Theater/Performance FAQs

When do dancers need to arrive for dress rehearsals and performances ?

Call Times for dress rehearsals and performances are typically 1-2 hours before rehearsal start time or curtain. Specific call times will be emailed to DFR families prior to each of our performances. This information can also be found on the "Important Dates" page of our website

How should dancers arrive to dress rehearsals/performances ?

Dancers should arrive to dress rehearsals and performances with their hair and makeup done, aside from red lipstick, which should be applied once the dancer is in his/her first costume. Dancers should NOT wear their costumes or dance shoes to the Theater. They should arrive with dance undergarments under their street clothes, and change into their first costume in the dressing area. The chances that the costume can be damaged, or something spilled on it in route to the Theater, or in the car, are too great. Damaged costumes absolutely cannot be replaced on short notice. Dance shoes can easily be ruined by wearing them outdoors. These items are costly - please do your best to preserve them.

What should I bring with me to dress rehearsals/performances ?

Dancers should bring :

  1. All costumes - on hangers - in garment bags
  2. Portable mirror and garment rack is recommended
  3. All hair accessories, hair supplies, makeup, dance shoes and tights - neatly organized in a case, duffel bag or other secure tote/luggage/backpack
  4. Hair and makeup supplies include: Hair ties, bobby pins & hair nets that match dancer's hair color, hair spray, de-frizzer oils or sprays, black eyeliner, black mascarra, foundation, blush, eye shadow (browns, greys, light beige, white), red lipstick, bronzer.
  5. Extra tights are highly recommended
  6. Refillable water bottle or bottled water
  7. Light "neat" snacks & drinks - please avoid greasy/spicy foods, foods/snacks/drinks that will stain hands and faces (like Doritos & fruit punch)
  8. Dancers should eat a meal prior to arriving at the Theater. Avoding spicy or greasy foods is highly recommended.
  9. Dancers should not plan to eat full meals during rehearsals or performances
  10. Dancers are NOT allowed to eat in costume
  11. Change of clothes and street shoes to arrive/leave the Theater (or Pajama/lounge wear to be in comfortably back stage)

Is my dancer allowed to leave during rehearsals/performances ?

Reminder - Parents/Guardians/Friends/Family members are not allowed backstage or in the dressing rooms during rehearsals or performances unless they are part of the DFR production support staff, and have the appropriate credentials. Males are not allowed into the female dressing areas, and vice versa - with the exception of an emergency with their child. DFR has a very secure dancer Check In / Check Out process in place for all Theater rehearsals and performances. All participants must adhere to this policy to ensure the safety of all of our dancers.

  1. One parent or guardian must be desginated in advance to collect each dancer from the Check Out Table for any DFR Theater rehearsal or performance. The DFR staff will ONLY release dancers to the designated parent or guardian on file. No exceptions will be made without the express / in person consent of the Director or her assignee.
  2. Dancers may only leave Theater rehearsals once they have finished rehearsing, and the designated parent/guardian has collected them from the Check Out Table. Arrangements must be made in advance, and expressly approved by the Director for early dismissal.
  3. Dancers will only be released from performances AFTER the Finale, unless arrangements are made in advance for early release during Intermission, and expressly approved by the Director. These arrangements must be made at least 2 weeks prior to the performance date.
  4. Exceptions/unplanned early release will be allowed ONLY in case of emergencies such as injury, severe fever or other illness, or family emergency.
These policies ensure the safety of your precious children. Please respect and abide by them at all times. Thank you in advance for your cooperation

How do I purchase tickets ?

Tickets for all DFR performances will be available online at for a specific period of time, prior to each of our shows. Door Ticket sales will begin 30 minutes prior to each DFR performance. All ticketing is "Reserved Seating" Please folllow us on Facebook and Instagram for notification of when online ticket sales begin and end for each DFR performance. Email notifications will also be sent to all DFR families to let everyone know when online ticket sales begin and end for each of our shows - as well as any "PROMO CODES" available.

Are dancers allowed to come in and out of the audience during performances?

