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Amanda Schauer
March 31, 2021

What Should Be Included in a Dance Recital Program?

What Should Be Included in a Dance Recital Program?Your dancers have practiced long hours to get ready for their recital. It is a showcase of all of the hard work that the dancers, choreographers, directors, and many more have put into their craft. It is only fitting to memorialize this event with a professional, high-quality dance recital program. Not only are programs great keepsakes for audience members and parents, but it can also provide a second source of income for the dance company via advertisers and sponsorships.


Dance recital programs are a popular accompaniment to recitals for a good reason: they work! Rachel W, the owner of Sunflower State Dance, had this to say about printing dance recital programs, “Printing a dance recital program shows that you really care about your event and that you want to provide a professional experience for your participants.” For more information about Rachel’s experience printing with us, see her case study here.


You may know that you need to create a program, but you may not know where to start. Don’t worry! PrintingCenterUSA provides many blank program templates for you to download to create a custom program on Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or InDesign. If you don’t have a design software, we also have a FREE online design tool. Simply upload your photos, drag, drop, and print! You can also choose to hire a graphic designer to create your program, if you wish.


What Should I Include in a Dance Recital Program?

When laying out the format of your program, there is a tried-and-true format that most audiences expect:

  1. Information about the Dance Company
  2. Set List
  3. Information about the Dancers
  4. Sponsor / Advertiser Information


Recital Program Mockup with Letter from the Director

Information About the Dance Company

Let’s begin with information about the dance company. Sometimes this is a single page, usually on the inside front cover, that gives a brief overview on who the directors are, the owner of the company, and the choreographers. Sometimes this information is a letter from the director, thanking the audience for attending the show. This is also where you would state what your inspiration was for the show and set the scene for what the audience is about to enjoy. It’s usually a good idea to keep this information to one or two pages only.


Set List

Then go into the schedule of events, or the set list. Make sure that you include the title of the piece / music, who choreographed the piece, and the name of the dancers performing. Be sure to remember to mark when intermissions or breaks are going to be in the show, so your audience knows the appropriate time to grab a snack or use the restroom.


Information About the Dancers

Next include high-resolution (over 300DPI) images of the performers or groups. High-quality headshots are usually used for this. If this program is for a class, be sure to include that class the dancers are in and what specialty they are practicing.

Difference Between Print DPI and Online DPI

Sponsor / Advertiser Information

Finally, the last pages of your programs, or any blank sections of your program, can be saved for advertising space. This can be from either local businesses or parents. If you would like to get businesses to advertise in your program, you can sell parts of pages and charge different prices, depending on the page size. 

Example Pricing:

  • Full Page: $20 - $200
  • Half Page: $10 - $70
  • Quarter Page: $5 - $45
  • Business Card: $5 - $20

Sponsors and Advertisements in Dance Recital ProgramsIt is beneficial to both you, as the dance company, and local businesses. It provides advertisement to the community for the businesses and good press because then people know that the business gives back and supports the community that it operates in.


If you don’t want to sell ad space to businesses, you can also offer parents the opportunity to buy space to honor their children. Parents can submit a photo and an encouraging message for their dancer to read. You can use the pricing template above for how to break pages up. For more information on fundraising, advertising ideas, and sales tips, be sure to see our blog post here.


Finally, be sure to thank your audience for attending your show and advertise when any upcoming shows are going to be.


Where to Print Dance Recital Programs

Printing is fast, easy, and affordable with PrintingCenterUSA. We have over 50 years of experience and have printed for self-publishers and large corporations. We treat all of our customers with the same care and high-quality customer service. On our website, it is easy to submit a new order, or re-order an existing file!


Recommended Specifications for Programs

Open Program with Dancers

Program Sizes

The most popular sizes for our programs are 8.5" x 11" and 5.5" x 8.5". The 8.5" x 11" is a large, standard paper sized program, which has lots of space for vivid photographs and information.


Paper / Ink

When deciding on the specifications for your printed programs, we recommend using full-color ink on 100# gloss text for both your cover and inside pages. Our 100# gloss paper will give your images a nice pop and will make the colors look very vibrant. The paper is heavy, but also not wasting any space. It’s an easy way to make your programs look professional.



We recommend all of our printing projects use a coating for their covers. We have UV Coating and Soft-Touch Lamination available at the time of publishing. UV Coating will give a high-gloss shine to your cover and bring life to your colors. Not only that, but it will protect against minor scratches and scuffing that can happen during transportation.

Soft Touch Lamination is another great option. What sets Soft Touch Lamination apart is that it gives a velvety-smooth finish to your cover and will feel soft to the touch. This process does mattify your cover, unlike UV which gives a high shine. Both options are great to give your programs a wow factor.

*Please note that coating is only available for paper that is marked as ‘Cover’.


Pages / Binding

We recommend that programs are printed with the saddle stitch binding option. This binding option is great for printing booklets that are between 8 and 92 pages. It is bound together with two staples going through the spine and is easy for audiences to flip through and can lay flat on a table or lap.

If your program is over 60 pages, we recommend perfect bound. A perfect bound booklet will have a square spine and can range from 20 pages to 2 inches thick. However, this kind of binding will not allow your book to lay flat and you also have to account 3/8” of margin for the spine.

Difference Between Perfect Bound and Saddle Stitch Binding Options

Now that you know everything that you need to know for program printing for your dance recital, don’t wait! Start planning and designing your program today.


Click here to get an instant quote on how affordable our programs are for your recital:Program Instant Quote

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