Watching your child shine on stage during their first dance performance is something that you will never forget. While this is an exciting time, it can also be stressful if you are not prepared. You will enjoy the performance more if you are organized and relaxed going into the day. Here are five ways that you can help to prepare your child for their first dance performance.

Make a List

In the weeks leading up to the performance, it is a good idea to make a checklist of everything that you will need for the big day. Be sure to leave yourself plenty of time so that you have time to procure any necessary essentials that you do not already have. In addition to shoes and the costume, you also need to bring along plenty of snacks and drinks if you know that it is going to be a long day. If you need to further embellish the costume, you will need even more supplies and time to get everything done.

Pack the Night Before

In addition to making a list of everything that you need, you can further avoid unneeded stress on the day of the performance by packing your bag the night before. Do not wait until the morning of the performance to begin packing everything that you need for the day. Dedicated competition dance bags make it easy to keep all of your essentials organized and in place. These bags are designed to keep the costumes safe by mitigating odors, keeping out moisture, and keeping the materials free of wrinkles. Costume bags are also engineered to transport easily so that you are not burdened with lugging around awkward totes on the day of the performance. Be sure to keep extra make-up, hairspray, and other backup items for the big day as well!

Do a Costume Trial Run

It is vital that you do a trial run with the costume before the performance to make sure everything fits perfectly. If you plan on doing your child’s hair and makeup for the big performance, you should also practice this prior to the day. The day of the performance is not the time to see how everything looks all put together. This is also a good time to drive to the venue to see how long it will take to get there during the time of day you will be traveling. Things to consider include where to park and how to find the entrance to the performance. Some performances are held in large venues with multiple entrances and auditoriums, making it important that you know exactly where you are going.

Practice, Practice, Practice

It may sound like a cliche but it is true that practice makes perfect. Your child will take to the stage with optimal confidence if they know that they are as prepared as possible. Making a practice plan for your child will provide them with a guiding framework as they get ready for the performance. Be sure to do a few practices in full costume and hair and makeup so that your child can get used to performing in all of the gear. You can also use this time to remind your child to keep smiling. If you do not think it will stress out your child, you may consider filming their practice sessions so they can watch it back and find ways to improve. Rounding up a few friends and family to watch your child practice will also help them to get used to performing in front of an audience.

Rest Up

In the days leading up to the performance, it is especially important that you encourage your child to rest. It may be understandably difficult for them to sleep the night before the performance, making it crucial that they are rested in the days prior. Encouraging them to take a warm bath the night before and avoiding caffeinated beverages will help them to get a better night of sleep prior to the performance.

You will never forget watching your tiny dancer take to the stage. Make the most out of this life experience by taking care to prepare so that you are ready for the big moment. Being relaxed with a positive attitude will help you and your child to enjoy the day.