Absolutely not. Dancers / cast members are are to remain in the dressing rooms / backstage until the end of the performance, and are strictly prohibited in the Theater/audience during all DFR performances - unless express permission has been granted by the Director for early release during Intermission. All DFR performances have reserved seating. Your dancer will need a reserved seat/ ticket to sit with you in the audience, if pre-approved, during any DFR performance. The alternative is to take empty seats elsewhere in the Theater - and relinquish those seats and move - should someone purchase those seats at any point during the show. If your dancer has been granted early release, they are to remove their costumes and put on "street clothes" before entering the audience. Once a dancer enters the audience he/she will not be permitted backstage to resume costume and join in the Finale/Curtain call. NO dancer should ever be in the Theater/Audience/Lobby in costume during a performance. EVER. Dancers who break this rule will be prohibited from performing for the remainder of the show. This is an egregious violation of Theater etiquette and will not be tolerated. DFR dancers and their families must conduct themselves accordingly, respect the art form, and comply with Theater etiquette. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Can parents/siblings/family members go backstage during performances ?

Only DFR staff, class parents, and production volunteers with the appropriate credentials, are allowed backstage / in dressing rooms during any DFR performance. Males are not allowed in fremale dressing areas, and vice versa. Exceptions will be made ONLY in the case of emergency.

Can audience members take photos/video ?

Photos and video can be taken during dress rehearsals ONLY. No flash or video camera lights are permitted for the safety of our dancers. Photo and video by audience members is strictly prohibited during all DFR performances to ensure the safety of our dancers, and the enjoyment of all in attendance. Professional video of DFR performances are available for purchase online from our video partner K Lab Video Productions. Pre-ordering your videos is highly recommended. Professional photography sessions for individual dancer photos can be scheduled with Michele Williams Photography - email notifications and links to online photo shoot scheduling will be sent prior to the selected "Photo Days" and posted on our Facebook and Instagram For select DFR performances, additional professional photography packages will be available from our professional photography partner, Michele Williams Photography. Links and Information on photo/video packages will be found on the Videos/Photos page on our website

How do I get wrinkles out of my dancer's costumes ?

NEVER iron a costume The fabrics and details used on costumes are extremely vunerable to iron/heat and can easily be burned beyond repair. Steaming costumes with a hand steamer - or hanging the costume in the bathroom while running a hot shower - is the best solution to remove wrinkles from costumes.

What hair style does my dancer need ?

Specific details regarding hair styles will be emailed prior to any DFR performance. Hair ties, hair nets and bobby pins should be the color of the dancer's hair, and all hair styles should be secured neatly with hair spray, bobby pins, hair nets. No bangs or "donuts/bun makers" please. All hair accessories or hats must be bobby pinned securely to the head. Below is a general hair style guideline by dance genre: Ballet, Contemporary, Acro - bun in the middle of the back of the head, secured with bobby pins, hair net and hair spray. Hip Hop, Jazz, Tap - middle pony tail. Competition Dance Team - 2 dutch braids into a middle pony tail or bun

When will we get our costumes ?

Nutcracker costumes are DFR Wardrobe. These costumes remain with the studio and will be available at each Nutcracker dress rehearsal and performance for your dancer. For our Spring Performances: Costumes, accessories, tights and any props will be distributed during dance classes between February and May. For our Competition Team dancers, costumes, tights, props, and earrings will be distributed between November and February, to ensure that they are in hand before the Competition Season begins. Please keep all costumes and accessories neatly organized at home. Dance shoes and undergarments (nude leotards) are the responsibility of each dancer - and are also available for purchase online at

Does my dancer need a ticket for a show she/he is in ?

All DFR performances have reserved seating/ticketing. Your dancer will need a reserved seat/ ticket if you wish them to sit with their family in the audience during any DFR performance. The alternative is to take an empty seat with your dancer, and be prepared to relinquish that seat should an audience member purchase it at the door at any point during the performance. Your dancer will also need the express permission of the Director to be excused at Intermission to enter the audience - during any performance. Under NO circumstances should a dancer/cast member be in the audience or Theater lobby in costume. Dancers that have been granted early dismissal must remove their costumes and change into "street clothes" before entering the audience. These dancers will not be permitted to return to the dressing area or to participate in the Finale/Curtain call. This is a decision to consider carefully. Dancers found in costume in the lobby or audience, will be prohibited from participating in the remainder of the performance. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and for your respect for our beloved art form.

