3 Ways To Run Tiny Tot Recitals Successfully


Let's talk tot about tiny tot recitals now. I think you actually have a lot of options and a lot of flexibility with recitals for this age group (3-6 years). And really these can be any sort of parent performance. 

So, if you've got your tiny tots in your big recital with all of your other students, and that works well for you, then I think you can just continue to do that. I think that works fine. I did that for a lot of years, especially when I just had just a couple of tiny tot classes and my studio was small it made sense to just have everybody in one performance. So I think that that can work fine, but as your program grows, I want to suggest some additional ideas for you. 

Now, the other extreme from the big onstage performance in a professional theater, if I were to start a tiny top program from scratch, I actually wouldn't even do an onstage performance for tiny tot at all.

If you're incorporating a lot of what we've discussed in this blog so far with the very highly choreographed beautiful experience for tiny tots. So we're toting about the themes and the imagery and the playlist and the props, and all of that stuff built in, I think those parent performances going on every quarter at the end of every session, can be plenty for three-year-olds, four-year-olds, five-year-olds, I really do. 

You can even bump those up a notch. So you could even get little costumes,  that you could do them on a dress up basis where,  I've ordered like a bunch of just smalls and mediums, like 10 or 20 costumes, and all the tiny top classes just wear them like on a dress up basis for parent performances.

So they're still getting the costume experience, they're still getting all of that in class without the onstage performance. So you can make those parent performances,  as souped up as you want to be, or you can just keep them very basic. So, there are some really simple solutions to incorporate, even like the costumes to make those in-class parent performances special. 

Parents at this age are looking for the best experience for their child. They're looking for fun and easy and,  very warm and nurturing and so I think if you are just incorporating a lot of these ideas from this blog and you've just got a really great tiny tot program you can easily end each themed-session with an in-class parent performance every quarter before moving into the next session or the next theme,  I think that that can be plenty. 

Your three, fours, and five-year-olds will enroll session after session, month after month,  for a year, two years, three years, just fine under those conditions. That's plenty of parent performance for those ages. 

Now that being said, I think,  so I've got another idea for in-between. So we've got the extreme,  just put them in with the older kids, with the big onstage performance end of year recital, that can work fine. Then we've got the other extreme where we're not doing any onstage recital for Tiny Tots, but we're just creating this really awesome program for Tiny Tots, but we're never going past the in-class parent performance, even if we make that super awesome with,  dress up costumes and themes and themed playlists and all of that.

Now, in between, I'll give you another way to run tiny tot recitals, and this is my favorite way to do it. 

If you've got several tiny tot classes, so if you've got say, 10 or 15 tiny top classes, then I like to break them up into groups of like four or five classes and have them do their own recital on stage. But these are like 30-minute performances on stage, and there's no rehearsal time. The students do not go backstage. They're very, very easy shows to produce. These are tiny tot recitals, designed for tiny tots, designed for the parents, and designed for these youngest students. 

So let me walk you through how this would work. So, okay, say we've got 10 or 15 classes and we're breaking them up into,  four or five groups and we'll call that group A, group B, group C, group D, and they each got their own 30-minute recital on stage in the theater.

So, if we've got our older kids maybe performing that night, and we're going to use the morning time for all of our tot classes. So group A, they show up in their costume, hair, makeup, whatever they want do with their parents. And I always leave that up to the parent, whatever they want to do, and I might give them a couple of options for their hair. 

They can wear all the way back or half up, half down. Makeup is optional. So if that's fun for them, by all means, wear make-up if. If a parent's not comfortable with that, you do not have to,  it doesn't matter to me, whatever the family's comfortable with.

They show up,  half an hour before showtime. So if the first recital is at 10:00 AM that first group of,  five classes or four classes shows up at 9:30. They check in with us in the lobby. So now we're talking about,  40 or 50 families showing up at one time. So it's a small group, showing up, checking in very easily. 

We open the theater doors,  15- 20 minutes before each performance. The child is sitting in the theater with their parent or whoever is with them. Normally, with tiny tots there’s 10 people with them. So it's the grandma, the aunts, the uncles, the cousins, everybody comes to a tiny tot recital. But the child, the performing child, is sitting with their family. 

Then, at showtime, usually me or instructor, we are emceeing the performance live and it's very casual and we've got,  house lights up enough so that everybody can see. And then,  we're announcing,  “next up is, Miss Tammy's  Saturday 10:00 AM class, come on up” and all the kids get up and they walk over and they walk up the stairs. And we have older students helping and escorting them out of the audience, getting them over. We've got some background music playing, some,  Katy Perry, like,  karaoke music, something that's upbeat, just karaoke sort of background music playing. 

The parents love just watching all of the little ballerinas come up out of their seats, walk up the steps of the theater, and get on stage. 

