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Recital Theme Ideas from Your Fellow Studios

Posted January 4, 2018 in Dance Inspiration, Recitals, Tips and Tricks

Choosing a dance recital theme doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Set out on an inspiration adventure with our recital theme ideas below!

*This blog was updated on January 4th, 2018!*

We posted a question on our Facebook page asking about your recital themes for this year. The response was so great we’ve decided to turn it into a blog post for your future reference and inspiration – make sure you bookmark it!

If you’d like to add your theme for this year just leave us a comment!

Here is what your fellow studios are doing this year:

  • 80’s
  • A Night at the Movies
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • America’s History
  • And the Winner Is – Do a play on the Oscars, and celebrate everyone being a winner.
  • Anything Goes
  • Around the World
  • Blast from the Past – Do songs from past recitals in celebration of an anniversary.
  • Burlesque
  • Candy Land
  • Cirque de Soleil
  • Colors or Kaleidoscope – Use songs about colors.
  • Come Fly With Me – Highlight tourist spots and monuments that you visit on vacation, both man-made and natural.
  • Come Take a Sea Cruise
  • Dance for a Wish – Give a portion of your money made to Make a Wish Foundation.
  • Dance School Musical – Use songs about school days.
  • Dancepirations
  • Dancers Choice
  • Dancing in the Moonlight
  • Dance Step Repeat: Thirty Years of Artistry in Motion – Use for an anniversary show.
  • Dancing Through the Decades
  • Dancing Through the Year
  • Dancing with the Stars
  • Disney or Dancing Through Disney
  • Elements
  • Ella Marie’s Magical Journey
  • Everything Old is New Again – Do an anniversary show and repeat all your favorite numbers from previous years.
  • F.A.M.E. – Use all songs by Frank Sinatra, Adele, Michael Jackson, and Elvis.
  • Fantasy
  • Fashion
  • Feelin’ Good
  • Food
  • Growing Up – Act One: Finding Nemo, Act 2: Jobs & Careers.
  • Happiness Is…
  • Hollywood Lights: Lights, Camera, Dancin’
  • Icons of Music – Use songs by Michael Jackson, Madonna, Whitney, Beach Boys, etc.
  • Inspiration
  • Legends, Divas, and Superstars
  • Let Freedom Ring
  • Memories & New Beginnings – Do songs from past recitals in celebration of an anniversary with a few new ones thrown in.
  • Once Upon a Time – Choose five fairy tales and dance the stories
  • On Broadway or Razzle, Dazzle, Broadway
  • One Moment in Time
  • Ooh La La, Fancy Nancy
  • Opposites
  • Peace, Love and Dance – Use all positive songs.
  • Portraits in Dance – Introduce the students to classic works of art as each of their dances is connected with one of them. Every few weeks put up a new painting in the studio with a bio on the artist and some interesting info about the painting.
  • Raising the Barre
  • Revival Under the Big Top
  • Rock This Town – Highlight businesses in the community through songs.
  • Rockin’ Across the USA
  • Seasons
  • Shirley Temple
  • Shop Around
  • Small World on Ice
  • Space Jam
  • Superheros
  • Sweet Dreams – Use songs that have to do with the night or dreams.
  • Take Me to a Show – Use songs from a show of some sort: movies, TV, Broadway, MTV, etc.
  • The ABC’s of Dance
  • The Dreams and Aspirations of Seven Siblings
  • The Six Days of Creation
  • These are a Few of our Favorite Things – Have all of your students list their top three favorite things in life and choose songs based on those things. For example, if one student’s favorite flower is a rose, do a ballet dance to “The Rose.” This is a great way to get everyone involved and learn about fellow dancers.
  • Walking the Red Carpet
  • Weather
  • Welcome to the Jungle

Want more recital tips and tricks to make this year your best performance yet? Join us for our Webinar on January, 18th 2018 and plan your best show ever!

Revolution Dance Webinar

Make this your best performance yet!


Diane Swirka says:
Apr 12, 2012

Super list! Thanks for taking the time to compile!

“A Night at the Movies” is our theme in June!

Elizabeth Parsons School of dance says:
Apr 19, 2012


revdance says:
Apr 19, 2012

You’re welcome Diane!

revdance says:
Apr 19, 2012

You’re welcome Elizabeth Parsons School of Dance! And thanks for your additions – we have added them to the list!

