Student Blog: Behind The Curtain: My Experience Backstage

A look into the experience behind the scenes.

By: Jun. 30, 2024
Student Blog: Behind The Curtain: My Experience Backstage
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After a lifetime of performing onstage in dance recitals and school musicals, I have always wondered how the experience would be if I worked behind the scenes. Recently, I had the opportunity to do so at the dance recital of my former studio. I worked to ensure the show went on smoothly, and it was a very different experience than usual. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed my experience backstage and how it compared to being onstage. 

At my former studio, our recital experience is different than usual. Instead of having one show that goes on for hours, my studio divides it into four smaller performances throughout the day. This means that we have to operate four different shows in one day, which may seem extreme, but because of the amazing crew, it goes by fairly quickly. 

My duties throughout the day changed, so I had the opportunity to experience different jobs. I did various tasks, such as grouping dancers backstage to make sure they were prepared for their number, pulling the curtain, and ushering. Each position had its pros and cons. For example, pulling the curtain allowed me to have a great view of the dance numbers onstage, but the curtain itself was difficult to pull, especially when it moved really fast. However, I enjoyed each of my roles and found that they gave me a new perspective of show business. 

One of my former dance teachers said “it takes a village” when discussing recital operations, and that couldn’t be more true. Between stage managers, curtain pullers, tech crew, and the performers, it really takes a whole cohort to operate a show. I didn’t realize it until I worked behind the scenes, but each person is vital to the successful run of a show, no matter the role. If it wasn’t for them, there would be no performance. Between the outstanding dancers having to remember their numbers, to backstage members having to be on cue, each person has their own set of responsibilities. 

When I was a performer, I only focused on myself and remembering what I had to do once I got on stage. I now realize there’s a lot more that goes into a performance, and the appreciation I hold for the crew operating behind the scenes is immense. The show can’t go on without their support, after all. Between being backstage and performing, I would choose the latter, but having backstage experience opened my eyes and makes me a well-rounded performer for the future. 


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