For our studio in December and February, our company dancers take some time and head to various Nursing Homes to perform for the residents.  This is a community service opportunity for the dancers and a wonderful opportunity for them to grow as people.  Your dancer receives a chance to bless an elderly individual’s day with art, but they also get to receive the blessing of meeting our society’s wisest members who truly appreciate their presence.

nursing-home-performances

Each year where the company visits are slightly different, but some basic guides to make this day go smoothly will assist.  Generally, you will perform selections from the Nutcracker at the December visits with a few polished company pieces possibly added depending on space and time.

Tips: Venue

  • Not much parking – car pool when possible
  • The Harrison is the best place to watch as it has an upstairs for you to watch though some of the dances will go under the balcony so you won’t be able to see
  • When you can watch please stand or sit behind the residents- the show is for them
  • At the Harrison, please do not block the resident’s doorways. We don’t want to cause any falling hazards
  • Do not be near the dancers unless your dancer and friends cannot handle a costume change independently, then be sure you are positioned out of the flow of traffic of exiting and entering the performance
  • Keep stuff compact; in a small area in a basket or bag – leave dancer’s coat in the car if it’s not too cold
  • Remind your dancers to be quiet in the hallways; these are people’s homes and they may not appreciate noise
  • Traditions – the waiting area for parents is directly behind the performance area, so please be mindful of your volume, siblings and distractions as the residents are facing you as they watch the dancing

Tips: Lunch

  • Everyone will go to Subway – select another place, pack something or get subway early in the morning
  • Water, water, water
  • Lunch needs to contain protein and some carbs

Tips: What to Bring- pack all of this up a few days before so you know if you need to buy or wash something

  • Costume pieces as directed- this is written out for you. Check it 10 gazillion times before you start the day
  • Water
  • Small basket to contain everything
  • Bobby pins/ safety pins (medicine bottles work nicely for that)
  • Extra tights
  • Performance list
  • Hairspray / make up for touch ups
  • Hair nets
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Make up wipes
  • NO FINGERNAIL POLISH

Tips: General

  • Double check that you have everything AT EVERY STOP, both when you arrive and before you leave
  • Keep everything confined to a very small space
  • If having difficulty with your dancer, have another parent take over
  • Bun makers are very helpful
  • Female dancers should not wash their hair on that day; dirty hair has less fly aways
  • Follow make up tips from your director, if you don’t understand, ask an experienced parent
  • If your dancer has not visited a nursing home, talk to them about why the people are there
  • Dancers will meet and greet residents after the performance, they will want to hold their hands and talk with them
  • Residents make different sounding noises while a performance is going; let dancers know so they are not distracted during the performance
  • NAMES ON EVERYTHING, YES, EVERYTHING

For the December holiday performances, the dancers conclude their day with their holiday party.  It is an awesome time of bonding.  The dancers will want to look nice, so be sure at the beginning of your day you have the clothes and what they need for the party with you.

The key to this day is to be flexible and organized.  Be sure you are checking that you or your dancer has all their things at every stop.  When you view this day as a great day to bless and be blessed, then everyone will have a tremendous time.

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