In the beginning there was chaos
Planning a dance studio recital is a hectic endeavor, to say the least. Amid the rehearsals, costume and prop issues, blocking, music and backstage requirements, determining the actual sequence of routines for the performance would seem to be pretty straightforward. As studio directors know all too well, it’s not. Hundreds of students in dozens of routines guarantee that designing a program with no dancers in back-to-back numbers and with enough time for costume changes can be a nightmare in itself.
As a self-professed “dance dad” with a background in computer applications, I watched season after season as the staff at my daughters’ dance studio struggled with 3×5 cards to design recital programs that met their artistic vision without any conflicts for performers. Invariably it was a drawn-out effort, with many revisions running right up to dress rehearsal. I figured that a computer could probably help with juggling the endless combinations of students and routines, so one year I stepped in with a rudimentary application to assist in the effort. One hour later, the studio director had a recital sequence that flowed well and was absolutely free of conflicts.
Following this initial success, I developed the Recital Conflict Manager, a computer application that could be used at any dance studio to design conflict-free recital sequences. With feedback from the original studio and several others that happily agreed to test the application, the finished version incorporates features that make data entry straightforward and the program itself simple to use. The graphical interface is easy to understand and flexible enough for virtually any studio need.
The Recital Conflict Manager may be a blessing for studio directors who now struggle with their recital sequence planning. Judging from the positive reaction from studios that have used the program, it is definitely worth consideration.