Tarilyn Hall says:
Apr 24, 2012

Thank you! We are actually looking ahead as we open a new and bigger location for next years recital. This year is our 10th anniversary and we are doing Everything Old is New Again and repeating favorites. That is actually our opening number as well. It has been fun!

Lisa Volkman-Downtowne Dance! says:
Apr 25, 2012

Great list! Our show is this weekend and the theme is….
“And the Winner Is” it is a play on the Oscars, and celebrating everyone being a winner!

Mara says:
Apr 26, 2012

Our theme is not on the list… we are doing fairy tale theme. We have choosen 5 fairy tales and are showing the stories through dances. Our recital is called, “once upon a time”

Maralee's Dance Productions & Design says:
Apr 26, 2012

Hello and thank you for the list. Its amazing how this can inspire for upcoming season. Thank you. Wish there was a webpage that dance teachers and studio owners could chat and give each other helpful hints and ideas. Its nice and refreshing. Sometimes you get to comfortable in what you do and adding some flare is nice. We are in a growth for the studio and we need to knock it dead while its hot. Thanks for your great products and pricing keeps our doors open for those who cant afford much. We have switched our Ballet, Jazz, Hip hop, all basic wear and tights to Revolution!!! Keep up the good work.
Tammy Worthington Director, owner, instructor.

Maralee's Dance Productions & Design says:
Apr 26, 2012

Oh, and one more thing our Theme wasn’t on the list either its is;
“Hollywood Lights” Lights, Camera, Dancin’…………………

revdance says:
May 04, 2012

You’re welcome Tarilyn! We’ll add your theme to the list! Have a great show!

revdance says:
May 04, 2012

Thanks Lisa! We’ll add your theme to the list – we hope your show went smashingly!

revdance says:
May 04, 2012

Thanks Mara, we’ll add it!

revdance says:
May 04, 2012

You’re welcome Tammy! We’re so glad you’ve been happy with our products! It sounds like an exciting time for your studio. We’ll add your theme to the list – hope it’s a great show!

Ottawa County Dance Company says:
May 13, 2012

This list is wonderful! We just finished this years recital Dancing Through the Seasons.

Jena @ MV Dance says:
May 28, 2012

We have also done a few others that our students and audience really enjoyed: “Dance – the Next Olympic Sport”, “Time Travelers” and “Mario Brothers”. We are Celebrating our 20th year at the end of June and I am framing out the next 10 years of shows. This list has great suggestions. Thanks

Tammy Johnson says:
Jun 04, 2012

What a great resource of ideas! Most of our themes were listed, but I do have something different to add. Our second year we did “An Afternoon of Comedy & Tragedy”. It was so much fun to get the students to “act the part” of being happy/silly or sad, and I had a blast selecting music from Sandra Boynton’s collections to classical themes.

Stephanie Polka says:
Jun 06, 2012

What a list!! This year our recital theme was Gleek Out, inspired by the TV show Glee. Everyone loved it!!! So much fun!!

Someone says:
Jun 12, 2012

I went to Elizabeth Parsons School of dance and my favorite recital theme was Change the Channel and Dance. We did tv channels and shows. Including Food Network (Acro) and

Someone says:
Jun 12, 2012

others like Animal Planet

Noel says:
Jul 26, 2012

My studio did “Everyday I’m Shuffling at Kristina’s Dance Escape”! I thought it was a great idea! The year before was “Kristina’s Dance Escape is Dynamite”. 2010 was “Let’s Go to the Movies”. And in 2009, our studio’s 10th anniversary, we did “Just Dance”! At my old studio, we also did “Let’s Go to the Movies”, “On the Radio”, and “You Can’t Stop the Beat”.

Vivette Pullum Ashen-Brenner says:
Aug 31, 2012

This year is “Time to Dance”…last year was “iDance”. Last year was very generic, this year we are trying work in songs about seasons, the calendar, time and a few era dances.

Isabelle Cook says:
Aug 31, 2012

Every year we have written our own shows. So that we tell a story from beginning to end complete with main characters. Our dance company are the main characters that go through the whole show and tie the dance numbers together. Sometimes our show is historical in nature other times whimsical. Here are some past titles of previous performances:

While You WereOut, 1994

Hug A Tree, 1995

The Stolen Mask of Palenque, 1996

The End of the Trail, 1997

Alexandra, 1998

Wise Guys, 1999

Correspondents, 2000

Gold Rush, 2001

Schliemann of Troy, 2002

The Hope Diamond, 2003

1906 San Francisco, 2004

Where inthe World is Carmen, 2005

Don’t Touch That Remote, 2006

Time Passages, 2007

Return of the Mask of Palenque 2008

Opening Night 2009

Shipwrecked 2010

The Giving Tree 2011

Mystery 2012

This year we we want to do a story about space. Does anyone have a suggestion for a story about space?

revdance says:
Sep 11, 2012

Wow this is an impressive list! We bet the shows have all been fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing with us!

