April - Recital Hotspots

"What feels so hard now will some day be only your warm up." - Unknown

Even though we are barely out of the snow, recital time is forever looming over the heads of all dancers. It's an exciting and stressful time, full of a year of dreams and goals culminating into one place. Hard work (and money well spent) is shown off during a studio's spring recital. Watching a child take their first shuffle-steps on the stage or the final bow for senior year, that and all the bits in between showcase growth and experience gained.

Each studio has their own individual space that they use as the location for such a performance, and this can vary from local high school auditoriums to grand professional stages in the region. Each one has merits (and, likely, a price tag that factors into seasonal fees) and while it would take lengthy pages of information to list out each specific one, we're going to touch on the top three choices for both the Buffalo and Rochester area. Even if your studio does not hold their annual recital at one of these, we think you'll find the information useful should you ever transfer to another, attend someone else's recital, or even see a show there that isn't recital-related!



Undoubtedly one of the most used locations in Western New York for dance, University at Buffalo's theatre spaces are crisp, clean and family-friendly. The main-stage theatre is a beautiful and modern auditorium with state of the art technology. The room was built with adjustable walls to fine-tune acoustic needs and a movable proscenium arch. The drama theatre is a more intimate area done in cherry wood with moss green accents. It's designed to give a closer synergy between performer and audience member.

Seating: 1748 max (main), 388 max (drama)
Nearby Food: LeBros, Fuze Asian Grille, Brick House
Accessibility: Access to balcony seating in the Mainstage theatre requires the use of stairs. There is an elevator in the Mainstage to access the cross-aisle in the orchestra seating section where there are assigned spaces for wheelchairs.

Center for the Arts
University at Buffalo
103 Center For The Arts
Buffalo, NY 14260

Parking: Slee and Baird lots are free after 3pm on weekdays, all day on weekends.


A historical landmark in Western new York, Kleinhans' fan shaped theatre was the first of its kind.The design of Kleinhans Music Hall resembles the body of a string instrument, as does the main auditorium.The main foyer can accommodate 250-500 people. This is the home of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and you will find that the acoustics are spectacular.

Seating: 2400 max
Nearby Food: The Lenox Grill, Betty's, Cantina Loco, Cafe 59
Accessibility: There is no elevator to the balcony. Wheelchair seating is available on the main floor of the hall, and there is an accessible restroom on the main floor.

Kleinhans Music Hall
3 Symphony Circle
Buffalo, NY 14201

Parking: Two lots for a fee.


If you've ever driven near Buffalo State, you might already know this venue by the large white bell tower. Directly across the street from the Albright Knox art gallery, it's right off of Elmwood Avenue on the college grounds. The college boasts a large theatre arts department and the renovated theatre certainly stands proud.

Seating: 856 max
Nearby Food: Pano's, Acropolis, Cecelia's Ristorante, Panera
Accessibility: Accessible seating for up to 10 wheelchairs.An elevator entrance to Rockwell Hall is located on the Iroquois Drive side of the building, accessible from Parking Lot I-30.

Rockwell Hall
Buffalo, NY 14222

Parking: Free parking beginning one hour prior to events on weekdays and free all weekend. Paid parking available in Art gallery across the street.



Renamed from Kodak on the Ridge to Kodak Center Theater in 2017, this art deco main-stage theatre boasts a large seating capacity and sits alongside the namesake's historical museum. Their facilities host everything from gymnastics to board meetings. The theatre space is quite beautiful, but we'd also be amiss to not mention that the visitor center houses things like the first digital camera ever created.

Seating: 1968 max
Nearby Food: Peppermill, Barnard Crossing Bar & Grill, Thirsty Frog, The Pasta Villa
Accessibility: For the convenience of their patrons who use wheelchairs, all entrances into Kodak Center are wheelchair accessible, and wheelchair accessible restrooms and seats are available.All elevators are accessible to guests using wheelchairs, and each elevator is equipped with Braille signs.

Kodak Center Theater
200 West Ridge Road
Rochester, NY 14615

Parking: 2 lots across the street - West Ridge Road & Primrose Street


This theatre "in the round" is a rather unique space for performances, given that it isn't the usual proscenium stage that most people are accustomed to. It's a far more intimate space than many of the others on this list, especially since the audience quite literally wraps around to where the wings would usually be. Mostly used as a musician's hall for recitals, this is the perfect place for tapping to sound out beautifully and for the spectators to get view lines that aren't so two dimensional.

Seating: 857 max
Nearby Food: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Founders Cafe, Dogtown, The Owl House
Accessibility: 10 Wheelchair spaces in the orchestra seating.

Hochstein Performance Hall
50 North Plymouth Avenue
Rochester, NY 14614

Parking: Numerous, this one is a little convoluted, so see chart! They list the most convenient parking as Sisters City Garage, North Washington Street lot & Quarry parking lot. There is also metered parking near the building on the street.


Home of the Rochester Broadway Theatre League, this classical theatre space is both upscale and homey in all the right ways.Founded in 1957 as an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization, RBTL has grown into Rochester’s premier venue management and service organization for the performing arts and entertainment. It is to Rochester what Shea's is to Buffalo, and they share many common features.

Seating: 2400 max
Nearby Food: City Grill, Tony D's, Salena's, Tournedos
Accessibility: Wheelchair and transfer seating, with mobility device storage available during the show. Accessible parking is located to the rear (south) of the building, with accessible entrance on the west side. Accessible restrooms are located on the main level.

Auditorium Theatre
885 East Main Street
Rochester, NY 14605

Parking: There are (cash-only) parking lots located near the back of the Theatre, accessed from College Avenue, as well as in other nearby areas surrounding the Theatre.


The first dance recital can be rather full of surprises for the first-time dance parent. There are expectations and traditions that are encased in the dance culture, and they all intersect on recital day. If you're anxious or worried that you'll forget something, don't hesitate to ask other moms or the teachers themselves. But where the venues and being there for the day are concerned, here are a few tips we recommend.

Bring snacks and activities. Make sure the activities are "quiet time" things, and not ones that could distract other dancers. Card games, a sketch pad/coloring book, stuffed animals are all safe bets. Food-wise, keep in mind what they will be wearing. Sloppy food is a terrible idea for the obvious reasons! Consider foods that will give them energy, such as fruit or protein. (Try to be cognizant of food allergies as well. Steer clear of peanut butter, nuts etc since kids are in close proximity of each other on days like that.) Stay away from sodas or dark drinks, since you want to leave the venue looking the way it was when everyone arrived. We all know spills are the worst!

Know the bathroom location(s). Today is not the day for an accident! Costumes can be tricky to work with already, and knowing where the restrooms are (especially with a toddler/young child) is crucial.

Have cash on hand. Most places nowadays take cards for things like front-of-house snacks etc, but if there are vending machines, parking meters or a mom running last minute to pick up things a few folks forgot, it might be handy just to have something on you in case!

No matter the location, from Sweet Home Middle School to Shea's Buffalo, we wish everyone a fun and memorable recital season! For those last minute runs or hair net needs, Bailey Slipper Shop will be here with what you need to see the season ended right!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *