We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Does a Backup Dancer Do?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Practical Adult Insights, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A backup dancer accompanies leads in a performance, dancing with or behind them to add depth to the choreography. Backup dancers can appear in live as well as recorded performances. They may be hired on a contract basis or could become part of a permanent creative team hired by an artist or dance troupe. Some pop stars and other performers get their start in the backup dancer position, working their way through the ranks as they develop skills and eventually have an opportunity to audition on their own for lead roles.

These dancers need professional training and skills in the type of dance they will perform. A hip-hop backup dancer, for example, needs to be familiar with specific moves, different from pop backup dancers. People who work on musicals may also play small speaking or singing roles, dancing in the background in other scenes, and thus need a flexible set of creative skills.

Backup dancers start by attending a series of rehearsals to learn the choreography and practice the routine. They work with the lead and the choreographer and may be taped during rehearsals to provide material for review and study after hours. Once the dancers are familiar with the piece and ready to perform, they can start filming, for recorded performances, or perform live at concerts, musicals, and other events. Dancers on tour need to stay in shape and attend regular rehearsals at new venues to make any necessary adjustments to the choreography to adapt to new performance spaces.

Live performance can present a number of challenges. Dancers need to be able to adapt to mistakes and other problems that can potentially arise during performance. The ability to improvise can help cover up missteps, forgotten lyrics, and other events. While such incidents are rare, they do happen, and a quick recovery on the part of a backup dancer can be critical. The dancers may be able to cover up an event so seamlessly that the audience doesn't notice, reducing the risk of bad reviews or complaints from unhappy attendees.

This type of work can be physically demanding. A backup dancer on tour may perform on multiple nights in a row, in performances that can last two hours or more. Some of the moves may require extreme strength, flexibility, and fitness. The dancers must protect themselves from injuries and strains while performing. Pay and benefits can vary, depending on the firm or artist hiring the dancers and their seniority in the cast.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a Practical Adult Insights researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.