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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #26 
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Originally Posted by melissa745
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Originally Posted by heidi459
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I'm impressed that so many of you can do it with just volunteers. I had to help my daughter with all her changes, and I made two mistakes. I left a barrette in her hair and I forgot to tell her to put her earrings in for another. And I knew what I was doing. Can't imagine the stress of making sure all the details were correct for 30 or 40 dances I'd never seen before.


Fortunately, each volunteer isn't likely to be responsible for knowing the details of every single dance.  At dd's old studio, volunteers were assigned to specific dressing rooms, each of which only held a certain number of classes.  Two adult volunteers per dressing room w/two teen helpers (older dancers).  So the only details they had to be aware of were for those particular dances.  When it comes right down to it I think the key is keeping things simple.   At that same studio for instance, toddlers/preschoolers/kindergarteners took one class w/one dance only.  The early elementary aged set would have two dances with a costume that did double duty (by adding a skirt and/or some other accessory).  And while older kids might take mulitple classes and therefore have multiple dances w/more involved costume changes, by that age they didn't need much help.  Make-up would be the same for everyone.  Hair would remain the same for all but the older kids... who were certainly more than capable of taking care of the simple style changes themselves.  It really is  just a matter of not making things overly complicated.  To be honest, I'm always surprised to hear about all the SOs who make complicated the name of the game.


eta:  no comp dances in dd's old studio's recital though.  If a studio is doing comp dances as recital dances, and making the choice to put them out there like they would at a comp, then I can see why it could be a nightmare.  


What happens if two 8 year olds have different schedules? Or maybe there was only 1 jazz for 8 year olds and you were in it or you weren't. We have probably 4 different Jazz classes for an 8 year old, then probably 6 or 7 ballets they could take. The permutations become quite large! We do have our comp dances in the recital (which I like because it discourages my family from tagging along at competition). No solid or duos either. Even our rec classes are held to the same standard at recital. Certain color lipsticks, hair a certain way, specific accessories put on in a specific way. Only the little little ones get cut any slack there. [wink] It seems we may be in the minority of having moms running back and forth the while time.


At dd's old studio they simplified the scheduling by offering combo classes thru the age of 10 or so.  Parents would just select one night or another & kids would stay for the entire block of time (altho they didn't have to, they could choose to just take 1 or 2 of the 3 if that's all they were interested in).  Then they would schedule one of those classes in the 10 am show & one in the 2 pm show (reserving the evening shows for the older dancers).   So, in the scenario you describe, each 8 yo would just be assigned to the same dressing room as the other dancers in their combo class.  And if they were in the jazz number but not the tap number, they would just stay behind in the dressing room w/the other dancers when their class went on to do their tap.  Also, comp & rec weren't separated, all classes were strictly by age & ability. Comp numbers were performed for friends/family in a showcase in early May.  It all worked pretty seamlessly. I've had a lot of complaints about that studio but not w/regards to any of these details.  By & large, I think the process served my dd very well.


i.e.  and maybe I misled you but I didn't mean to suggest it was some sort of free for all. There was indeed a certain make up, certain hair styles & specific accessories for recital... & the expectation was that everything would be picture perfect.  But, again, it was kept simple. Nothing over the top or complicated.  And like others have mentioned, the younger kids would come to the venue dressed & made up & ready to go.   A costume change for one of these combo classes would involve taking off those pants & putting on this skirt... maybe adding this headband or flower & they're good to go (combo classes only did jazz & tap numbers in the recital).    I'll be honest, I'm still trying to wrap my head around the reason why a studio would change out little kids' earrings at recital. That, along with complicated hair style changes & multiple accessories, is the stuff I'm referring to when I say it's almost asking for trouble.  It makes it almost impossible to do without mom which only serves to create a lot of chaos, both in the dressing area and in the audience (up down up down up down).  KISS is my mantra [keep it simple, stupid [smile] ]
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My2DanceLoves

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Reply with quote  #27 
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Originally Posted by heidi459
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Originally Posted by melissa745
I'm impressed that so many of you can do it with just volunteers.
I had to help my daughter with all her changes, and I made two mistakes. I left a barrette in her hair and I forgot to tell her to put her earrings in for another. And I knew what I was doing. Can't imagine the stress of making sure all the details were correct for 30 or 40 dances I'd never seen before.


