Is this your first dance recital as a performer? Your first time attending a dance recital?
Have you danced before but want a refresher on best practices backstage?
Are you unsure on expectations of an arts/theatre audience?


Here are a few etiquette guidelines to help you and your fellow audience members enjoy the show fully.

Everyone Needs a Ticket – Parents, toddlers, grandparents, friends. Everyone attending the recital needs to purchase a ticket and seats are limited. While children are welcome to attend they must remain seated during the performances. If you feel that your child may not be able to remain focused for the performances it is recommended that they do not attend.

General/Rush Seating – Please try not to leave single seats between you and the next set of audience members as all seats may be needed for a sold out event. It is okay to save a few seats but if you have a large group attending please wait until most of your group has arrived before finding seats or be prepared to sit separately.

Silence or Turn Off Your Devices – Please turn off cell phones, tablets, and any other electronic devices prior to the performance starting. You should never speak, text, or play games on your electronic devices during a performance. You should also not check your device during a performance since the backlight is incredibly bright and distracting to other audience members and also visible to the dancers on stage.

No Entrances/Exits – Our recital is designed to flow quickly between performance pieces. Please do not enter or exit unless it is an emergency. If you have a fussy child please exit as quietly as possible in order to minimize the disruption to your fellow audience members. Intermission is your opportunity to chat, use the washroom, grab water or a snack.

No Video or Pictures – Photography and videography are not allowed during the recital performances. This will be enforced. Your movements trying to get the best angle as well as the light from the device are distracting to both nearby audience members and the dancers. Recital DVDs can be purchased by contacting the studio. Photos with family, friends, and fellow dancers can be taken after the show during the reception.

Curtain Call – The performance is over at the conclusion of curtain call (when every dancer comes onstage to take their final bow). Audience members should stay for the entire performance and should not leave early during the curtain call. Please stay in your seat until the performance is over and the house lights are raised. Then, exit with the rest of the audience. This policy is in place to show respect and appreciation to all of our performers.

No Backstage Access – No one is allowed backstage except for dancers, volunteers, and instructors. Dancers will be released to the main gym following the curtain call and after having returned their costume. No dancers will be released at intermission or at any other time throughout the Recital unless arrangements had been made prior to the show. Please rest assured that we have a number of volunteers backstage to help your dancer throughout the entire process.

Flowers for Your Dancer – If this is your first dance recital you might be surprised to find many of the other parents or family members have small bouquets or single roses/flowers ready to present to their dancer at the end of the show. This is a tradition for theatre and arts performances and while it isn’t necessary it is a nice gesture to recognize the dancer’s effort over the course of the entire dance year and the achievement of having performed in front of a large audience.

Enjoy the Show! – This one is the most important, sit back, relax and enjoy the performances. The dancers have worked hard on these performances and they love hearing the audience’s enthusiasm and applause.


DanceAdvantage has a great post on “Backstage Bliss: 11 Guidelines for Students in a Dance Recital“. This infographic covers the basics of the article but it’s a great idea to click the link and read the full article for more details and explanations of each guideline.

  • Please remember to arrive with your hair and makeup already done and also remove any nail polish or jewelry before arriving (for both dress rehearsal and recital)
  • Costumes must be worn at both dress rehearsal and the show. They should not be worn to and from the theatre and must be returned immediately after recital. Please be sure to have another outfit for your dancer to wear home.
  • Dancers can bring snacks to dress rehearsal but please recognize they may be in costume or near to costumes and do not pack snacks that will stain or easily make a mess.
  • Also, don’t forget to label your shoes or any other personal belongings.


One thought on “Dance Recital Etiquette

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s