Recital Handbook

Dear Parents and Students

For many years ALICATS Dance Studio has provided an exciting performance experience through its recitals. The annual staple of the dance studio, the recital, conjures images of childhood and Americana for many. It’s a right of passage for thousands of youngsters, a chance to shine in front of family and friends who anticipate with nervous excitement.

The recital offers our students a professionally directed performance that allows them to present their families the results of hard work, dedication, and progress.

A big part of the dance training process includes learning through performance. The experience helps build self-esteem, self-assurance, and contributes to a sense of confidence. Although performance opportunities can help prepare some students for a possible career in dance, they also contribute to children’s success in non-dance activities. That onstage experience can result in better school presentations, improved social skills, and strong interview skills for future college or job opportunities. The rehearsal process is a tremendous learning experience as well. It helps the students develop retention skills, and by working with their classmates on a group performance, they learn the positive aspects of working as a team to create the best result.

Dedication to recital commitments is the responsibility of both the students and the parents. We’ve created this handbook in an effort to clarify what is expected of parents and students in terms of commitments and responsibility to the recitals, the Studio, and other students and parents.


We can not stress it enough! FIRST AND LAST name should be labeled on EVERYTHING you send to recital with your dancer. From costumes, to shoes, to makeup pieces. This should be the first thing you do when you get your costumes home. After making sure they are the right fit. If your dancer is old enough to write their name they can help! If your dancer is younger they should still be a part of it even if they hand it to you so you can label. Start training them early to be responsible so when they are old enough to do it alone they can.

The recital isn’t a one-day activity. Gather all costumes, accessories, tights, shoes and make-up several days in advance so you will know if something is missing or isn’t right. The school cannot replace a headpiece that is missing a day before the show.

Keep all pieces together in one place.


It is a good idea to make a check list of all costumes, shoes, tights, and accessories and refer to it before leaving for the auditorium.


What to Pack for Recital!

Tote/Laundry Basket Great for 1-3 Costumes!
Clearly Labeled with name!
Tape a Paper with which dance is First and list costume pieces and color of costume
(EX: Ballet! Dance 1 Pink Dress with Pink flower headpiece, Dance 2 Tap: Blue top, Black shorts, Black gloves, Blue hair piece….)

Clothing Rack/Dream Duffel Great for dancers with 4 or more costumes!
Laundry Racks can be purchased at Target or Walmart for $20-$30.
Look for one that is easy to set up!
Dream Duffel’s are a bag and rack all in one! GREAT investment for the dancer who does A LOT of dances! Other Option!

Accessories, Tights, Shoes or small pieces
5 Gallon Zip lock Bag!
label the zip lock with which costume it is for!
You can get 5 gallon zip locks and put the shoes in the same zip lock bag!
Cut small hole and slip over the hanger for which dance the items are for.

Caboodle/Makeup and Hair Kit!
For their Hair
Dancers will need plenty of bobby pins that match their hair color
(you can never have too many!)
Gatta be Glued Hair Spray is best!
hair nets (buy at drug store NOT at walmart or Target)
Hair Pins that match their hair color
Hair Ties that match their hair color

Make up Kit
We have a kit on…
BE sure to look for the ALICATS Kits!
Eye Shadow – Browns
Eye liner – Black
Mascara- Black
Lipstick – Berry Kiss/ Muave NOT RED!

Other Tips and things to pack!
Send your dancer in a zip up warm up jacket or sweatshirt over top their costume. This helps keep the costume clean and your dancer warm!
SAFETETY PINS! They are the easiest fix when the unexpected happens!
NO JEWELRY!!! All the dancers in the group should look identical! No jewelry should be work back stage! ALICATS is also not responsible for lost items! If it means a lot to you or your dancer please do not send it back stage.

All costumes that came to you in a garment bag should travel in that bag! This is an easy way to keep things in one place.

For both pictures and the performance, please bring extra bobbie pins, hair spray, band-aids, Shout wipes, safety pins, a comb or brush, make-up for touch ups, and Kleenex.

How To Pack For Recital!


How to Get Organized!

How to Pack for Recital and Get Organized

Print the show order!
ALICATS will post and email the show order/Script
Please check your dancers name is in the correct dance!

Highlight all the dances you child is in!

Make tags for each costume
If you have multiple costumes figure out which dance is first.
Mark a 1 on the tag
Figure out which number in the show it is and if it is the first half or second half
Label that below the 1

1             2
Ballet Dance     Jazz Dance
5th dance in the first half  10th dance in the First half

Please do this WITH your dancer! No matter how young! The more they help the more they understand, and the smoother things will go back stage!

Make an appendix for your dancer!
After labeling each costume with a tag make a master list!