Meggin Olivo says:
Sep 17, 2012

Our theme this year was “A Time to Dance”. Each dance matched up to a Time magazine cover!

R. Darling says:
Oct 11, 2012

We have done The Wizard of Oz, Cinderella, Mary Poppins, Peter Pan & Tink, Alice in Wonderland and Snow White.
Looking for a new story to do. When you write your own story, do you give a copy of the story to the rest of the studio?

kelly says:
Dec 19, 2012

iDance, as in the ipod, use really cool ipod set designs and raffle off a couple ipods(: also gives you the chance to use nearly any song

KHawk says:
Jan 09, 2013

This year we are using “Ovation A Show worth Standing Up For”

Christi Leonard says:
Jan 09, 2013

I like to have a general theme with three or four categories . some of our favorites Decadance- songs throughout the dacades
Imagination – all the things you can imagine to be scared about or dream of being
Viva Las Vegas – different hotels theme
Party on the dance floor – all kinds of party themes
Seasons – music that fit the season
Dance n Praise – all denominations favorite hymns and songs the children loved
Hello world – Looks around the world
TV Hits – theme songs from all the shows

Hope this helps someone ! For 33 years I have never used the same theme!

Tammy Worthington says:
Jan 12, 2013

Hello, I was hoping to see a Recital Theme list again for 2013…………What themes are out there this season? We had a very interesting Recital last year our theme was great, but our parents, volunteers, past students, and the original director along with my son and 2 other instructors put on our recital at the last minute on their own. My husband and partner had emergency surgery done and we were in the hospital while our recital was going on. I have to say I was completely blessed with my parents and teachers and dancers. They did so wonderfully and you would have never known they were on their own. Very proud and so happy that God decided to run the Showcases that day. We had a 2pm and 6pm Show.
So anyways just wondering what everyone is creating this season.
We are inspired by some Christian music theme this season. Putting ideas together as we speak. Already have opening routines figured out for young ones and the older ones.
Blessings to all you dance studio owners!

Tracy Kuhn says:
Jan 22, 2013

One of my favorites from past is a color theme. In other words, all music had a color mentioned or themed in it. Costuming was fun and all was unique with both old and current music. :-)

Linda Sipple says:
Jan 25, 2013

I am “semi” retired now, but my studio was known as Lindance, and we once did a program called, “Where In the World is Lin Dance”? Actually had one student dress as a “spy” (she was Lin Dance) and she danced her way through different “countries”… had the audience try to figure out which country she would NOT be a part of and gave away some prizes to those who guessed correctly… was fun to dress the students in costumes from the countries …they had a good time with it… had over a dozen different countries represented and “Lin Dance” danced her way through the scenes.

Wendy Rue says:
Feb 05, 2013

Some of our favorites was
“Chasing Fireflies” – a tribute to childhood summers
“Around the World In Eighty Minutes” – had to keep the music for each show to 80 minutes
“”Dancing Down Broadway” – using music to portray businesses located along Broadway street in our hometown (great way to get business ads)

Wendy Rue says:
Feb 05, 2013

Okay, I really do know my grammar “some of our favorites were…”

mel-dancing studio says:
Feb 10, 2013

Hello, above someone posted about Imagination – all the things you can imagine to be scared about or dream of being. We are trying to use that theme but seem to have hit some issues. Can you all help? feel free to email suggestions to
(we have about 53 numbers, totaling 4 shows.)

Theresa Baker says:
Feb 10, 2013

LOVE THIS — REALLY HELPFUL, takes away the pressure of trying to come up with the perfect unique theme, even if only used for ideas. I have one that we used last year, it isn’t on the list, and it was easy to include many styles of music and dance — Journeys & Destinations — the main idea was the journeys we take in life (hopes, dreams, wishes …), as well as the travels we may take to places.

Debra Galteland says:
Feb 10, 2013

Someone was asking for a space theme. My son has been wanting us to do “Intergalactic” for years. We have been doing one word titles for the last few years: Fame, Journey, Generations, MixIt, Pulse, Bling (was my fav.) Also I have great shirt designs for all of these. Also “And The winner is . . .” was my fav. shirt design I did.

