Know Before You Go

Dance Do's and Don'ts

A field guide to dance performances

Field Guide


  • What’s the story? Dance performances don’t usually have dialogue. If you’re seeing a full-length dance show, you might want to find out in advance whether it has a storyline. For example, some ballets are based on famous fairytales, as with Sleeping Beauty and Peter Pan. Plan on researching the story, choreographer, composer, even the dance company and dancers. The more you know, the more you will enjoy the show.

  • Listen up! A great way to prepare for a dance performance is to listen to the music either online or on a CD. You’ll appreciate the performance much more if you can become familiar with the music.


  • Clap for Spins. In dance performances with live music, clap when the conductor first appears. In any performance, you can also clap after dances and after impressive dance moves, like fast pirourettes (spins). 



Marina Ruben
Original Writer

Editors & Producers

Lisa Resnick
Content Editor

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