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Dance Shows - and coping with audience numbers


Michelle275
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Hi, I’m new to this forum but am looking for a bit of advice from fellow dance teachers. I have run a dance school for over 20 years and currently have a very large number of primary-Grade 2 students. As lovely as it is, when we come to our dance shows it’s proven difficult to have enough seats per performance for parents. I can’t have more performances so I think I need to split the students into only dancing at certain performances. I just wondered how other teachers did this and how you split your school for performances. Thanks in advance for any advice.

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Hello Michelle and welcome.  I’m a parent, not a teacher, but if it helps, dd’s old school holds a Junior Show and a Senior Show.  The Junior show was always held on stage in the school hall (Secondary School with very good dance facilities where the school is based).  The Senior show is held at our local theatre and there are enough senior students to put on a matinée and an evening performance. 

 

Seniors are Grade 2 and above, I suspect this is because the numbers in grades 6-8 are smaller than in Grades 2 and 3.  Plus the show at the theatre is a very long day and would be too much for the little ones.  

 

Could a Junior show and a separate senior show work for you, or do you have so many Primary to Grade 2 you still couldn’t fit them in? 

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  • alison changed the title to Dance Shows - and coping with audience numbers

Parent and chaperone for local dance school, rather than teacher.

The dance teacher would send a letter home with each child well in advance, advising that the intention was to put on show X and give the dates and saying that they would love each child to be able to perform in x no of shows. They split the children according to which class session they were in - ie Saturday or Wednesday class for example so that younger children were still dancing with their friends - but also taking into account siblings. It sort of depends how many performances you are having for if you divide up all grades. We typically have 5 or 6 whole school performances so the lowest grades (with the biggest numbers) had 3 groups (2 or 3 performances each), middle and senior grades had 2 groups although seniors dance in all performances and alternate casts for lead roles. A letter would again go home with each child to advise parents which group - A,B,C etc their child would perform in and a letter on the noticeboard giving details of show dates, times, performances with the reminder to check that the letter re performance groups had been recieved

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We split the show a few years ago when we realised it was getting too long.  Now we have two - Junior and Senior. Junior is from Pre-Primary to Inter Foundation plus 2 or 3 showcase senior dances such as advanced pointe.  We actually limit the number of tickets that each parent can buy to 4 in the beginning and later on open it up to whoever wants to buy the remaining seats.  The Senior show starts from level 7 and we don't limit the number of tickets that each parent can buy,  because there are less groups and less students, but we still fill the town performing arts centre.   I have to say that although the senior show is very impressive and professional I do miss the babies!!  The thing is that the little ones only do one dance and it's more suitable for their parents to sit through a shorter show where the older students from Grade 3 upwards still only do two or three dances.  The Seniors have five or 6 dances each level and the dances are longer.  Younger children get tired hanging around too long and until their kids are older and taking their dancing more seriously their parents are not going to be happy sitting through a whole evening in order to see their kids on stage for a couple of minutes😕

 

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This is how we do our shows too! Babies just in the first half of the afternoon show with the older girls dancing mostly in the second half. I think its important for all the parents of the little ones to see what the older ones do, to inspire the younger ones! After the babies have danced in the first half they are chaperoned in the theatre and watch the second half with the big girls dancing! They love watching the big girls as some of them actually help in the baby classes! 

Then the evening performance is just from Grade 1 upwards as by this time they are also doing modern, tap, street etc so have more dances anyway!

It’s lovely reading how other schools do things! 

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