In January of every year, the attention at almost all dance studios turns toward the June recital. Blue Dog Dance is no exception. By January the theme of the upcoming recital has already been chosen and the teachers have been working hard at choosing music and starting their choreography.
A dance recital by definition is a performance of choreographed movement art with or without music. But anyone who has danced or watched a performance knows it is much more than that. Dance is an expression of emotion but it is also the emotion itself. Dance is telling a story while being the story. It is the extension of life and the expressive art of history.
There are some fantastic benefits to dance and in particular to dance recitals both for the dancer and for those who come to watch the performance.
Let us start with muscle memory. Often a dancer comes into class not quite remembering the steps they learned the previous week. But as soon as that music starts their minds light up and their muscles just know what to do. Even on recital day, it is not uncommon for dancers to not remember all the steps while even waiting in the wings to start – but when that music starts, the curtains go up and the lights come on. It is showtime, and there they are…all the steps so well choreographed wowing the audience.
Another benefit is confidence. Many a dancer (both young and older) may start their dancing journey with little self-confidence. Learning their steps, and doing class every week not only strengthens their bodies but it also strengthens their minds and in so doing builds their confidence.
Achieving a dance goal is another great benefit to dance recitals. This is especially true if some new steps or combinations need to be learned and mastered. The feeling of achievement is a great mood booster and a great step on the confidence ladder.
Core memories are so vital in growing up and dance recitals are indeed great core memories. Some of my fondest memories as a child, a teen, and now an adult tap dancer are of my dance recitals. When you are young and you have friends or family in the audience, you feel proud to show what you have achieved.
Another key benefit of recitals is learning to participate as part of a team. Many assume that dancing is a solitary experience but nothing could be further from the truth.
In class, you learn from your classmates and you learn to dance together as one. Recital performances cement that benefit. Even if you learn a solo, you are still part of the bigger team. All your dance mates are there for you, support you, and celebrate with you. As a dancer, dance recitals are a vital part of your studio life: from learning how to work in a team, to showcasing your achievements in front of family and friends in a theatre to the exhilaration of being backstage and the thrill of entering the lobby to greet the audience after a brilliant performance. There is nothing that can top a recital experience – especially a Blue Dog recital!