Fortunately, each volunteer isn't likely to be responsible for knowing the details of every single dance.  At dd's old studio, volunteers were assigned to specific dressing rooms, each of which only held a certain number of classes.  Two adult volunteers per dressing room w/two teen helpers (older dancers).  So the only details they had to be aware of were for those particular dances.  When it comes right down to it I think the key is keeping things simple.   At that same studio for instance, toddlers/preschoolers/kindergarteners took one class w/one dance only.  The early elementary aged set would have two dances with a costume that did double duty (by adding a skirt and/or some other accessory).  And while older kids might take mulitple classes and therefore have multiple dances w/more involved costume changes, by that age they didn't need much help.  Make-up would be the same for everyone.  Hair would remain the same for all but the older kids... who were certainly more than capable of taking care of the simple style changes themselves.  It really is  just a matter of not making things overly complicated.  To be honest, I'm always surprised to hear about all the SOs who make complicated the name of the game.


eta:  no comp dances in dd's old studio's recital though.  If a studio is doing comp dances as recital dances, and making the choice to put them out there like they would at a comp, then I can see why it could be a nightmare.  




Our level classes are assigned 1 of 2 dressing rooms.  These kids have maybe 2 dances ...3 at the most.  Our SO stresses dancers being responsible for their own accessories , getting changed from a pretty young age.  It really works out well when they are all in a room with the rest of their group , they help each other get ready.  Company is assigned a large dressing room right behind the stage. Any comp numbers are going to be comprised of Company dancers so same dressing room. 
All of our comp dances are in recital , most in both shows but SO tries as hard a possible to schedule in a way that makes it as easy as possible for those with the most dances (usually those who are on comp team).  But like Heidi mentioned they don't expect the comp routines to go on with full make up or a hair change like at a comp so it's not that difficult for the dancers to handle it all themselves.   

I think it boils down to the preparedness of the dancers and how complicated the studio makes it.  Again though ,  it also has everything to do with what the studio promotes.  Ours kind of shows the parents that the dancers are self sufficient if you let them be.  And then forces the parents to let them be. LOL.  At least when it comes to show time anyway.  [smile]
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kmpmom

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Reply with quote  #28 
Studio 1:  bliss.  Drop at the stage door; go watch the show; pick up after final bow.  Haven't a clue what happened back there in between and I don't care.  There were a bunch of names in the program as "volunteers" so I supposed they did it.  [smile]

Studio 2:  mayhem.  And families leaving the theatre as soon as their kid's routine is finished.  Just drives me N-U-T-S.  
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novadancemom

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Reply with quote  #29 
Our old studio (DD16 has switched since recital) did not have backstage moms at all. Of course some of the younger girls mothers stayed and helped their kids and I would say those ages were around 4-9. After 9, most people in our studio leave the kids alone. My DD has been doing her own hair, makeup, and quick changes since she was 11.  The girls help each other out as much as they can too. This year my daughter had 1-2 dances between all of her own dances and she managed to do a complete hair change, costume change, tight change, shoe change, and makeup touch-ups with the help of her friends. She told me they had a system! LOL. I am so glad I am out of the needing help stage!
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dave9988

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Reply with quote  #30 
Backstage (dressing room) moms for the younger kids, but we don't have 80 numbers.  Probably not even half of that.  Backstage moms are allowed to leave their post to watch their own kid if they've got multiple kids, etc.  No one else backstage.  Older kids are on their own.
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aldcfan

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Reply with quote  #31 
When I used to dance there was a junior and a senior show meaning age range 3-8 did the junior show and 8 and up did the senior show. Also we put a few competition numbers in the junior show to show the parents what would be coming if their child stuck with dance. We had 2 senior show and 1 junior show. For the junior show they had about 2 class moms who helped with changes as well as getting the girls on stage as well as the teen and senior company stepping in to help as well. The senior show the girls up to age 12 usually had 2 parents back stage after that the girls were on their own. The teen and senior company were pretty great at doing quick changes fixing hair and never had an issue. Any of the recital moms for the junior show got to watch their dancers from back stage. They missed the show but some parents would rather stay back stage with their kids. Also the older girls would help the younger girls in the senior recital if they had a moment though as many know during recital moments are pretty hard to come by.
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Daniella03

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Reply with quote  #32 
So how our recital ran, at least one mom for each night volunteered to be group mom for a number. Your responsibility wasn't to get the kids changed etc but to help keep them entertained and quieter in the dressing room. Taking them to the rehearsal area to do their run through with a teacher or assistant. Then getting them lined up and ready to hand over to the backstage manager. Then waiting for them to come off of the stage. And pass them off to the next mom for the next number.

