Everyone knows that ‘Good manners cost nothing’ Please and Thank-you’s are the very basics expected of you, but have you ever thought about the etiquette in a dance studio? How should you behave? What is expected of you? Here is your guide to Dance Class Etiquette!
DANCE UNIFORM AND APPEARANCE
Here at RISE Studios we have a set uniform for our classes. This is pretty much standard practice in most dance schools and there are some very important reasons for this.
Firstly, your dance teacher needs to be able to see your body clearly to ensure your safety! I know this might not sound appealing, especially to those who are body conscious, but your teacher will be able to visibly see muscles that should be engaged, so it will help with corrections, thus improving your technique. She/he will also be able to see whether or not your hips/legs/ribs etc are in the correct alignment, thus preventing unnecessary injuries or stopping you from developing bad habits.
Secondly, like school, everyone will look the same. No one will stand out for the wrong reasons, and if you go out as a group to an event or performance it is clear which school you are representing. It looks professional!
Uniform should be kept clean and neat, and be properly fitted. No ladders in tights or holes in ballet shoes. Ballet shoes should be a snug fit, no room for growth. This will give you a much better pointe!
Hair should always be neatly and securely off the face, in a tight bun for ballet. This is not just because your teacher wants it off your face, it is a safety thing! If you are pirouetting with hair all over the place you are likely to get disorientated, lose balance, or be whipped in the eye by your pony tail! You are also less likely to fidget with your hair if it is tied back.
Both these aspects of appearance show your teacher you are serious about dance and your class and you’re ready to work hard.
This is SO important. Arriving as the class is about to start is not ideal, as you will be rushing in at the last minute without giving your body time to prepare. You should aim to arrive 10 minutes before your class is due to start to get your dance shoes on and prepare for class. Wasting time changing shoes as you enter the room just eats into your class time, and 5 minutes here and there adds up! If you arrive more than 10 minutes late, you will have to sit and watch your class. Again this is a safety issue as you will have missed the start of the warm-up which could potentially cause an injury!
Please make sure you have been to the toilet before your class, and bring a water bottle in with you. You don’t want to waste precious dance time going to the toilet or filling up a water bottle! If you are desperate to go, wait until your teacher has finished talking or the music has finished playing, raise your hand and ask to be excused. When re-entering the room wait for a break in the music so that you don’t disrupt your class mates.
If you are late for a class (Less than 10 minutes late) get ready outside and enter quietly. Apologize for being late to your teacher and quickly take your place, ready to start. If you feel the need to explain your lateness wait until class has finished and speak to them at the end, so that you don’t add any more delays to the class.
Show your teacher that you care about dance, and that you are there because you want to be. Don’t slouch, lean on tables, fold your arms. These poses make you look disinterested. Body language says a lot! If the teacher is giving you a correction, listen and take it on board. Your teacher wants you to reach your full potential. She/he is not correcting you to be mean. Give other students the same curtesy, keep quiet whilst someone else is receiving corrections, so they don’t miss anything, and you never know you may actually learn something from other student’s corrections.
At the end of your class, after your curtsey or bow it is good manners to applaud. This makes for a great atmosphere at the end of your class. You are saying ‘Well done’ to yourself and your fellow students. Thank the teacher and say good bye as you are leaving.
I hope this has been useful, especially for students who are considering a career with a professional company.
Thank-you for taking the time to read this, and I’ll see you in class…. Looking immaculate of course 😉