Dance Accessories Orchard Park, NY

Recital Items to Remember

"I will forever fight, performing like it's my last show. And I will love every minute of it." - Misty Copeland - Unknown

There is one particular emotion that both dance moms and dancers alike begin to feel the closer it gets to recital dates, no matter if it is the first year performing or fourteenth. Stress. Time always seems to fly by as the heat increases and academic school starts the yearly process of wrapping up for the summer months, and the dance community has that little bit of added pressure to the mix with the final performances of the season.

Here at Bailey Slipper Shop, we know all too well what it is like for you to forget that small (seemingly innocuous) item that is so crucially needed, have a pair of tights rip the night before recital or even just the frantic feeling of a first-time mom lost amidst color/brand names and a sea of accessories. The following should be obvious to many who have weathered out the recital whirlwind before, but a helpful tool for all regardless of the number of years danced.

Note: Please keep in mind that every individual studio is different. This is not an exhaustive list on all items that may be required, or they might ask for variations on things listed below. Always check with your child's teacher or studio owner if not sure on a certain aspect (such as, for example, the color of lipstick needed).


One would think this is the most obvious thing on the list when it comes to what you need aside from the costume, but let me tell you - it's the most COMMON item we see dance families racing in for! Tights are vital to making sure there's uniformity on stage and, while some studios are more lax, others require a specific brand and shade. We try to keep lists of what every studio requires, but it's always a good idea to at least know what brand and/or color they need. Footed, convertible, stirrup, footless. It branches farther into capri, fishnets and full body tights.

The most important thing, we think, is having enough to make you through. We will always recommend having two pairs on hand for recital. You never know when a snag or accident will happen, but it usually occurs just in time for it to be a problem! When it doubt, grab two and exchange/return one after if unused. Better to be safe than sorry!


Usually costumes are packaged with everything you need these days, but that doesn't mean you're set to go! Keep in mind that if you lose a glove, you'll likely need to source out another one since costumes don't tend to have spares. You're also responsible for hair nets, bun makers and things of that nature which you'll require to get your child's hair in perfect form for the recital. It's not uncommon for dance shops and drug stores to suddenly be out of bobby pins when you need them most, so be sure and stock up early.


For a new dance parent, the makeup aspect might seem the most daunting! Especially if a young child, it's understandable to be uncertain what's needed and how much to be appropriate for their age group. The best thing you can do is ask the teacher/owner of the studio, or even a more seasoned parent! Typically the basics include eyeliner/mascara, some lid color and a lipstick. Remember that while they might be too young to wear makeup regularly, onstage the lights wash you out and it's important for your eyes to look open and wide, and some lip color to accentuate those bright smiles!


These are a must for dancers of any age. Having a barrier between skin and a costume can come in handy for many reasons, from odor to itch. They also allow for some modicum of privacy/modesty if needing to do a quick change backstage or in the wings. They should always be as fit fitting as possible, so there's no bagging under the costume. Most leotards come with clear straps so that it is relatively invisible beneath any costume, but there are models with nude straps if that's not a crucial factor for your dancer. There are nude bras and underwear as well, if needing to bare the midriff. It's a matter of finding what works best of them!


If you've ever been to a dance event, you'll more than likely recognize these! If you're new, dance suitcases are a welcome (but slightly pricey) helper if your dancer(s) have multiple costumes or you do any kind of competitive program. They have wheels for easy travel, ample storage space inside and out, and have a collapsible bar so you can pop it up and have all the costumes neatly hung and ready to put on. For the more casual dancer this might not be a necessity, but we can't deny the convenience they bring to any recital or event.


Usually there are emergency kits on-hand with the studio or venue, but we'd be remiss not to mention it on our list. Every dancer has different needs, and sometimes the common kit provided might not have what is necessary. Consider things like gatorade or electrolyte beverages in case your dancer feels faint. Bandaids for scrapes and tears. Shout wipes/pen for spills on costume pieces. There are a plethora of items you could pack into a little kit. It's better to be prepared!


No one wants a wardrobe malfunction! Body glue isn't always needed, but it's never a bad thing to have on hand! Lyrical or draped costumes tend to give the most issues with this sort of thing, but glue (or sticky strips) could work on everything from shorts that ride up to socks that keep falling down. These products usually come off with some soap and water, but the trick is to initially let the formula get tacky before pressing the costume piece onto it. If you don't have time with quick changes, it'll still work just fine. Depending on the costume, you might see a little color transfer if still very wet.


Last but certainly not least is the customary gift! Rewarding your dancer for their hard work can come in the form of flowers, a gift certificate to your local dance shop, dance-related baubles and much more. This is personal between you and the dancer, so even if it's a handmade card, we are sure they will love it!

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