As far as getting kids ready it's every mom for her self. A group of us swapped off, half watched the first night and then half helped each others kids backstage and then its was swapped so everyone got to watch the full recital and not worry about their kids.

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melissa745

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Reply with quote  #33 

All these posts have really made me rethink the way we do things. If only I had any say in the matter, LOL! [smile]

My DD is 10, and she was 90% independent, but still needed a bit of help. I didn't mind helping, but it was a lot of back and forth for me. 

I think the way our recital works there are just too many variables with kids. It doesn't HAVE to be that way, of course, but right now it is. Too many little girls to keep track of. I figure it's just a few more years and then she'll be able to handle it all by herself. 

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dirtchic

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Reply with quote  #34 
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Originally Posted by melissa745

All these posts have really made me rethink the way we do things. If only I had any say in the matter, LOL! [smile]

My DD is 10, and she was 90% independent, but still needed a bit of help. I didn't mind helping, but it was a lot of back and forth for me. 

I think the way our recital works there are just too many variables with kids. It doesn't HAVE to be that way, of course, but right now it is. Too many little girls to keep track of. I figure it's just a few more years and then she'll be able to handle it all by herself. 



At both DD's old studio and her new one, only parent volunteers are allowed backstage. At the old studio the staff handled 90% of the work. The only thing the parent volunteer had to do was to get the kid to the right place for their next dance.

This is my first recital at our new studio. This studio sounds a bit like yours, there are easily 50 dances and no 2 dances has the exact same dancers. I volunteered to work the company dressing room during the first show. I am assigned 3 dancers, between those 3 dancers there are 25 costume changes! The parents were told to send their children with costumes labeled. I highly doubt that happens but I have been watching the tech rehearsals so I have an idea of what costumes are with which dance. 1 of the girls is mine and she has 10 of the costume changes so that will make it easier for me. Luckily DD handles her changes on her own so it won't be much work for the other Mom.

I will be given a spreadsheet that tells me which dances each of the girls is in. Dress rehearsal is tomorrow night so we are going to test the dressing room that time too. In theory it sounds great but ask me again on Sunday. haha
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #35 
I was always in charge of the baby room (2-4/5/6 years old).  Some of them only had one dance which was great but some had 2 or 3.  I was amazed at how well the parents prepared them to do it on their own.  I had to help with tights and hair stuff but other than that they all knew what costume had what pieces and how it went on.  Kids are way smarter than we give them credit for.
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melissa745

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Reply with quote  #36 
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Originally Posted by tappinmom
I was always in charge of the baby room (2-4/5/6 years old).  Some of them only had one dance which was great but some had 2 or 3.  I was amazed at how well the parents prepared them to do it on their own.  I had to help with tights and hair stuff but other than that they all knew what costume had what pieces and how it went on.  Kids are way smarter than we give them credit for.


I'm pretty sure all the kids at our studio know which pieces go with which costume. They don't know the order, but it was hanging up all over the dressing room, so they could figure it out if they were old enough to read. Plus, the other girls know who is missing from their dances and they are great at looking out for each other.

I just don't think my DD10 was physically capable of doing the changes as quickly as she needed to by herself. I was there to tape up spats, fix earrings, etc. She only needed a minute or two of my time, but with hundreds of girls I would think it would be overwhelming. And the moms certainly don't know what goes with every costume.

She had 5 dances in the first act, some of them only had 4 dances in between, so the sheer mental task of remembering everything while still catching her breath is a lot for a 10 year old.

