Over the years as a teacher and a studio owner, I was dismayed at the chaos that occurred at dancer drop off and pickup. Watching many studio owners deal with this problem gave me the insight as to how to handle the issue. We take the backstage safety and security of our dancers very seriously.
When dancers are dropped off and picked up backstage, only the parent with the wristband and the dancer with the wristband are allowed backstage. We ask that no other family members, siblings, etc., be with you. Why? Because in a short period of time many dancers are being dropped off and picked up, and having extra people back there just adds to the confusion. In addition, during pick up, we are extremely careful about who is going out the door with whom. Extra people and children add to the difficulty in accounting for all dancers. During the show, we also have security at the backstage door so that no one is allowed in or out unless they are a backstage mom or a dancer. All dancers remain backstage for the entire show. Our shows are much shorter than most recitals (anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half) so it makes it a little nicer when everyone isn't backstage for hours.
Why wristbands? Wristbands are a great tool that we have used over the past years for our recitals. Each dancer wears a wristband on his or her "right" wrist. This band has the dancer's name on it and the matching band with a matching name is on a parent's wrist as well. You will be checked before leaving the backstage area for matching wristbands. Besides signing in and out with your backstage mom, this provides an extra layer of security that we believe is necessary. In addition, there are two backstage moms with each group (sometimes one mom if the class is older) and sometimes those parents do not always know everyone's names; therefore, having a wristband with the dancer's name on it really helps the backstage moms as well.
Many people are concerned about the dancers wearing the wristbands onstage. Our wristbands are barely visible onstage and look fine in the videos. When worn on their "right" wrist, the wristbands fit in with the uniformity of the dancers and the dance. We also teach our dancers that the wristband is on the right wrist which helps them to remember their right from their left on the stage as well.
I hope this helps you understand why we have these procedures in place and how they help provide safety for your dancer before, during, and after the show.