Janna Ryan says:
Feb 10, 2013

I have a Christian Dance Studio and we don’t use secular music. We always do themes for our May, we also do a Christmas show and that is obviously Christmas music. For the last couple years our themes were “The Prince of Egypt” and we used the soundtrack from the movie and then Music Inspired by The Story and we used the cd of the same name. Both turned out magnificently! The only issue is coming up with a show theme to top it each year. This year we are doing Hope From Despair and dealing with some hard hitting issues and then God being your source of hope in the midst of everything. It is turning out really well so far!

MK Studios says:
May 24, 2013

We (two cousins – a 22 year old male and a 23 year old female) who decided to open a studio back in Feb. Our recital theme for the 2014 year is called “Showcase 2014: “The next big thing!”.. Those this is not a “specific” theme like some of the others I noticed were listed, we had several people say they wanted a recital that didn’t have a SET theme, which would allow all the dances in the recital to go with the backdrop and theme. For example, if our theme was a “jungle”, a country song wouldn’t mesh well with that backdrop. So were making our recital like a huge showcase with the backdrop similar to a Competition and using our studio colors and a Gobo our of studio theme to be displayed. …just a thought :)

Stacey Chqamberlain says:
Jun 14, 2013

We did one year Highway to Heaven, we used a lot of Christian music but also songs like Route 66. All songs about travel.
We have also done Trip to the library, useing all songs about books.

Renee Augustine says:
Jun 16, 2013

Wow! What a great idea to have studios post their collection of work thus far. My studio had our recital last night. Our theme was “Latin Fusion” For Act 1 I used various music from the ballet Carmen and Don Quixote. For Act 2 I used music from various Latin singers. Planning to do to a tribute to America next year…Salute to Stars and Stripes and country music for jazz.

Dianne says:
Jun 27, 2013

Great idea’s here. I have done most of these. This year we had “Dance With Your Heart” all songs were about love, dance, and hearts. One of my fav titles was when our theme was colors: The Color of Rhythm

DSO dance says:
Jun 29, 2013

Planning on a Movie theme this coming dance year. Do any of you have a list of songs that you used? Having a hard time coming up with TAP songs. I have a lot of Ballet and Lyrical already. Any song titles would be greatly appreciated :)

Amy Tidwell says:
Jul 01, 2013

I have done a theme called “Emotions in Motion” – the show was about exploring various emotions through dance (love, hate, greed, excitement, regret, hope, acceptance, fear, anger, happy, etc) Our community loved it!!! Examples: Fear was to Beeteljuice theme song and regret was about teenage drinking and driving.

Stacy Roseberry says:
Aug 17, 2013

The Endangered Danceforest…..brought to life by the students of (studio name)

Connie says:
Aug 18, 2013

Last May our theme was “A Dream of Broadway.” We Started show with a little girl in the recital in a small town. She danced her way through growing up until she made it to broadway. Before each dance we had someone reciting the story with Inspirational quotes throughout. the last dance was an older version of her on broadway, Which we used one of our teens that was going off to college and her mother sang On Broadway while the daughter danced. It was very heart warming and Inspirational.

Ashley says:
Aug 29, 2013

We are a Christian based studio, so our recitals are always related to Christianity. This is our 4th year to be opened. Some of the themes we have done are Colors of Salvation and God Is… The Colors of Salvation theme was inspired by the salvation bracelets with the different color beads. We went from black to green and all the songs had to do with what each color represented. The parents loved this theme. This past year we did God Is… I had each girl tell me who God was to them and then based the songs on their answers. This made it personal for the girls and was a great way to get to know the girls in a different way. This coming year we are doing Dancing through the Pages. It is going to have dances related to stories and themes found in the Bible. Hope this helped some of the Christian studios because it is not always easy coming up with themes relating to Christianity.

Mariann Paul says:
Sep 01, 2013

I am planning on an Elements theme this year and welcome any ideas for music, particularly for my opening and closing numbers! Looking forward to your inspiration!

Laurinda says:
Oct 18, 2013

Wow, this paragraph is nice, my sister is analyzing
these kinds of things, so I am going to convey her.

Amy says:
Oct 27, 2013

The instructors and I have enjoyed a general theme as well. One that you can choose music from all sorts of genre’s and time periods. A catchy word or phrase is what I like to look for.