I like the way some of your schools do it. It is very interesting!!
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #37 
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Originally Posted by melissa745
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Originally Posted by tappinmom
I was always in charge of the baby room (2-4/5/6 years old).  Some of them only had one dance which was great but some had 2 or 3.  I was amazed at how well the parents prepared them to do it on their own.  I had to help with tights and hair stuff but other than that they all knew what costume had what pieces and how it went on.  Kids are way smarter than we give them credit for.


I'm pretty sure all the kids at our studio know which pieces go with which costume. They don't know the order, but it was hanging up all over the dressing room, so they could figure it out if they were old enough to read. Plus, the other girls know who is missing from their dances and they are great at looking out for each other.

I just don't think my DD10 was physically capable of doing the changes as quickly as she needed to by herself. I was there to tape up spats, fix earrings, etc. She only needed a minute or two of my time, but with hundreds of girls I would think it would be overwhelming. And the moms certainly don't know what goes with every costume.

She had 5 dances in the first act, some of them only had 4 dances in between, so the sheer mental task of remembering everything while still catching her breath is a lot for a 10 year old.

I like the way some of your schools do it. It is very interesting!!


I know when we switched to this studio when DS was 9 years old I was freaked out when I heard that I wasn't allowed to be backstage at all for our pre comp show.  For that show there are no parent volunteers and the only helpers are the DT's.  DS was used to me being there to do it all for him but he stepped up and managed it all alone and it was so nice to be able to sit and actually watch the show without having to worry about running back and forth.
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amandafarris03

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Reply with quote  #38 
at our studio each group has a "team/class mom" they are the ones that are responsible for getting the girls ready.  my daughter is 11 and really only needs help getting things unhooked.  but i've been doing dance most of my life so i LOVE helping backstage.  it's fun for me.  so i'm always back there helping where i can - calling dances - helping the rec students stay quite back stage and make sure they aren't running around.
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jazzminesun81

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Reply with quote  #39 
At our studio, recital is held in a professional theatre and for security reasons you check your child in an hour before performance and you don't get them back until you check them out after the show. They even stamp your hand, and it has to be the same person signing out as signing in. When you're signing in, the dancers must appear fully dressed and made up for whatever their first number is for that show. They have 3 shows, around 30 numbers per show, and the dancers are separated into different green rooms/dressing rooms based on age/level. They have parent volunteers to supervise dressing rooms, run dancers to and from stage, manage props, usher and work security. Last year was my 1st year volunteering, and I was assigned to the Rainbow Room, where they keep all the younger dancers (my daughter included). They have several volunteers there, and we all shared the responsibility of watching the kids and helping taking care of changes. DD and the other minis had 2 costumes/3 numbers for that show, and there was plenty of time. I've heard that in the other rooms, they're still a parent volunteer, but the kids typically change themselves. It's like a party in those dressing rooms, so the kids love staying back stage. They hang out with each other, watch the show on monitors, play games and eat tons of snacks.
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dirtchic

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Reply with quote  #40 
So we had our recital last weekend. I was in charge of 3 girls who had a total of 25 costume changes. I ended up helping out a couple of other girls because of logistics issues. 

Here is what I can say:

1. For a seasoned dance Mom this is totally doable. As I said I was able to help my 3 plus another 2. 

2. Being present for the dress rehearsal is an absolute must! We figured out that 2 of the changes needed to be quick changes

3. All shoes with laces needed to be untied and ready to slip on

4. Put paws on and leave them on all evening

5. Part of the job is to make sure the kids are refueling constantly

6. Pull out the next costume and have it off the hanger and ready to go by the time the dancer ends up in the dressing room

Show 1 went very smoothly. Show 2, the one I didn't help out backstage for, 1 of the 2 extra girls that i was helping, ended up on stage with her shirt half on.  The Mom who was in charge is a first year dance Mom and a bit confused about the whole thing. DD said that the Mom would be in the other room talking to other dance Mom's while DD was struggling to get into her costumes. Luckily another Mom ended up helping DD out. DD said the Mom in charge would come into the room and say 'oh your back and already dressed! That was easy!'
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dave9988

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Reply with quote  #41 
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Originally Posted by dirtchic
Luckily another Mom ended up helping DD out. DD said the Mom in charge would come into the room and say 'oh your back and already dressed! That was easy!'


