The conventional way to play steelpans is by standing behind the instrument: you stand facing the playing surface.
The pan should ideally be at waist height. To allow for body movement you will need to stand approximately 5 inches away from the pan. This may vary according your height and reach.
Initially your standing position is with your feet firmly on the ground. As your playing improves, you will find that you move your feet slightly in time with the beat as you are playing.
When playing the tenor you will need to lean forward slightly, so that your upper body is more parallel to the playing surface.
When playing second tenors and guitars, you will need to stand between both pans allowing the left and right hand to play the notes on the left and right pans. There will be times when you will play one of the pans with both hands depending on the succession of notes played or if you are playing chords. The standing position is similar for the quadrophonics.
When playing the cellos, you will need to stand in front of the middle pan. Your starting position is with your left hand resting on the pan to the left and your right hand on the pan to the right. Although you will start with your feet firmly on the ground you will find that you have to move around when playing in order to reach the notes. The standing position is similar for the tenor bass.
The 5 and 6 bass are usually set up in an inverted U shape. Standing upright you move up and down in the area inside the bass pans to play the notes.