We did “Flashbacks” last yr and it was my favorite. Each song had to have at least a cut of an older song (5 yrs or more old). You could do the whole song or just clip in the song. It was perfect! Topping that is hard.
“In the neighborhood” was a good one to have each song represent a local business and get an ad from them to sponsor a song. Loved that one too! The local Garbage company did an ad. We had a clip of “I Love trash” for the boys hip hop.

W. Phillips says:
Nov 07, 2013

Thank you, thank you, thank you for providing an amazing list of ideas!

Stephanie says:
Nov 14, 2013

This will be our 10th year recital…anyone have any suggestions for opening and finale songs?

Yvonne says:
Jan 13, 2014

It’s nice to have people out there sharing ideas and inspirations. We have a dance workshop that puts on two shows a year, one being a Christmas show and the other an end of year recital. We always have a specific theme for our end of year show. Some of our favorites were Viva Las Vegas, Candyland, Weather Girls, Calendar Girls, Salute to the Armed Forces, Welcome to Coney Island. We go all out with backdrops and costumes to fit the theme. This year, so far, we are stumped but it helps to brain storm ideas with all of you.

Michelle says:
Jan 23, 2014

Fairytales, Myths, and Legends

Leah queen says:
Jan 23, 2014

The name game

Allie Ashoka says:
Feb 01, 2014

Who I’m going to be
– all about the jobs and growing up

handyortung says:
Mar 22, 2014

Thanks for any other great article. The place else may anybody get that type of information in such a perfect manner of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I am on the look for such info.

MaryAnn Van Dine says:
Mar 25, 2014

We are Releve’ Dance Ensemble for Kansas City, KS Public Schools for the past 27 years and counting. Some of our more interesting years: The story of the Velveteen Rabbit, Rad Riding Hood, Disney, Tribute to Women in the Arts, From the Drums: dancing the history of African American song and dance. I am looking forward to seeing more comments as we go into this recital season. Oh, you all with Christian groups: we do The Prayer with all the kids together grades K-12 all in white at the end of all our recitals. Exclamation point for us to end our years together.

Lauren says:
Apr 03, 2014

Would love to do a High School Dance Team show about Color – any suggestions on songs or costumes

Last year we celebrated our 25th Anniversary. Here are some of the themes that we used that weren’t listed above, or have a twist to those above.
“Cover to Cover” – Magazines
“Happy Birthday” – Starting with being born and all of the stages through adult
“Black & White and Colors Bright” -Act 1 songs with black and/or white in them(and costumes), Act 2 songs with colors (has the effect of the Wizard of Oz
“The End is Near… But the End of What?” – Ex. The end of being poor “I wanna be Rich”, The end of being single “Going to the Chapel”
“I Write the Songs” – Famous composers
“Rock & Roll Heaven” – Singers who are dead
“It’s all in the Mind” – Stories, Fantasies, Ideas
“Hooked on a Feeling” – Emotions
“1 Hit Wonders”

Jennifer Tolley says:
Mar 23, 2015

I am in need of a child small Step in Time costume. I am using them for my recital this year and I have a student whose family had a house fire today. Their dance costume was ruined in the fire. If anyone has one of these costumes please let me know.

Kathie Morris says:
Jun 01, 2015

I think it is great that we are all sharing ideas and helping each out! This is a great idea to list your past themes for all to see and hopefully help out a fellow dance teacher! As of Sept 2015 we will be in our 35th year! We always use a new theme each year and have never reused! So it does become difficult the longer you are in the business! So thank you to everyone for sharing….so here are the ones I can remember that we have done in the past…Putting on the Ritz, Be Our Guest, Kats Kabaret (I was fortunate our name fit with this), Live, Love Laugh, Dance! , Bring it Back (25th yr), Dancing down Broadway, Can’t Stop the Beat, Invatation to Dance, Dancing with Imagination, Live to Dance, Remember the Magic, and this year is Legends, Divas & Superstars…these are just a few I can remember I hope they help someone! Best wishes to you all in your recital season!!

Laurie Nash says:
Jun 08, 2015

We did “Dance Invasion” this year and used all British songs. The audience loved the songs.

Leah says:
Jun 14, 2015

We did viva Las Vegas!

stefanie says:
Jun 24, 2015

This year we are continuing our summer camp and the theme of the cycle is space/ star wars. I would like to get some help to figure out what songs i could use as well props. any suggestions would be helpful.

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