Backstage Etiquette

The new environment of a stage makes it difficult and confusing for students of all ages to maneuver backstage at Recital. The following are some important stage factors of that need to be considered when transitioning from studio to stage: 

  • Stage lights are very strong and give an illusion of having an obstructed view. This makes it difficult to be aware of the surroundings when moving quickly and dancing.
  • Wings are used to enter and exit the performing area. These entrances and exits cannot be practiced in the studio as we do not have the wing space.
  • Mirrors in the studio are a great help to students who are unsure of their dance or their spacing. Unfortunately, on the stage, there are no mirrors and practicing without these mirrors can only be done on the stage.
  • Size of the stage is also larger than our studio. This changes the dynamics of the piece students are performing in. The time it takes to move from one formation to another and the spacing will be different.


It is important to be calm and quiet backstage as to not disturb dancers performing on stage.  All dancers should sit or stand quietly backstage while waiting to perform.  Typically, there is one class on stage performing, and another class “on deck”, backstage in the wings preparing to perform.  Dancers on deck should be quiet and not stand in the wings until it is their time to dance.  Blocking the wings is problematic for dancers performing on stage who have quick exits and entrances.

If dancers must make a cross over from stage left to stage right during their dancers, please do not run backstage.  It will cause ripples in the curtain and will “give away” your crossover to the audience. In addition, it is very dark backstage and dancers can trip over props and lighting cords, so please no running!

For more information on Recital, please be sure to read through the Recital Handbook 2017.