Concert season is here and with it comes costumes, glitz and glam, many many emails and pre-performance butterflies! To ensure your experience is a positive one, it’s important to be organised. Here are a few life hacks to take your concert day organisation to the next level and help your time at the theatre run smoothly.
- CHECKLISTS: Main St Funk will send you a concert day kit list shortly (most dance schools will do this but if they don’t, make your own.) It should include absolutely everything you will need on concert day from costume items, stockings, hair pieces and more. Print this off and cross off each item as you pack them. Pack everything the night before or even a few days before to ensure the morning of your concert is not a mad scavenger hunt. It’s a good idea to have a list of your dances in order, refer to this as you pack and take it with you to the theatre so that you always know what you’re doing next.
- PACK YOUR COSTUMES IN A TUB, IN SEPARATE SNAPLOCK BAGS AND IN ORDER: Buy a box of extra large snaplock/sandwich bags next time you are at the supermarket. Neatly pack each costume (in its entirety) into its own snaplock bag. Once you know your concert dance order, label each bag “1, 2 or 3”. Stick a checklist (more lists!) of that costume on the front of the snaplock bag so that you know what needs to go in there and what needs to come out. Use a tub instead of a bag to store all of your costumes. This will mean you can neatly pile your snaplock bags into the tub in order of the show. Your last dance will be on the bottom and your first dance on top. This will save you from emptying and rummaging through your bag during the backstage rush!
- SPARES: You can never have too many spares! Have a backup of everything where possible but in particular; dance stockings/tights. These tear easily, especially when you are in a rush so make sure you have an extra pair. Check that your spare does not have any holes or rips before you pack them – don’t waste time putting on a pair of tights only to have to take them off again. For younger students, it’s a great idea to pack a spare pair of underwear as well. Nerves can do funny things to our bodies and minds, so it is good to be prepared for little accidents. Even if little accidents are not typical of your child!
- PIN + UNPIN: Safety pins and bobby pins are your best friend on concert day. Buy them in bulk and pack them ALL. Then pack some more! You can never have too many. Most costumes include a hat or headpiece that will need to be securely pinned to your head. Before packing your headpiece, attach about 6 bobby pins to it. This will mean you won’t be rummaging around for pins between dances. Do this for ALL of your headpieces. If there is an item of your costume that needs to be safety pinned, such as an accessory or a strap, pin it into place before concert day. This means you can just get dressed without needing to fiddle and adjust your costume. When you come off stage, start unpinning headpieces, straps etc. as you walk calmly back to the dressing room.
- SHOES: Firstly, don’t forget to pack them! It is both laughable and frightening how easily performers forget about their shoes. Wear your hip hop sneakers to the theatre, one less thing to pack! Replace your laces with black elastic, this means you can easily slip your shoes on and off quickly. For little kids, label shoes left and right to save confusion. BONUS TIP: Ballet dancers, clean your ballet shoes with pink calamine lotion (yes, the stuff you use for chicken pox) to make your shoes look brand new and scuff free for the concert.
- STAY CALM AND STAY IN YOUR ZONE: On concert day we need to move quickly, quietly and calmly. The dressing room can become a crowded and noisy place so it is important to stay focused and move with a sense of urgency. Panic is contagious, so if one person starts to yell or run, soon the whole class will be in a flap. Don’t waste your energy on getting worked up about finding your shoes or costume item or headpiece, you know that it is packed into your allocated snap lock bag. That square on the floor where you’ve placed your tub is your zone! The minute you start overflowing into someone else’s zone, that’s when things get lost. Keep your items contained and pack up as you go. What comes out of a bag must go back in. This means that you will be just as organised and prepared for your second concert as you were for your first AND it will make for a quick exit at the end of a long day.
- TIME: Always know what your call time to the theatre is and then aim to be early. Allow time for traffic, accidents, getting lost on the way to somewhere new and finding a park.
- RELAX, BUT NOT YET: Even if you have a long time between dances, don’t sit down until you are ready and organised for your next item. This will allow for little mix-ups, like if you have misplaced an item or you need help to pin something. You don’t want to be doing those things in a mad rush right before you hit the stage. Also, you never know what could happen on concert day. Your dance teachers may need to you to take to the stage earlier than expected, always be prepared!
- WORK AS A TEAM: At Main St Funk we use the buddy system to promote teamwork, independence and to help take the pressure off. Never think twice about helping your friend into or out of their costume and never think twice about asking for help. Be there for each other. Team work makes the dream work.
- PRACTICE: Practice your choreography before you hit the stage to ensure you are performing with full confidence! You can also practice your stage makeup and concert day hair leading up to the show. Each time you do it, the better you will get.
At the end of the day, performing is supposed to be fun and a celebration of all of your hard work. While preparing and organising yourself before the show might seem tedious and boring it will ensure that you have a fabulous time at the concert. We don’t want to taint your time at the theatre with the stress of a forgotten costume or arriving late. Also, remember that no matter how prepared you are, sometimes things happen that are out of your control. Take a deep breath, shoulders back and know that the show will go on.
Main St Funk wishes you the most wonderful concert season full of checklists, snaplock bags, sparkles and lots of smiling faces.
Stay tuned for your concert day kitlists and call times, thank you for being organised!
By Chloe Jobson – MSF Co-Owner.