Dance 1 Ballet Dance
5th in the firs half
Hair in a BUN
Pink Dress with Pink ballet shoes, Pink hair piece, and pink tights

Dance 2 Jazz Dance
10th dance in the First half
Hair in a PONY TAIL
Blue Top, Black Shorts, Black Gloves, Tan Tights, Fishnets, Black Jazz shoes

If your dancer is in multiple shows (Afternoon and evening)
Sometimes the dances are in different orders in the different shows.
Color code your tags to match your master list.

Backstage Tips!



Please put the dancers name on the basket as well as EVERYTHING inside it!


All remaining balances for costumes and tuition must be paid in full before the Dress Rehearsal! Your dancer WILL NOT be able to participate if you have a balance on your account.


Recital Etiquette

The doors to the auditorium will open 15-30 minutes before show time. Please be on time and obtain seating as the curtain will open exactly at the scheduled time. All seats are reserved! Please check your tickets carefully to see the row and seat you have.



Security will be asking all video cameras to be put in the car. If a camera is spotted in the audience, the show will be stopped and you will be asked to leave.

It is VERY dangerous to performers to see flashes of cameras or lights in the audience. It is a distraction and will not be tolerated.

A professional videographer will be taping the show. All dancers receive a FREE copy of the DVD!

A professional photographer will be taking photo’s of the show and all dancers receive a FREE Photo CD as well.

Dance is meant to be watched LIVE not through your camera phone! The dancers are excited for YOU to see them!

As a courtesy to our dancers, PLEASE stay seated during each dance.

Security will be standing at each door only allowing it to open between numbers. It is not only a distraction to open the doors in the middle of a dance, it is also rude.

No food or beverages of any kind (including water) are allowed in the auditorium or dressing rooms. ALICATS provides water and snacks for those dancers who need it during the show.

ALL Dancers MUST stay for the ENTIRE Show!

Each show is a performance. It is extremely rude not to stay and watch the entire show. Your dancers are having a blast in the back and deserve to take their final bow at the end of the show.

Performers are not allowed in the auditorium before or during the show. Dancers must stay in the assigned dressing room until the show is complete.

It is a security hazard to be handing out dancers during the show, as well as extremely rude to not watch the entire show.

If your dancer is in back to back shows, you must pick them up after the first show and bring them back at the proper time for the second show.

PLEASE drop your dancer off one hour before the show.

10:00am for the 11:00am show, 1:00pm for the 2:00pm show, and 6:00pm for the 7:00pm show. It is crucial that we have all dancers ready so the show can start on time! We will not wait to start the show if a dancer is missing. Thank You for helping us have a HASSLE FREE Recital!



No eating, drinking, or smoking is allowed in the auditorium or dressing rooms at Dress Rehearsal or the Recital. Dancers will remain in the dressing room for the entire recital. There will be ALICATS personnel backstage to assist your child with any needs they may have.

Family members and friends are NOT to be backstage or in the dressing rooms during rehearsal or recital. The same applies during intermission and after shows. There is a lot of activity in a limited amount of space, and dressing rooms are a private area. Please remind your family and guests to be respectful of these areas. Those who wish to greet a performer after the show may do so in the lobby area.

Dress Rehearsal

The Dress Rehearsal allows the students to become familiar with the auditorium surroundings and to feel comfortable with their performance, costumes, and being on stage. It is MANDATORY to be at your dress rehearsal. You will be provided with the start time of your dress rehearsal. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start time so we can keep the rehearsal on time. You may leave after your child is realed from rehearsal. Please note that we will let the dancers go when they are done,

even if it runs over the time originally scheduled. We try our best to run on time however we are dealing with unpredictable children! This is a closed dress rehearsal. Only students are permitted in the theater.

Dancer Drop Off

When you arrive one hour before the show, you will drop your dancer off at designated area.

If your dancer is under 7 yrs old, you will receive a lanyard with your dancers name on it.

You must keep your lanyard on until the end of the show!

Your dancer will be given one after their last dance to wear as well.

Dancer Pick up At the end of the show ONLY THE PARENT WITH THE LANYARD will get in line in the designated area.

There will be signs on the wall for each class. Please stand in a group with other parents from your dancer’s class. Dancers are dismissed youngest to oldest according to class.

Once you have your dancer we will collect the lanyards.

Please be patient and understand we have this procedure to keep all of our dancers safe! If we allowed all parents backstage, it would be chaotic! Once all the dancers have been handed back, the stage will be available for pictures!

If your dancer is over the age of 7 we will still hand them out at the same location.

If your dancer is 10 and older and you would like them to exit through the curtain by themselves to find you please sign up at the front desk.



Throughout the history of dance and theater roses were given as a form of congratulations!

We will be selling Roses in the Lobby as well as light concessions. You can also pre-order your roses up to 2 weeks before the show.

We will also have our Cat Grams for sale! You can send a special note backstage to your excited dancer! These will also be available at dress rehearsal.


NO JEWELRY of any kind:

earrings, bracelets, watches, necklaces, etc. Please leave it at home! We are not responsible for anything that is lost or misplaced.


