Especially as young dancers just get their start, it’s important to teach them proper etiquette. These tips we’re going to give are by no means meant to be an exhaustive list; however, they are a great starting point as well as a good check sheet to keep visible for all dancers of any age and stage. We’ll start with several tips relating to your appearance and personal property that begins before class time; all of it influences your dance studio’s atmosphere and your own success as a dancer.
Proper Etiquette Regarding Your Personal Appearance
Personal appearance is important for anyone, but for a dancer whose body is the very canvas on which her art is displayed, it is supremely important.
1. Prepare ahead of time and come dressed and groomed appropriately. For most dancers, this will include leaving any sharp-edged or dangling jewelry at home or in their dance bags and making sure shoes and appropriate attire are in place and hair is properly coifed before dance class begins.
2. Use proper hygiene. Whenever you arrive at dance class, be sure you’re freshly showered and have recently brushed your teeth or at least freshened your breath.
3. Reserve dance shoes for inside the studio. (Never wear them outside of it.) On a related note, never wear your street shoes on the studio floor.
4. If you’re in tap, be sure to check shoes for any loose screws before stepping onto the dance floor.
5. Dispose of chewing gum before dance class begins. It’s not only rude but also unsafe to chew gum during class.
Proper Etiquette Regarding Your Stuff
What you do with your personal property at the dance studio isn’t just an issue of appearances, as important as those are; it’s also an issue of safety. The last thing you and your fellow dancers need is something to stumble over as you try to perfect your technique or new routine.
6. Reserve the studio floor for your feet! By this, we mean to leave food and beverages out of the dance space. (One exception may be a closed water bottle, depending on your instructor’s preferences.)
7. Always store any items that aren’t directly dance-related in a dressing room if one is available; alternatively, you can store personal items at the sides or back of the studio against unused walls.
8. Do your part to keep the dance studio clean and orderly. Pick up any trash you generate yourself or see around you. Keep any personal items tidy and out of the way before, during, and after class.
9. Leave anything alone that doesn’t belong to you, unless you have express permission. This includes turning on or off or moving things up or down within the studio or using other dancers’ items.
10. Before class begins, be sure to turn off your cell phone and stow it away in your bag. Make sure it is completely silenced, not set to vibrate, so it will not interrupt class to any degree.
Continue reading with Part 2.