Ottawa Dancers’ Blogletter – 2018/05/22

Sssshhhh!  Backstage Tips for Dancers Waiting in the Wings.

Whether it’s a student show and/or a more professionally focused show dancers, seasoned and new dancers alike are always excited to have the opportunity to dance and show off their hard work and costumes.  Shows are also a time for dancers to meet up with fellow dancers they haven’t seen regularly and the excitement can easily turn into distractions and/or disruptions behind and in front of the curtains.  Disruptions and/or distractions can lead to a toxic dance environment and lead to an unenjoyable evening for everyone affected.  Dance, for me, is my happy place and I understand and even get excited when I get to meet up with dance friends I haven’t seen for a while, especially at shows, I get to be a part of, however, I don’t do well when others are unhappy so here are my tips for dancers backstage and waiting in the wings to perform.

Be aware of your volume!

If possible, arrive a little earlier to meet up with your dance friends you know are going and you want to catch up with.

Before the doors are open to the public, be your usual loud self and get out as much of your catching as possible before the public can possible over hear everything you say.  Sometimes the dressing rooms are so close to the stage that sound can travel further than you think.

When the doors open to the public, lower your voice to a near whisper.

When the show starts, you voice should be a whisper when you’re near the stage.

If you’re waiting in the wings, while another dancer is performing, please refrain from talking at all.

If you’re going to make a noise from the wings, it should be cheers, zagareets, and/or clapping.  This type of noise is more encouraging to the dancer than potentially overhearing that you really like their costume and/or what you ate or didn’t eat before coming to the show.

Be aware of you space!

In the changing room you most likely will be sharing the space with many other people so try to pack smart and small.  Free standing bags with various pockets can be handy to help contain you in one location as well as easier to find amongst bags.

If you have multiple costume changes and need some counter space, still try to contain yourself to a makeup bag width area and neatly organize your changes; I like using cloth grocery bags to organize my costumes if I don’t have hangers or hanging space available.

While you waiting in the wings, be aware of the dancers that go on before you and after you as you will have to make sure you don’t collide as you enter and exit the stage.  If you have a chance as the dancers that dance before and after you which side they’re entering and exiting from as well as let them know your entrance/exit plan so transitions can be made more smoothly.

Be aware of your mood!

We all have bad days and sometimes it’s hard to be cheery but if you need to, fake that smile!  Smiles are contagious and it might help alleviate your not super happy mood for even a short time. 

If you’re nervous in performing, it’s okay, everyone goes through it.  I’ve performed many a time and I still get nervous before I go on, because I want to dance well.  Practice a lot before you perform and it will help with some of the nerves, because hell you know that song well.  And if a bead string breaks or you misstep, while on stage, it’s okay, these things happen.  Try to keep in the mood of your dance and the audience will support you instead of worrying for you.

Most of all be kind, respectful and have fun!

You, your fellow dancers and the audience are all their to have a good time.  Be kind, respectful and have fun!  Love your dance!

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