The team at MSF were born ready to perform. (We know this because a lot of us are related.) We came out of the womb covered in sequins and demanding a spotlight. Stage presence is deep within our genetics, you can’t spell dance without DNA right? So for us, concert season has just always been a thing. Like Christmas and birthdays, concert season comes around like clockwork for dancing families. It is highly anticipated and it’s a big day that the whole family gets involved in and enjoys.
So, when students or parents ask us “Is the concert compulsory?” we are always a little… stumped. But, it does make sense. Each year, we welcome many newbies to the dance world and if you haven’t experienced the magic of concert day yet, you probably don’t get it.
The short answer is “kind of”…Concert day is not compulsory but it’s not really optional either.
It’s about teamwork.
Your dance class is your team and if you have been coming to dance class all year, your team are relying on you to show up on concert day with your game face on. If you’re new to the dance world you might not yet understand what goes into creating a dance for the stage. Your teacher spends hours choreographing routines suitable to the students in their class. Each dance includes intricate placing and positions to create patterns on stage. They might also include partner work, team stunts, and maybe even a solo moment in the spotlight for your child! It’s not something that is quickly thrown together, our dance classes spend the majority of the year preparing and collaborating as a team. You can see now how if one dancer isn’t there on the day, it can have a huge impact on the other dancers and their teachers. Deciding not to perform at the concert is kind of like playing doubles tennis, only to not show up at the grand slam and leaving your doubles partner out on the court on their own. Committing to the dance concert teaches our children to be reliable team players. Attributes that will extend far beyond the dance school world.
It will increase their confidence and self-belief.
Something we often hear from parents is “My child doesn’t want to do the concert. They are too shy to dance in front of other people.” This is a completely valid reason to not want to do it…But, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it! Life is going to throw our children many hurdles to jump and mountains to climb. There will be times when they are faced with a challenge and they think “this scares me. I can’t do it.”. Overcoming stage fright and nerves on concert day will show them that they CAN overcome their barriers. That they are capable of doing hard things. The sense of achievement and pride and the adrenaline that comes from dancing on stage is hard to compare with anything else. The dance concert is the perfect place to start squashing that self-doubt because it is a safe space. Your child will be surrounded by caring dance teachers, dance friends who are probably just as nervous as them and supportive family and friends in the audience, literally clapping and cheering them on! We know dancing on stage is a big deal and that’s why at Main St Funk we create performance stepping stones. Starting with our community events, our casual mid-year concert, “Show and Tell” during class, rehearsal day at the theatre and then, our spectacular end of year performance. We are experts at preparing our dancers for their big day so they know exactly what to expect. If your child is expressing doubt about performing, the best thing you can do for their confidence is let them do the concert!
It gives your child something to work towards.
We know that coming to dance each week improves our dancer’s skills, confidence, fitness and more but, having an upcoming performance gives your child purpose. It gives them a goal and a reason to stay committed to coming to class each week. Having an end goal increases motivation and keeps our students inspired and excited to keep working hard. It is important that our dancers experience that sense of achievement from accomplishing their dance concert. This became so obvious to us during the extended lockdowns in 2020 and 2021. With performances not permitted, a lot of dancers lost interest. They were thinking “what is the point of coming to class each week if we aren’t going to perform.” And while there were a lot of benefits to continuing dance through covid, without that shiny glittery, finish line in sight it was hard to keep going. A swimmer wouldn’t train and train only to not show up to time trials or race day, would they? For dancers, the dance concert is kind of the whole point!
It means your child won’t feel left out.
With so much of the year geared towards performance days, if you’re child is not attending, they may start to feel a little left out. Of course, our dance teachers are committed to ensuring each child feels valued and seen as a part of the team. But, the reality is, the concert is a big deal and we have to prepare our students accordingly. This means the dance concert is talked about, quite literally in every single class of the whole year. It’s our way of keeping our kids engaged, excited and prepared. Leading up to the end of year concert, there are also costume try-ons, photo days and rehearsal days. After the concert we debrief. We talk about what went well, how we felt, what was exciting and what was fun! While our dancers and our staff would never ever deliberately exclude someone, it’s only natural to start feeling a little left out and a little deflated when there is such a strong focus on something that doesn’t involve you. We place a strong emphasis on friendship and belonging at Main St Funk and we find our connections and relationships strengthen at external events, by achieving milestones together and creating special memories. For the sake of your child’s sense of belonging, we highly recommend the concert.
In short, the concert is not compulsory but it’s not really optional either. We respect your decisions as parents and sometimes you have to make a difficult one. Our aim at Main St Funk will always be to provide ongoing opportunities for our dancers to grow, laugh and shine in their own special way. The dance concerts create memories that last a lifetime and are a chance to celebrate our amazing students. How often do you get literal applause for just being you?
Look, we are busy humans just like you and we completely understand how hectic life can be. Often things happen that are out of our control. Like, maybe you booked a holiday (or really rescheduled a holiday 5 times) a year ago and it now clashes with a concert date. Or maybe there’s an essential event on the same day, like your communion or your graduation… you can’t be in two places at once! It’s a shame when these things happen but we appreciate it when you communicate with us in a timely manner so that we can prepare but also so that we can ensure your dancer still feels involved and a part of the team. That’s another reason why we provide multiple opportunities throughout the year. So if your child misses out on one, hopefully, they can attend another.
It’s been a long time since we’ve had a concert and we can’t wait for our entire school to experience the buzz again. It is truly magical and only once you’ve felt it, will you understand.
For all important MSF dates and events head here: https://mainstfunk.com/student-info/#Dates