Dance Recital Guide: Costumes and Show Day

Check out the second installment of our Dance Recital Guide! The first blog can be found HERE. This one is all about taking care of your costume and getting ready for the big show day. Special thanks once again to Ms. Ayleen for writing this helpful content.

Costume Care:

  • If your costume gets dirty, spot clean with cold water and mild soap.
  • DO NOT use washing machines, dry cleaning, or ironing.
  • If needed, gently steam the costume using a garment steamer to remove wrinkles.

Shoe Care:

  • For leather shoes, use matching foundation to cover up dark spots and abrasions for photos.
  • For canvas shoes, gently spot clean with cold water and mild soap.

Costume Preparation:

  • Make sure costumes are neatly hung up.
  • Talk with your dance teacher about specific problems such as itchiness or undergarments showing before the show day.
  • Wear seamless and skin-colored undergarments or a leotard under your costume
  • Make sure straps are clear and/or convertible. This ensures that no straps are visible on stage.

To keep the fluff and poofiness of the costume:

  • Hang costume upside down
  • Gently use hairspray on the bottom of the tutu to keep its shape
  • Gently and lightly hairspray tights to prevent rips


Show Day Preparation and Tips:

  • Bring hair and makeup items in an extra bag for emergency touchups.
  • If participating in more than one dance, bring bags to separate shoes, costumes, and accessories.
  • Assigned backstage parents will be made aware of costume changes. Review costume changes with them and let them know if you will need assistance.
  • Set up a small station for your costume change. Take your costume out of your garment bag, lay shoes on the floor beside it, and have all accessories close by and ready to go.

Bonus Tips:

  • If possible, bring an extra pair of tights in case of a rip.
  • Use body glue if your dancer is doing tricks, doesn't wear tights, or if the costume moves a lot.
  • For any questions regarding costumes, please ask your dance instructor.
  • Label the dancer's name on the costume, tights, and shoes.

Recital Checklist:

  • Checked dancer information sheet
  • Bought tickets
  • Packed hair supplies for touchups
  • Packed makeup for touchups
  • Packed a small snack
  • Packed a lot of water
  • Packed backup tights (if you have extra)


Dealing With Nerves:

Recital day is a very special day for all of us. All season long, our dancers have made bonds with their dance friends, had fun in class, and practiced their dance to show a big audience. However, for many, this is their first time on stage. Even if they have done a show before, the nerves may still be there. Here are some ways to help ease their nerves on show day:

  • Find a story or book that relates to your dancer. My personal favorite is “The Night Before My Dance Recital”
  • Write a special note for your dancer to read backstage.
  • Talk to your little dancer. Ask them what their favorite part about dance is! Get them excited about being able to dance again!
  • After the show make them feel special! Getting on stage and dancing is a huge success. We are proud of our dancers for following their passions and we want to encourage that and help them find confidence on stage, before and after a show.



We can't wait for our big Spring Dance Recital, and we hope that this information is helpful to our dancers! Remember to check out the other half of this guide as well as our other posts on the Knowledge Blog. Until next time, keep dancing, and see you at the show!