Are you a “people person” – well organised, keen to be part of the success of the show, able to keep cool, calm and collected, and be sympathetic to the nerves and concerns of dancers and their parents/caregivers?
Co-ordinators have a pivotal role in helping the show to be a success by being very involved in the lead up, and the show, and helping to make sure the dancers and their parents know what they are expected to be doing and where they need to be when.
The main role involves communication. Co-ordinators are the central person in each class group who receives all the messages, and needs to attend any costuming and logistical meetings as we lead up to the show, making sure that all information is quickly passed on to the rest of their group. Parents in the group should also be asking any questions they have to the class co-ordinator so the teachers are able to spend their time working with the dancers, and only a small group of selected helpers.
Each co-ordinators is given a list of the children in their particular class group and their contact details. And what does the co-ordinator need to do?
- Be proactive! Make sure you know who all the children in your group are, who their parents/caregivers are, and that they know who you are. Also get to know any ‘special needs’ that affect any of those in your group.
- Is anyone missing off this list? Also make sure their name is spelled correctly – this is what goes into the programme and we don’t want any tears later.
- Who’s in the show (we don’t need to be sending emails, thinking about costumes etc for those who choose not to be in the show), and have they paid show fees?
- Make sure that parents are aware that this is a big commitment and that the scheduled practices are essential to make it all work – the co-ordinator needs to make sure that each dancer and their parent/caregiver knows when and where they need to be for classes, rehearsals, costume fittings and performances.
- Is anyone on this list on another class list also – work co-operatively with other co-ordinators and decide which group they should be in.
- What dances are each of the dancers in? – this may be a bit unclear at the start but parents/dancers will soon get this sorted out – very important for costuming.
- Keep up with what’s happening in each of the dances your group is involved in too.
- What other groups are in the same dance –liaise with other co-ordinators when several classes are involved in one dance – establish who your ‘partners’ are, work together, and make life simpler.
- Make sure that each child (and their parent/caregiver) in the group knows what clothing and shoes they need to have themselves.
- Get estimated sizes of each child – this makes it easier for those making costumes
- Find out who in each group can help with any of the other important tasks in getting the show together:- there will be lists at the studio as the show gets closer for volunteers to help backstage and in the dressing rooms at the theatre, and also the ‘party’ between the Saturday shows.
- Find out who in each group are the sewers, helpers who can cut out, do hand-sewing, and help with sorting suitable costumes from our substantial array of costumes, and fittings? Lots of inspiration is always greatly appreciated for costume and headgear ideas and we have a very resourceful and creative group of parents and caregivers in the studio who we sometimes need help to find.
- Make sure that all the costumes for the class group are gathered together and ready to be packed into the theatre on pack-in day.
- At the theatre the co-ordinator will need to be responsible for their group and the ‘running’ of their dressing room too. This does not mean the co-ordinator needs to be backstage for every show but they do need to know what’s happening with their group and that those backstage helping know what they need to be doing.
- After the show is over make sure that all costumes are sorted and either ready for pack out on the Sunday or allocated out for washing etc after the last performance so they can be returned to the studio as soon as possible.
It looks like a long list but all pretty straight forward and common sense really. Being a co-ordinator gives you the opportunity to be an integral part of the fun and excitement that is the show, get to know the other dancers in your child’s class, and their parents/caregivers. Make the difference and get involved – you won’t regret it!