Basic Dance Etiquette
Dance class environments are varied depending on the type of dance and instructor teaching. Many instructors adhere to a strict classical classroom protocol while others prefer a more relaxed atmosphere. Teaching requires enormous concentration. Student awareness of appropriate classroom etiquette helps the instructor stay on his or her task; helping you to becoming the best dancer you can be.
Here are a few basic rules of dance class to help keep you on track:
- Dress appropriately and come prepared. (hair completely back, cover ups for outside)
- Don’t come late and if you do, enter very quietly. (You should be early, ready to dance with shoes on, hair up, mind set for doing your best today)
- Don’t leave early. If it is a must, talk to the teacher before class. If you need to exit in an emergency (it better be good), exit as quickly and discreetly as possible.
- Don’t chew gum or bring food and drinks (a closed water bottle is okay) into the studio.
- Never wear dance shoes outside the studio or wear street shoes in the studio. Check for loose screws …on your taps before you step foot on the dance floor.
- Don’t “hang” or slouch on the barre or anywhere else, for that matter.
- Beware of negative body language (like folded arms). Yawning is a no no. Never sit down unless you are asked to.
- Put any personal belongings in the designated space in the studio (never the front or where the teacher demonstrates).
- Don’t talk while the teacher is talking. Not even whispering to the person next to you.
- Completely silence and stow your cell phone. Even vibration is often audible.
- Listen first, then ask relevant questions.
- Finish each exercise in the stance from which it began.
- Respect the dance space. Pick up trash, your clothes, and don’t turn things on, off, up, or down in the space without permission.
- Acknowledge a correction with a nod of the head or a thank you.
- When asked if you understand, a simple yes or no (mam/sir) is appropriate.
- Always finish the class by applauding, and thanking the teacher. (Reverence)
Seasoned Dancer Etiquette
Once a dancer has taken classes for a year or two they are ready to layer on a more indepth etiquette in the classroom. The basic etiquette previously mentioned all must remain and be practiced daily. Here are a few more rules to help dance class go smoothly.
- Maintain respect, correct posture, and a positive attitude throughout the entire class.
- Attention should be directed towards the instructor at all times.
- Respect the personal space of others.
- Be ready to dance before the music begins.
- At the end of an exercise, move only after the last note of the music has finished ringing. (or when the instructor has given permission to relax)
- Always turn toward the barre between exercises.
- Learn and assimilate the exercises quickly in order to receive the most out of the class. This is an art in itself and must be practiced.
- Pay attention to and assimilate corrections given to other individuals. If the correction is directed toward another person, apply it to your own learning. (this is one huge way for a dancer to progress quickly)
- When another group is dancing, prepare yourself to begin dancing as they finish.
- When executing a combination in the center of the room that advances forward; finish the exercise and move directly to the front, then to the side, before returning to the back of the room to repeat the exercise. This will enable other dancers to begin.
- When you are finished with an exercise in the center, leave the floor as soon as possible. (Never stop dancing in the middle of a combination)
- Consider bringing a towel to class if you think you might sweat a lot.
- Hygiene is very important. Showering, clean dance wear and deodorant are a must.
- In case of injury, attend all classes and take notes. (Do not lie down or disrupt class)
- Do not correct other students. Make double sure you are doing the step correctly.
- Always thank the instructor and the accompanist at the end of each class.