expectation we should have from these dancers young and old!

Que Opening and Finale music here ;).  Opening and Finale is something that ALL our dancers partake in. It’s not just a curtain call. It’s not just the Elite dancers. It’s EVERY DANCER, EVERY AGE, EVERY LEVEL. If you visit around-we are also the only place to make sure this happens year after year and show after show! It’s a way to start the stage experience as a full team, celebrating what’s to come. It’s a way to give the dancers on a large scale a sense of what the feeling will be and see the courage from their peers on the stage and ramp up the excitement. Opening is a chance to not only be seen but set the tone for the excitement to come. It’s a time when those curtains go up that EVERY DANCER opens the show whether it’s just a wave, an 8 count or they are part of the larger routine (which by the way is offered to EVERY DANCER!). Fast forward to the Finale and how we wrap the show the same thing goes. Once dancers perform that last step, that last routine they are ready for MORE. In all seriousness, the months before recital aren’t always “FUN”, cleaning the same 16 counts to excellence. It’s the attention to discipline to work the FUNdamentals that make the recital experience a success and that feeling when the FINALE music turns on IS the trophy. It’s important that we teach our dancers to push through because once you get great at something to become better you must push past the not so fun which is also sometimes just called “good ole hard work”. Finale…..it’s the moment their minds say “Well done.”  It’s the moment their hearts say “I want to do this again!”, and it’s the memory made that stays with them forever. 

Over the last 20 years you can only imagine the amount of tuition gifted through these  rehearsals and performances but we wouldn’t change it for the world and would do the investment 100 times over. We wouldn’t change hundreds of kids cheering for one another in the wings as groups come on and off. We wouldn’t change the life lessons learned in the 3 hour jam sessions of choreography or in classes (it’s all relative to age right?<3”). We wouldn’t change the push, the drive, the expectation to show up as their best self. We wouldn’t change the opportunity to see these beautiful souls grace the stage just one.more.time. If I can selfishly add, I wouldn’t change the opportunity to do what I do best. Build champions through dance. 

I always tell the dancers, your entrance is your Introduction to the world and your Finale is your legacy that you leave. Make it strong. Starting the year strong is good, but working through the hard, hustling through the not so fun, and celebrating how you finish with JOY, Integrity and Excellence—-now that’s EPIC and that’s how Champions are built. 

Looking forward to seeing you on the Opening and Finale Dance floor;).

All My Best,

Miss Jennifer


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