10 Ways to Make Dance Recitals Suck Less

by Kathryn Leehane
Originally Published: 

The annual torture known as the dance recital is quickly approaching. While I love my little dancer, I’d rather have my pubic hair repeatedly ripped out than endure four long hours of fake eyelashes, glittery spandex, and passive-aggressive complaints from family members.

So, as we head into this dreaded season, I have a few suggestions for the organizers of dance recitals:

1. First and foremost, set up a bar. No, not a ballet barre; I mean one with alcohol. Booze will ease the insufferable nature of the recital. It will also help prevent the inevitable clanking of mini booze bottles that were smuggled in purses, and the rolling of said bottles all the way down the slanted theater floor.

2. Use better music targeted at your audience. Try classics from the ’80s or metal ballads from the ’90s. You need to entertain the crowd and keep us awake.

3. Make the recital shorter. Yes, all of the dancers are beautiful and talented. I know you want to showcase every single dance that has ever been done by every dancer (and teacher) in the past year, but CUT THAT SHIT DOWN. Four hours is too long. 50 routines is way too many.

4. Provide babysitting for the younger siblings. Those poor kids are just as bored and uncomfortable as we are, but they are louder and squeakier. Unfortunately, we parents can’t afford our own babysitters because we’re broke from buying ridiculously expensive recital costumes.

5. You know those buzzers they hand out at restaurants? The ones that go off when your table is ready? Give those to each parent to ensure we’re awake when our child is dancing.

6. Create a Snarky People section. Like Statler and Waldorf, some of us can’t contain our sarcastic comments. You can put us in a soundproof room, if necessary. And film us to sell the DVD. It will be like Mystery Science Theater 3000 for dance recitals.

7. Give out audience awards. Awards for things like “Quietest Farter,” “Stayed Awake the Longest,” “Most Creative Hider of Phone,” and “Crappiest Bun Maker.” Send out these and the participant awards via e-mail the next day so we don’t have to sit around and watch THREE HUNDRED awards be given out.

8. Rent out the following items: privacy screens for the phones and tablets, neck pillows, and seat massagers. Also, charge extra for reclining seats and in-seat entertainment systems with noise cancelling headphones. (Our buzzers will wake us at the right time, remember?)

9. Create Dance Recital Bingo. The first person to fill the entire card gets to leave early! Game cards can include:

Leotard pulled out of butt

Tiara falling off Unshaven armpits Wardrobe malfunction Tears Run in tights Fallen hairpiece Sound system malfunction Tammy Faye make-up Tap shoe flying across stage

10. Finally, by all means, continue to dress the girls like little harlots. Listening to grandparents complain about the moral decay of society is one of the few highlights of the entire recital experience.

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