Roger that, most jobs are easy when others do it for you!!
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LeapYear0208

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Reply with quote  #42 
I always volunteer as a room mom, for every class I can. I have NEVER gotten to watch a recital. 

My kids have always also been in more than 1 dance each year. Sometimes they were during the same recital time and sometimes not. Our studio has 6 shows over 4 days. This past recital 3 weeks ago.. my kids were in 4 of the 6. The 6yr olds (group my oldest was with) had some dancers that changed 4 times during one of the shows. We had extra room moms and I had my friend come to help out. 2 people tag teamed each kid that had to change. I brought a garment rack and had a line up of the shows. We helped change costumes and tights if we needed to (luckily we only had to change tights 1-2x per kid) had one person start to help get their new costume on while another pulled out hair and started getting it up into the next style and changing lipstick if necessary. This was obviously more difficult with the kids that had to change 4x vs the kids that had to change 1-2 times. 

Moms can't come back to the dressing room until intermission if they are in the audience. It wouldnt be worth it either because by the time one dance came off stage they had 2-4 minutes to change for the next one. Honestly, us room moms would prefer parents/siblings not come back during intermission,(especially for  the younger kids). By intermission we usually have everyone in a rhythm and it just messes everything up. Kids want to go with parents, they bring back flowers/gifts and it just causes chaos. 

I am not sure what I will do next summer because my kids will be in different dressing rooms. I am hoping their dances are spread out enough over the different shows that I can run back and forth to help out in both rooms. My oldest is taking 3 classes but my youngest is taking 5. So my youngest has a high probability of needing to change 3-5 times in 1 show. 

We have a parent meeting about 4 weeks before recital during class. That helps a bit. We can ask the teachers for a list of kids that are in multiple classes. But by then we usually know who is and who isn't.

It is doable, but the moms that volunteer need to understand what they are in for when working with the kids that have a lot of changes. Know the kids that need to change and the order they need to change in. Having extra moms that are comfortable changing kids and doing hair/makeup is key. It is also important that the children know that they are going to have the room moms messing with outfits and hair.
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melissa745

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Reply with quote  #43 
Do your moms need to have CORI/SORI checks done? I would think it might be a potential liability to have people changing six year old girls out of tights (ie, be naked) in front of a stranger.

Edited to add: this is different than a girl who is changing her own tights. These moms sound like they are the ones removing clothing.
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LeapYear0208

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Reply with quote  #44 
Quote:
Originally Posted by melissa745
Do your moms need to have CORI/SORI checks done? I would think it might be a potential liability to have people changing six year old girls out of tights (ie, be naked) in front of a stranger. Edited to add: this is different than a girl who is changing her own tights. These moms sound like they are the ones removing clothing.


We did help put tights on, the child usually took their own tights off (and then we would hold the costume out for them to step into so they didnt have to sit on the ground)-very few chairs. They had a hard time getting their other pair of tights on after dancing in a few numbers almost back to back. They were 5-6-7yr olds. I am cleared both CORI and SORI because of my occupation. But not all moms are to my knowledge. I have never really thought about it. We covered the girls up the best we could ((there were 3-4 other classes in the same dressing room)) and would help them get their feet in and the girl would usually pull them up themselves unless they needed help. Both of my kids can put their own tights on, but some can't. My oldest sometimes has problems getting them pulled all the way up. We are even told to make sure they don't have underwear on (if they do (which does happen even though we are told multiple times to NOT have underwear on the kids) and the mom isn't there a staff member will usually take the girl and help her out of them). 
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LeapYear0208

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Reply with quote  #45 
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Originally Posted by 1tinydancer
We always layer tights and do one of two things depending on the color of the tights and order of the dances. The dancer would either wear two pairs and take off one or keep the original on and put the second pair on top.


