Elite Dance Academy is hosting its much loved Holiday Show coming up on Saturday, December 4th after not being able to in 2020 due to COVID restrictions. Here, all of our dancers will get to demonstrate to friends and family what they have been working on so far this season in their classrooms week over week to fun, upbeat holiday music. This is a great performance because it is a bit more relaxed than our year-end recital and just another chance for kids to get on that big stage for the first time in a while for many dancers and for some, maybe for the first time ever!!
We are also hosting a smaller group performance of our non-traditional Nutcracker in front of a live audience this December 11th after recording our 2020 performance with only our teachers and film crew as our cheering crowd. The kids participating and staff are so excited and so are we!
I thought I might give just a few tips to our dancers and their families to ensure great happiness and success for everyone as we head toward these great days of dance in the next couple of weeks and during this busy holiday season otherwise.
Tip # 1 – The stage may be bigger, but you have been preparing for a while.
Dancers, the stage is such a wonderful place but it can be a bit overwhelming with bright lights, vast floors and wings full of other dancers not to mention the audience full of those we care about. What you have to remember though is that most of you have been in dance classes for several months now and your teachers have been preparing you each week to lead you to these performances to be confident. Each week, they have taught you pieces of the choreography. Then, they reviewed each section and answered questions and cleaned parts of the routines that the class might not have been super comfortable with. Trust yourselves! You are not walking onto that stage cold but instead should feel full of support from your incredible teachers who led you to these special performances!
Tip # 2 – It’s okay to be nervous. In fact, it would be unique if you weren’t.
All dancers LOVE an audience but that doesn’t mean we don’t get butterflies when we think about our actual performances or right before we go on stage. That is healthy! It just means that you care about how you do and how you dance for others. So, use that nervous energy to fuel you in the days leading up to your performances. You can practice the parts that make you nervous. Go over those with a friend. Play the music and try to dance it in your head. If you can perform it in your head, you have got this!
Tip #3 – The audience LOVES you!
Keep in mind that each and every one of you has people who support you and love you unconditionally in the audience. Your parents, siblings, friends, grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins want nothing more than for you to succeed so dance hard for them and get excited about how much they will hoot and holler for you because of your dedication to dance week after week leading up to these great shows!
Tip #4 – Parents, this one’s for YOU!
Your children may not talk a lot about the shows coming up for so many reasons. They might be nervous. They might be internally processing being in front of a live audience and may have mixed emotions about that. They may not want to disappoint you. They may want to surprise you.
Rather than asking repetitively how they are feeling (I do this with my own children far too much they tell me) take their lead on how to communicate with them leading up to the big days.
My biggest piece of advice is to give positive words of encouragement whenever they talk about it. Tell them to have fun. Tell them they will be great. Remind them that they have been preparing for quite some time now. Tell them how excited you are to watch them and celebrate them. This will wrap them up in your support when they want it and not have them thinking about it when they are trying to relax the jitters away. Don’t ask if they are nervous. Don’t draw attention to what could go wrong. Don’t talk about how much you don’t want to wear a mask. Those things will stress them out even if they don’t say so.
Last but not least, try to not have show day be hectic. Have good meals, don’t rush or be late to drop off and don’t try to pack too much in on that day. Make it easy on them and on you to have great memories of the whole experience.
Tip #5 – This is the MOST IMPORTANT tip! HAVE FUN!!!
You joined dance to do just that. Have fun! Now, you may have ups and downs surrounding dance depending on what is going on at school, with family or friends or whether or not you are mastering certain steps. BUT, remember, here at Elite we want you to be strong, confident and overall HAPPY so make sure you take time during the next two weeks to remember why you LOVE dance, how your teachers and family support your love and most of all remember to have fun at Holiday Show and Nutcracker.
I can’t wait to watch each and every one of you on stage and YES, my cheering voice might be the loudest! Look out!! Love, Miss Lisa