Dance Teacher Resources

Stuck in a performance theme rut? Here are 50 ideas!

dance concert ideas

Performance, recital, concerts…. Whatever you call them, it can be difficult to come up with a new theme each and every season.

I remember when I first started my studio, it was so exciting, and I have memories of themes planned years in advance. Now that I am entering my 13th year, it is harder to decide on a theme. As for the amazing studio owners who are looking at their 20th, 30th, 40th or even 50th season, I’m really hoping you consider recycling some of your favourite themes – after all, 50 is a lot! This makes me wonder – can I organise the next 50 performances [mine and yours!] with an intense brainstorming session? Sounds like a challenge! Let’s raise the curtain and get on with the show….

#1. Take Me to the Zoo

#2. Safari or Jungle

#3. Down on the Farm

#4. Under the Sea or Beside the Seaside

#5. In The Garden – Bugs and Butterflies

#6. Fantasyland – Unicorns, Wizards and Fairies

#7. Somewhere over the Rainbow

#8. Hocus Pocus

#9. Enter the Twilight Zone

#10. Intergalactic Space Adventure

#11. Once Upon a Dream

#12. Seasons of the year or Weather

#13. Beach Party

#14. Earth, Wind and Fire

#15. The Magic Toyshop

#16. Hallmark Holidays (Christmas, St Patricks Day, Valentines Day)

#17. Christmas Wonderland

#18. A Christmas Carol

#19. Movies, Hollywood, Red Carpet, A Night at the Oscars

#20. On the Box – Television Favourites

#21. Dancing through the Decades

#22. Fast Forward, Rewind – Step back in time

#23. Bring back the ’80s!

#24. Around the World

#25. Oh! The Places you’ll go!

#26. Heroes and Villains

#27. Colours of the Rainbow

#28. Candyland

#29. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

#30. Under The Big Top – Circus theme or Greatest Showman

#31. On Broadway / NYC

#32. Glitz and Glam

#33. Musical Legends

#34. Night at the Museum

#35. When I grow up – Occupations / Professions

#36. Icons

#37. Nursery Rhymes and Fairytales

#38. In A Frozen World

#39. It’s My Party or Celebration for milestone seasons

#40. Storybook Adventures

#41. Live Love Dance

#42. Inside Out – Emotions

#43. Extra Extra Read all about it – News and Newspapers

#44. Billboards Top 20 Hits

#45. Journey through the Internet

#46. Emoji’s

#47. Art in Motion – using famous Artworks as inspiration

#48. Up, Up and Away!

#49. Bon Appetit

#50. Just the Way You Are

And of course, for bonus points, there are the many beautiful and famous ballets that can be reworked to be suitable for younger dancers, including:

#51. Cinderella

#52. The Sleeping Beauty

#53. The Nutcracker

#54. Swan Lake

#55. Coppélia

Let’s not forget to add just a few of the many, many Disney favourites such as:

#56. Beauty and the Beast

#57. Mary Poppins

#58. Aladdin

#59. Alice in Wonderland

#60. Toy Story

Finally, many of the much loved musicals could also provide inspiration. Don’t forget to consider:

#61. Matilda

#62. The Lion King

#63. Grease

#64. Hairspray

#65. Peter Pan

Of course, selecting the theme is only the first part of the puzzle. When mulling over your ideas, do consider how restrictive the theme could be, and whether there are enough music choices to carry you through an entire performance. You could also consider using a couple of different themes throughout the one performance, so you have variety and also more songs to choose from.

Costumes also need to be considered. Most dance studio owners I know have a love-hate relationships with costumes. They are both exciting and mind numbing! Do take care to consider what costumes choices might be available for your theme or if you are indeed making life harder for yourself than it has to be.

Whether it is your first or your 51st recital or performance, this time is always exciting. It is my hope that I never lose the joy and excitement that comes with staging productions for my eager young dancers, and this is also my wish for you. Hopefully by reading this list, you’ve sparked some ideas and the creative juices are beginning to flow!

By Jane Grech of Jane Grech Dance Centre.

Jane Grech. Photo courtesy of Grech.

Jane Grech is the co-founder and Creative Director of the JG Creative Company, an Australian company dedicated to the development and provision of high quality services to dance and education. Her businesses include Jane Grech Dance Centre, Pirouettes Dancewear, Dance Studio Success and DanceStep Student Teacher Training.

Embracing opportunities to encourage and support other dance studio owners, Jane works as a Leadership and Studio Growth Coach with Dance Studio Owners Association.

An author and speaker on the topics of dance education, entrepreneurship and leadership, Jane is passionate about engaging, motivating and inspiring others. Jane is a regular contributor to Dance Informa Magazine, Dance Studio Owners Association and her own blog, Dance Studio Success.

Jane has three children and runs JG Creative with her husband, Brian. She is a passionate campaigner for cultivating a joy-filled life.

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