Depending on the order and color of tights it would work. But we can't have stirrups over another pair (even if convertible because there would be a bunch at the ankle) and we can't have them under because you can see the outline of the stirrup cut under footed tights (and a lot of younger kids will complain about it being uncomfortable). We also sometimes have black tights which we could essentially put over any color but can't have them under another color (which would be fine if he parents make sure their kids are in the lighter color first and just put the black over). Something to make sure our parents of changers know for next year. None of our kids had doubled up tights this past recital and I honestly didn't think about it. The trouble will come with the stirrup tights. I tried pulling them over my kids feet once to put tap shoes on for another class before an acro class and she complained the whole time. I don't want to do that to a dancer before a big performance.
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ggsmith

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Reply with quote  #46 
DD has worn as many as 3 layers of tights and pulled layers on and off for quick changes.  They were all convertible, no stirrups.  Luckily she only had footless for acro and they were the last pair and she had 3 or 4 numbers to change tights.  If you are dealing with quick changes (3-6 minutes) the kids don't have time to notice tight shoes or lumps.  They are running on and off stage too fast.  If there is time to notice tight shoes or lumps in the shoes and complain, there is probably time to change tights, in my experience.  I noticed last recital there were kids that obviously rolled up convertible tights under another pair of tights, and it was both noticeable and ugly from the audience.  This was dd's old comp/rec studio.  

One Nutcracker was quick change from party boy to rat; out one side of the stage, around, and back in the other side.  Black tights under white tights were not even noticeable from the audience.  I was sure they would be gray or at least dingy looking but they looked like the same as the tights the other "boys" wore.
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meatball77

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Reply with quote  #47 
Our mice in nutcracker always had a quick change that involved tights (and leos with attached gloves).  It was our youngest dancers and they were fantastic, all we had to do was hand them their outfits and then pin their ear hats on.
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LeapYear0208

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Reply with quote  #48 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ggsmith
DD has worn as many as 3 layers of tights and pulled layers on and off for quick changes.  They were all convertible, no stirrups.  Luckily she only had footless for acro and they were the last pair and she had 3 or 4 numbers to change tights.  If you are dealing with quick changes (3-6 minutes) the kids don't have time to notice tight shoes or lumps.  They are running on and off stage too fast.  If there is time to notice tight shoes or lumps in the shoes and complain, there is probably time to change tights, in my experience.  I noticed last recital there were kids that obviously rolled up convertible tights under another pair of tights, and it was both noticeable and ugly from the audience.  This was dd's old comp/rec studio.  

One Nutcracker was quick change from party boy to rat; out one side of the stage, around, and back in the other side.  Black tights under white tights were not even noticeable from the audience.  I was sure they would be gray or at least dingy looking but they looked like the same as the tights the other "boys" wore.


See, my kid is one that will notice. She is very sensitive to that stuff. Even with a quick change and her mind on the dance if something is off with her tights in shoes she will get frazzled.

I guess I never put much thought into helping dancers change. It is essentially up to the kids parents to leave the different tights with us so I assume they know we will help them in/out of tights/costumes if need be. I find it easier and less stressful for my kids if I roll the tight to the bottom, place their foot in and pull it up to the ankle and do the same for the other side and then the kid can finish the job. Lesser chance of a snag. Which would be horrible to have happen (and we did with 1 pair this past recital, but she had time to change into a different pair that her mom had in her bag) while running to get backstage again. She had a large enough snag that it turned into a hole the second she bent her leg.

When I posted before I chose the wrong words/phrasing. I should have clarified what I meant with a 'stranger' helping the kids with different things. I mainly meant hair. This past recital we had kids going from pig tails, to a bun, to half up, to a high pony. Even if the child took it 100% upon herself to change her tights/costumes, she had to be comfortable with us changing her hair. My oldest hates when I do her hair, let alone someone she doesn't really know besides in between classes 1x a week. While I changed hair and pinned head pieces on, someone else put shoes on because I needed the dancers head quiet/straight, not worrying about shoes.

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disneymom2two

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Reply with quote  #49 
Our studio has specific moms listed as backstage moms and supposedly no others can get back there.  I've gotten back as long as I don't go at intermission which is when someone is guarding the door.  When we go in in the morning, we hang everything up on rods we bring in in labeled garment bags with shoes, etc together so its easy to find everything.  my daughter had one dance that was different than most of her friends because she took a different jazz class to accommodate her chorus schedule; it resulted in a quick change from jazz to hip hop.  The 2 moms who did her quick change said they just barely made it ripping one costume off and getting the next one on (the arms of the hip hop were fishnet which made it difficult to get on especially since she was so sweaty by then). 
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