Everyone Loves a Party!
You may or may not have noticed our absence last week from the blog! We were super busy planning a super fun year-end bash for our Performing Companies. We host this soirée every year for approximately 450 attendees, and constantly strive to top ourselves from the previous year’s event. For our studio, it’s a really big deal, and is something our dancers look forward to all year! It’s our way of honoring all the hard work, time and effort they put into our rigorous schedule throughout the year. And, it is also a time to celebrate our graduating seniors!
We always use the same theme as our year-end show for the party decor. While our event may be on a grander scale simply due to the size of our studio and performing companies, this fun party is something you can do on any budget. We wanted to share a few of our favorite things you can use to create your own!
Decor and Props
Planning the party decor and the props for the event is one of our favorite parts! The main focus of our decor is our centerpieces and lots and lots of balloons. For our table centerpieces, we usually pick 5 or 6 different concepts based on the theme of our show. This year, our theme is “Rhythm and the Beast”, so we created fun centerpieces using roses, clocks, candelabras, teapots and tea cups. We always throw in flowers, candles and, as previously mentioned, lots of balloons! The look on the dancers’ faces, especially the younger ones, as they literally run into the room to see all the fun party decor, is worth every hour of hard work spent preparing it!
This year, we also created a fun photo backdrop “wall” using pegboard, turf, artificial roses and lots of hot glue! We will use these, as well as many of our centerpieces and other decor, as props for our year-end show. We love being able to use them multiple times!
One of the highlights of the event is the awards ceremony! All dancers receive an award in an area where they excelled throughout the year. When they come up to accept their award, we also give them a t-shirt. To add a little more fun, we name the awards in keeping with our theme. For example, we called our award for smooth and stylistic hip-hop grooves “Lumi’s Lit Crew” (short for Lumiere); “Mrs. Potts-itivity” was given to dancers with great attitudes and optimism, and so on. This adds an element of fun to the awards! We use a print house to print and laminate the awards, but you could do the same on your own printer or even use handwritten awards.
As we mentioned, a big part of this event is to celebrate our graduating seniors. They are given the red carpet treatment with reserved tables at the event for their families and friends. And, we prepare a slideshow for each senior from photos they provide to us. We play this slideshow at the event with a recorded voice-over of a speech each dancer prepares, thanking their families, friends and teachers. There usually is not a dry eye in the audience by the end, but it is so heartwarming to hear how positively dance has impacted the lives of these young adults. These speeches also really affect the younger dancers, as many of them start thinking about their senior speeches while they are still in middle school! It’s a rite of passage at our studio! We love that the memories they share in their speeches are always centered around fun memories and the things that truly matter, and never about how many times they won an award or which row they stood in during dances.
We hope that you can take some of these ideas and create your own fun event for your dancers. Even if you don’t have a big budget, most of what we create is DIY and there are so many ways to make it fun without spending lots of money!