Why do people say "break a leg" before a dancer goes on stage? The dance world is full of superstitions. By saying "break a leg" before a show, people are saying the exact opposite of what they hope will happen on stage. Some dancers have very precise routines for doing their hair or make-up. Others wear certain clothes before a show or keep lucky charms in their dressing rooms or backstage. Before the curtain goes up, some dancers link pinky fingers or step onto the stage with the wrong foot so that when their cue comes, they start the show on the right foot.