May 21, 2011 James Wilcox

Musings of a Kansas City Dad &Teacher

Dance Recital Etiquette

My daughter has her first dance recital this weekend and I don’t know what to do. I am pretty nervous because I have never been one. Seriously, I have never been to a dance recital before (at least that I can remember and despite the fact that I have four sisters who were involved in dance when they were younger). What is the etiquette for a dance recital? I need help, I really do!

Now, this isn’t a full-blown, over-the-top, decked out in costumes, doing various routines, kind of recital. This is more of the “your dance class is over now so let’s show your parents you actually learned something” kind of recital. This is like a kindergarten or fifth-grade graduation ceremony, you get to show off, but it isn’t the type of production you get when you graduate high-school. My daughter doesn’t have to wear any fancy costumes and the recital is in her actual dance class room, not on a stage. I still don’t know what to do though.

Several friends insist that I need to get my daughter flowers for after the performance. Others insist I have to videotape it. Still others insist I need to buy her new dance shoes and take her out to a special lunch afterwards. They tell me this is tradition. They say this is simply what you are supposed to do. I need some direction here though because I simply don’t know what to do. What is the etiquette of the dance recital? I just don’t know.

Am I supposed to get her flowers? If so, what kind and how many? Does she need new dance shoes? Not really. Can I take pictures during the recital? Can I use flash? Is video okay? Can I root and cheer or do I just have to clap politely? What do I do? What is dance recital etiquette?

My daughter is only four-years-old and I know I have many more dance recitals in the future, but I am worried about this first one because, honestly, I am a clueless dad. I generally am not involved in the whole dance class process. My wife takes my daughter to dance and I usually handle the soccer games or baseball practice. My daughter won’t even show me what she has learned in her dance class because she says I am a boy. I am excited to actually see what she has learned but I am nervous I am going to embarrass her, or my wife.

So, I turn to all the “dance moms” out there and ask this question: What is dance recital etiquette? Please bail this dad out.


Written by James Wilcox

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About This Blog

A master of whatever is required by the day! A high school social studies teacher, published author, father of 3, stay home Mr. Mom during the summer and being an attentive husband are just a few things that keep James on his toes. In his spare time James is a writer and photographer. Before returning to school for his Master's Degree in Education James was a photojournalist for the Independence Examiner. James is active in FIRE (Foundation for Inclusive Religious Education). He is also busy learning braille with his son Nathan who lives with the effects of ROP, Nathan was a micro-preemie who was born at 24 weeks gestation. James and his family live in Kansas City. To Read about James' books, "Sex, Lies and the Classroom”, “The M-16 Agenda”, and “Musings of a Particular Bear: A Poetry Collection” or order your own copy at



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