As any parent of a dancer knows, backstage at a dance recital can be chaotic. In all the swirling action, many parents find themselves in a panic over forgotten items, wondering if they have time to rush to the store before the performance starts. You can ease last-minute preparations and maintain your sanity by remembering to bring the following items to a recital. Keep the majority of these items in a designated bag so you don’t have to hunt them down every performance, and check that the bag is stocked well in advance of a recital.
A Travel Package of Baby Wipes – these are great for quick make-up fixes and clean-ups
Extra Tights – Tights only ever seem to get runs in them right before a dancer needs to be onstage. Bring an extra pair of tights in every color your dancer will wear for the recital.
Safety Pins – A box of safety pins in multiple sizes are indispensable in the event you need to do some last-minute alterations or repairs to a costume. You may also save the day for someone else who didn’t pack any.
Clear Nail Polish – this product can keep a small run in tights from getting out of hand, if you apply it as soon as a snag starts. (If it’s too far gone, see those extra tights we mentioned!)
Hair Accessories – There are enough important hair accessories that we are making a list within this section, because your dance recital readiness kit is incomplete without them.
A hairnet/bun cover in your child’s hair color to smooth down her ‘do
A bun builder, which saves the day if you’re not a pro at styling
Super heavyweight hair pins and bobby pins in the color of your child’s hair
Elastics, glitter hairspray, and a brush are all lifesavers for flyaways, cowlicks, lumpy ponytails, or any other hair snafu you can think of
Velcro hair jewels to embellish your dancer’s style and coordinate with her costumes.
Snacks & Water – Hungry dancers will appreciate a nutritious snack before the performance, and things like crackers, string cheese, granola bars, and grapes won’t make a mess of a costume. Bottled water is a must for keeping hydrated.
Cosmetic Bag and Makeup – You should touch up your dancer’s makeup immediately before going on stage. Make sure you’re using lipstick and blush in the colors suggested by the dance teacher, and pack foundation/powder and mascara too. A sturdy cosmetic bag will keep all these beauty supplies together and organized.
Band-Aids & Pain Reliever – a small supply of bandages in various sizes – clear ones work best because they don’t show through tights – and some Tylenol or Advil can keep minor aches or blisters from ruining a special night.
Costumes and accessories, and don’t forget the SHOES! You might think this one is obvious but many a recital has turned into a last-minute crisis when a rushed parent realizes the dancing shoes or costume are at home.
Pointe shoe Ribbon and Glue – so you remembered the shoes, but then you forgot pointe shoe ribbon, or it breaks – packages of satin ribbon and elastic will save the day, and a tube of pointe shoe glue will fix and harden weak areas of pointe shoes on their last gasp.
A Stitch Kit – some heavy-duty waxed nylon thread and some needles are indispensable when a costume rip or tear shows up just before showtime – and if someone else’s costume tears and you have a stitch kit to lend, you’re a hero.
Every dance mom has great suggestions for their must-have recital items, so it’s smart to ask what’s on their lists too!