Girls hair must be worn in a bun unless otherwise specified by the instructor.

It is important that hair does not become a distraction to the audience or the performer. Therefore, it is required that it is pulled back off the dancer’s face.

Please use black or brown hair binders when pulling hair back.

A hair net can be purchased at any drug store or grocery store and works miracles for bun making!

DO NOT send dancers with anything extra in their hair! The headpiece will be placed in the same place for all students in the class. There are no exceptions.



We spend many hours determining the correct costumes for each class.

This has taken months of preperation. Please be respectful of the teachers time and vision for their dance.

We have found it best to keep the smaller parts to costumes like hair pieces, chockers or gloves. This way we guarantee nobody loses them before recital! We will be sure to hand them our for pictures and dress rehearsal and then collect them again. Each hair piece has a name and is placed in a separate baggie.

Costume Care

Your child’s name should be placed in all costumes, shoes, tights, and accessories. First AND Last name please! We may have 10 students with the same name.

DO NOT iron any costume.

Bringing the costume into the bathroom (not in the shower) while you shower will steam out the wrinkles.

DO NOT launder the costume in your washer and dryer, including steam models.

Dry Clean ONLY after the recital.

Female students DO NOT wear underwear with costumes, tights ONLY! Tights are Underwear!

Boys please wear underwear!


All female students are required to wear make-up for both pictures and the recital.

Make-up is used in theater to help define one’s face on the stage. The lighting used in both pictures and performances can wash out a performer’s face, making it look flat.

Girls are expected to at least wear foundation, Lipstick, blush, and BROWN eye shadow, (not blue!) and mascara. For the boys, a little foundation and blush works well.

Here is a great tutorial for applying the yofi cosmetics! 


You can order a makeup kit from Yofi Cosmetics here look for the ALICATS packages :



If any alterations are needed, an in-house seamstress is available to assist you with any sewing needs. If you wish to do the alterations yourself that is fine too! We will be making last minute alterations at dress rehearsal. PLEASE bring a change of clothes in case we need to sew your dancers costume!

Make up Bag or Caboodle!

*Caboodle! You can purchase a caboodle at Target or Wal-Mart. This keeps your

make-up and hair stuff much more organized than a cloth bag.

  • BobbyPins
  • SafetyPins
  • HairPins
  • HairNets
  • Make-up
  • HairSpray




As costumes for each class arrive, they will be tried on in class to ensure they fit.

Any student with an outstanding costume or tuition balance will not be allowed to take the costumes home until the balance has been paid in full.

Some alterations like straps will be done at the Dress Rehearsal. Please send street clothes with your dancer to dress rehearsal incase we need to make an alteration.

To ensure there are no costume problems, dancers should NOT wear their costumes, accessories, or tights prior to the photo session and Dress Rehearsal.


Home Study Practicing

To ensure that the students feel confident about their performance, we ask parents and guardians to encourage them to practice their recital choreography on a regular basis.

We have a Drop Box with all recital music that will be emailed out before the show.

For our Tiny Tabbie Classes the dances will be recorded and put on our facebook practice page located HERE:

Some of our older dancers dances may be posted as well.

A private link will be sent to you through email.

You can also ask to record the last run through of the week on your own recording device.

Please make sure they are practicing at least every other day for 15 minutes.



As the season progresses, additional information or updates will be posted on the website:

Look to the right for posts or under existing students on the menu to the left.

Check your e-mail. We will be sending A LOT of info out leading up to the show!

Facebook page located here:

Posted on the bulletin board in the lobby!

Make it your responsibility to keep abreast of this important information.

It is our goal to make the recital experience organized and exciting for all involved. It’s a TEAM effort; students, their parents, instructors, staff and directors are all key players in the success of a show!



It takes a lot of people to ensure a show goes smoothly! We have many areas that we could always use help! Below is a list of positions we would love some assistance with. You will find a description of the job title, the amount of time it may take, and what kind of person may enjoy that position! If you are interested, please let the front desk know so we can contact you with more information! Thank you so much for your time!



– Usher

We love to have smiling faces help us welcome our guests! You would be responsible for taking tickets, handing out programs, and assisting anyone to their seat who may need it. We would also ask that after the show you help pick up any items left in the auditorium by going through the seats row by row. Each usher would have a section to be responsible for.

– Flowers

Selling and distributing the pre-order flowers.

– Concessions

Selling, setting up, and tearing down the concession area.


– Set Building Wednesday before the show!

We LOVE trucks that can help bring supplies to the theater and back to the studio after the show! We will have a sign-up sheet in the lobby for anyone who would be able and willing to help take things to the theater and set up the stage.

– Strike (tear down)

Would happen immediately after the last show. The floor needs to be rolled up, stage swept, dressing rooms cleaned out, signs taken down. The more help we have the quicker it goes!