By Angelina Ballerina
Dancing on stage can be a thrill for you and your child. It can also make you both a little nervous! If you’re prepared for the big day, you’re more likely to have fun and enjoy this special moment.
- Practice makes perfect—or at least, more prepared and confident. Take your child to all scheduled classes and rehearsals if you possibly can. Also work at home, encouraging and watching your dancer run through the routine. Ask the teacher for a copy of the performance song so you’ll have it handy.
- Stay calm. Remember that kids pick up on grown-ups’ feelings surprisingly well. If you’re anxious about your child’s performance, your dancer may well start to feel nervous too. So do your best to project a mood of reassuring calm (even if you have a belly full of butterflies).
- Attend the dress rehearsal. Most teachers will insist on it and it’s a good way for your child to become familiar with the venue, costume, and makeup (if she’ll be wearing it—many dance schools do urge performers, even preschoolers, to wear makeup so their features will be visible from the audience). This rehearsal is often your best (sometimes only) opportunity to photograph or record your child’s performance, so bring your camera!
- Rest up and fuel up. On performance day and the days leading up to it, help your child get plenty of rest and eat healthy foods. This will help your dancer feel better, physically and emotionally.
- Be ready with reassuring words. Before the show, remind your dancer that you are proud of them for working so hard. After the dance, remind them how well they did and don’t focus on any missteps.
- Pack smart. Along with your child’s costume and any accessories, bring a hairbrush, bobby pins, safety pins, baby wipes, clear nail polish (to stop runs in tights) and a stain removing pen or wipe. Make a checklist and arrive at the performance venue with plenty of time to prepare.
- Celebrate! After the performance, surprise your dancer with a small gift, such as a bouquet of flowers.