I like to recreate the classroom on the stage. So we practice our dances on pink dots in the classroom so we've got those pink dots on stage exactly like the classroom. We get them in their spots. And of course, this whole thing is adorable. Parents, grandparents are loving this entire thing. So while you may be dying thinking, OMG, this is taking like five minutes to get all these kids up on stage,  everybody's loving it. Now, the kids are in their spot, we're good. We've got the instructor or an older student on the sides of the stage,  they're gonna be demonstrating the routine along with the students which is the way I like to do it.

Then when everybody's ready, it’s music go, the kids dance, the parents go wild, everybody loves it. And then they scurry off down the stage and “next we have Miss Susie's Tiny Tappers”, whatever, whoever the next group is. And now we've got this transition. We've got,  one group coming back to their steps, and we've got the next group coming up to their steps. And a parent will get up out of their seat and come help their child and get them back to their seat. 

Tthis goes very smoothly. It's very casual, it's very welcoming, it's very comfortable. So,  if I found there's one thing a tiny tot parent hates, it's that backstage time,  because I think at this age, they're, they're so used to watching their child being close to their child.  it, it can be a little scary for both the child and the parent to do that whole, drop-off. And now they're going to be backstage doing, they have no idea for a big, long three or four-hour show. So this recital model can be great because it just gets rid of all that anxiety, all that fear. These shows are very casual, as you can tell by just hearing about it. 

Tiny tot parent’s love this experience because it’s the baby step. It gives them that onstage experience. We're coming to the big beautiful theater. They're in their costume,  grandma's there, grandpa's there, aunts, uncles, the whole family is there, but it's all very safe for the child.  

They're, they're sitting with their parent and then they're coming up on stage, they see their instructor and they,  we're taking as much time as we need to to get them on their spots. It's not about,  rushing, rushing, rushing. We're not trying to like beat any clock. We've got plenty of time to get them out there. They get to perform, they finish, and then they're so proud, they feel so good, and then they're back to their seats to enjoy the rest of this show.

So that's the other nice part about this, is the kids love the experience of sitting in their seats and getting to watch the show, which is short. This whole thing is 30 minutes long, so it's very doable for a 3, 4, 5 year old to be sitting in the audience. And then I like to always finish my tiny tot performances with a performance of older students. So that could be,  a solo, a duet, a group routine,  usually,  something that's gonna be age appropriate for the young classes. So maybe a ballet piece or,  a really pretty lyrical piece that kind of fits in with,  the tiny tot ballet, creative movement type classes.

The students always love to look up to see those older dancers perform. I mean, they just are like celebrities to them. It's great marketing too, because the parents who are,  now that we've taken them out of the giant recital experience, they're not getting to see all of those older dancers. So this gives them a little taste test of where their child can go and where your studio can take them if they stick with it long-term. And so I think seeing one piece is typically enough to just give them that, okay, wow, okay, this studio can really do something with these older kids. So I think it's great entertainment, it's great marketing, and it's very easy to do. 

And then, the show’s over the kids get up out of their seats and, leave. And then we've got,  maybe put an hour between or 45 minutes even, even in a half an hour before the next group of kids shows up and starts checking in the lobby. So you can put these shows pretty close together, back to back and again, there’s no rehearsal time. So tiny tot parents love that too. 

We're just showing up and doing exactly what we've been practicing in class. We're just in costume now, and we're going up on this new exciting stage. So,  I'm also not doing a week's worth of rehearsals because, so we just are really taking the time to,  get students out of their seats, get them up on stage. nothing's rushed,  getting them in their spots, making sure everybody is comfortable practicing,  hitting play and, and doing our routine. It's just a very simple,  fun experience. It's created with these tiny tot families in mind. And I can't tell you how many tiny tot parents have come up to me, and,  profusely thanked me for this experience because it’s been created with their needs in mind and their child's needs in mind. So it's just, it's that baby step between the in-class performance and the big professional show with rehearsals and staying backstage and all the different things that are going on at a real performance.

So that's just another little idea for you. So to wrap up this video about tiny tot recitals,  I really think you have a lot of flexibility with this age group. I think if it was working for you to have them mixed in with your older students doing one big onstage recital and that works for you, then,  that's tried and true. I would stick with that. If that works for you, then perfect. Keep doing that. 

I think if you're starting out, or as your program grows, or if you're starting from scratch and you're not, either you're not ready to do that big on-stage recital or you're not interested in doing the big onstage recital, I think the in-class parent performance can be plenty for this age group. 

And then of course, there's that in-between version, which is,  the big professional theater, the onstage experience, but it's the baby step in between. So we're creating those little mini recitals that are just for, for our tiny tots, keeping it very casual, keeping them with their parents, so there's no backstage time, there's,  no rehearsals and it's just very age appropriate. It gives them that just little taste test of the big fancy experience without all the anxiety that can go along with that. So those are your three options.  I think either can work very successfully depending on what you'd like to do with your studio and what's going to fit in with your tiny tot program.

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