Dance requires discipline, not just in movement but also in the way we live. Discipline is required especially while preparing for your next big dance performance - when a dancer focuses on various aspects of technique and choreography. And discipline also has to be maintained on the performance day - when there is a nervous energy all around the green room. I know from personal experience as a dancer/performer/teacher, that there is as much drama behind the stage as much as on stage!
There are no strict rules that one should follow in the green room but different personal habits of different dancers definitely affect everyone around. With so many different stage departments trying to coordinate to make a show successful, it is difficult to maintain your focus on dance.
Why do we need good habits in the green room? Your personal habits and behaviour affects not just one person but the entire team in small or big way. For example, if you think that coming just 15 minutes late is fine then you are compromising on not just your own professional values but also not respecting the time of other people who are waiting for you.
Here are some tips and tricks that will help a dancer/performer respect the space of other performers and also focus better on your own performance.
Being punctual is a very good idea as it will give you ample amount of time to keep your bag wherever you want, check on things that you are carrying everything for the performance, give you appropriate time to snack, enough time to warm up your tight muscles or meditate. It is a very good idea to be physically and mentally prepared for your performance without your teacher yelling at you. When you do everything on time for yourself, it helps you keep calm and you will realise that even stage managers and other stage coordinates respect you for not being a big fuss to them.
Professional dancers always prepare very well for themselves and punctuality is a quiet discipline for which you might never get an award but people around you will start respecting you as a mature person and a born leader who can take care of small things by themselves.
RESPECTFUL TO OTHERS
There are so many different types of dancers with their own personal habits of where to keep their things in a green room. Not everyone becomes a soloist and get their own personal room to change costume and do their makeup in peace. Whether you are a big dance company or small, few things can help you not lose your important make up stuff while you are in green room.
A dance friend of mine told me his green room tale of how he lost his shoe to another dancer who proved to him that the shoe belonged to him. The other dancer had kept a small piece of paper with his name in the inside sole of the shoe.
Small incidents like these keep happening in the green room and can sometimes result in petty arguments. Therefore, it is important to not let your belongings lay on the floor or on a common dressing table. Always mark your costumes and dance shoes with your name or any other way so it does not gets mixed up with the rest. Try to keep your bag in one corner or if possible in such a place where you know it will be safe. Always keep your make-up bag inside your big dance bag after use and never ever share your makeup with too many people otherwise it’s never coming back.
It is also important to know that you have to be a team player and not act like a bully or a diva. I have seen lots of dancers who always want to be the first in getting their makeup done but they never say a ‘please’ or a ‘thank you’ to the makeup artist. There are dancers who always make an announcement about not being able to get ready or not getting enough of glitter on them!
Keeping the green room clean is also your responsibility by taking care of little things. Healthy snacking 1 hour before performance is good and it is also good to always throw the leftovers in the dustbin. Sometimes cleanliness becomes difficult when there is a kids performance but not impossible. You may have done all your makeup by yourself and absolutely perfectly but don’t forget to throw used cotton bolls in the dustbin and keep all your bobby pins and safety pins in your makeup bag. From socks to glitter, there is a lot to take care of but try to keep your mind peaceful for yourself and others. Messy room is a messy mind!
These are a few, small things that everyone should take care even if everyone is busy and no one is there to say anything about your personal habits. If you will try to keep your mind clutter free and peaceful, the easier it will be for you to focus on your performance without any rush or hassle.