Performance Guidelines

Eight steps to shine onstage

Follow these RCT guidelines and you’ll look polished and professional.

ReCreation Tappers' guidelines for performance attire and appearance are designed to present a professional, uniform look free of distractions that can interfere with audience appreciation.

Performers are expected to adhere to these guidelines. Any additions or changes in dress or appearance for specific numbers will be announced by the Artistic Director well in advance of performances.

The guidelines cover clothing, jewelry, hair, makeup and nails.

  1. PANTS: The Artistic Director has specified an "RCT Performance Pant." These straight-leg, plain black pants are flattering and durable. They are available to performers at RCT’s cost ($40 – no markup) from Sarann Kraushaar. The pants must be hemmed to break at the instep.
  2. TOPS: For many numbers, RCT dancers wear plain black V-neck, ¾-sleeve tops. The Artistic Director has selected a black top made of the same fabric as the “RCT Performance Pant.” These tops are available to performers at RCT’s cost ($35 – no markup) from Sarann Kraushaar.

    Other tops specified by the Artistic Director or choreographers for specific numbers will be provided by ReC Tappers and kept in inventory.

    Under all tops, dancers must wear their own opaque black tank top, camisole or shaper tucked into the pants. This item of clothing is required so that bare midriffs are not exposed when dancers twist, turn, bend or raise their arms. These undergarments also are required for modesty when we change costume tops without a private space. This undergarment should have a V-neck so that it does not show under our Performance Top or other costume tops. In fact, no part of this garment should be visible to the audience, including straps.
  3. HOSIERY: All dancers must wear their own opaque black hosiery or trouser socks so that no flesh tones are visible between tap shoes and the hem of the black pants.
  4. SHOES: Dancers wear their own solid-black tap shoes. Choreographers may express a preference for oxford-style flats or Mary Jane-style 1 ½-in heeled shoes. Many RCT performers own both styles.
  5. JEWELRY: Only jewelry and accessories specified by the Artistic Director or the choreographer of a number are permitted. No personal jewelry, please. This includes rings, earrings, bracelets, wristwatches, necklaces, pins, hair ornaments and ankle bracelets. Dancers who are unable to remove their rings prior to a performance can turn them around and cover them with a flesh-colored band-aid. This creates a uniform appearance free of distractions and prevents injury (a ring, bracelet or watch on your swinging arm can injure another dancer). It also prevents damage or loss of personal items.

    Unless otherwise specified by the Artistic Director, all dancers will wear RCT-issued crystal stud earrings at every performance. They are available from the Artistic Director in both pierced and clip-on styles. Each performer receives one pair of her own to keep, free of charge. Replacements for lost or broken earrings are available at $5/pair.
  6. HAIR: Hair should be neat and simple in order to accommodate any costume headpieces. Hair that is shoulder-length or longer must be swept cleanly back from the face (bangs excepted) and secured with plain bobby pins and/or plain hairpins in a bun at the back of the head/nape of the neck (no scrunchies or butterfly clips, etc.). No tendrils, curls or fringe at the side of the face. Low ponytails (lying at the neck) are acceptable.
  7. MAKEUP: Makeup is important, and performers must wear it, especially eyebrow color, eye shadow, carefully applied blush and BRIGHT RED LIPSTICK. Lipstick must be bright red, not hot pink, coral or brown). Bright lights wash out complexions, and tappers should look vibrant not wan. Allergic to makeup? Try a hypoallergenic brand like Almay and/or wear what you can without a reaction. Some tappers with sensitive lips recommend Clinique’s Chubby Stick. For help with a professional-looking makeup application, see the accompanying instruction sheet, courtesy of RCT Affiliated Teacher JJ Johnson. Click here to download Makeup Guidelines.
  8. NAILS: Fingernails should be natural, French-manicured, or polished in a light neutral or pastel shade. No bright red, coral, hot pink, brown or offbeat colors.


Put these performance tips to work and enjoy the applause!

Break a leg!