Where and when should dancers eat during rehearsals/ performances?

Food is strictly prohibited in the dressing areas for all DFR rehearsals and performances. There are designated areas where food is allowed at each venue - and it is critical that your dancers adhere to these rules.
Dancers are strictly prohibited from eating with their costumes on. Please always ensure that your dancer has street clothes or pajamas to put on during their "down time" backstage at the Theater. It is best to feed your dancer a healthy meal prior to arrival to the Theater. Dancers burn a ton of energy and need fuel. Pasta, rice, vegetables and proteins are highly recommended before a show. Junk/fast food, candy, cookies, greasy or spicy foods and anything that might cause an upset stomach are ill advised. Should your dancer be required to be at the Theater for more than 4 hours, sending or arranging for a meal is recommended. Meals must be eaten in designated areas and NOT in costume. For those dancers who are required to be at the Theater for less than 4 hours - please feed them at home and do not send a meal along with them - they will not have time for a meal. Light snacks (carrots, celery, goldfish, pretzels) are ok - but must be eaten in the designated areas and NOT in costume. Dancers are absolutely NOT permitted to take a "meal break" in the middle of a rehearsal or performance. There will always be ample time before. after, or in between rehearsals/performances for your dancer to eat something. There is absolutely NO time once a rehearsal or show begins to be taking a "meal break" Thank you in advance for your cooperation

Can I leave the audience in the middle of a show ?

Theater etiquette dictates that should you need to excuse yourself during a performance, that you wait until the end of a routine, then safely, quickly and quietly make your way to the exits at the back of the Theater - during the "blackout" between routines. Please follow the same protocol upon your return. During a Ballet - like Nutcracker - there are very few blackouts. Should you find yourself in urgent need of exit amidst a performance, please do so with minimal disruption. Class Parents/Volunteers with credentials, who may need to make several trips to and from the Theater to the dressing rooms backstage - must do so with respect and courtesy, quietly and quickly exiting and entering the Theater, and being mindful (ducking) when passing our professional videographer's cameras. We also recommend a small flashlight to ensure your safe passage as you do so. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

What do I do if my dancer is having an emergency ?

While we hope that this will never happen, dance in the 21st Century is an aggressive art form/ sport, and it certainly has the potential for injury. Should your dancer experience injury, illness, or other condition that requires your attention - during a rehearsal or performance - you will be contacted - and your immediate presence willl be requested backstage. DFR is extremely fortunate to have an incredible staff, and an army of "dance moms" that are also School Teachers, Special Education Professionals, Mental Health Professionals, Wellness Professsionals and Physicians. We will always do our absolute best to address any injury or issue that arises within our Team, and will always contact the parent/guardian on file should a situation present itself. When EMS services are required, we will make those arrangements, and contact the parent / guardian on file immediately. Rest assured - the safety and wellness of your dancer is our TOP priority.

Can my dancer wear her/his costume for fun before a show ?

Costumes and dance shoes are very expensive items and should be protected and kept safe and clean at all times. If a costume is ruined because it was used/worn before a show - DFR cannot replace it for you in time for the performance. I t takes several months to get these costumes. They are all made to order. We order our costumes in January and many are not received until mid to late May. There is no "rush shipment" option available to replace a damaged "made to order" costume. If your dancer wears her/his costume for a playdate or for dressup - and gets grass stains, jelly, fruit punch, chocolate etc on it - then she/he will either be wearing a messy, stained costume on stage at the performance - or may not be able to perform at all - if the damage is too severe. DFR reserves the right to disallow horribly stained/damaged costumes on stage, and will not allow a dancer to perform if they do not have the proper costume. It is ill advised to allow your dancer to wear his/her recital costume for any other reason than rehearsals / performances. Once the performance is over - you can feel free to do whatever your heart desires with the costumes. The standards of this age old art form must be upheld. We will not diminish or disrespect it under any circumstances. Of course we all want dance to be fun for our dancers !! And costumes are so much fun! Keeping your dancers' expensive costumes in stage-worthy condition is a critical part of the process, and also provides a "teaching opportunity" as well. We thank you in advance for your cooperation.

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