The foundation of any common courtesy or etiquette guideline is the Golden Rule and consideration of others — far from the “mean girl” image some dancers unfortunately earn. Did you know that proper etiquette starts before a dancer even enters the dance studio? Beginning with proper hygiene and other preparations and extending to treatment of personal property, dancer etiquette actually begins at home. Of course, it doesn’t end there, though. From deportment at any dance-related function to all-important dance class behavior, the significance of a dancer’s etiquette can’t be underestimated.
Proper Etiquette for Anytime
While these behaviors are certainly important during class time, they also apply to anytime a dancer is in or around the dance studio or any dance-related venue.
1. Always show others the same respect which you desire, giving them the best opportunity to learn. Never laugh at another dancer’s mistakes, and always encourage others’ successes.
2. Keep your language rated “G,” no matter what. Inappropriate language is never acceptable at the dance studio.
3. Always demonstrate a positive attitude as you approach any class activities. You’ll not only learn more quickly and accomplish much more, but you’ll also influence others to take a similar approach toward the class and impact the overall culture of your studio.
Proper Etiquette for Dance Class
Of course, your deportment during dance class is especially important, so this list is understandably a little longer than the others.
4. Always be on time. If something unforeseen prevents you from doing so, enter the studio as quietly and discreetly as possible, waiting to explain or apologize until after class.
5. Stay for the entire class time. If for some reason your schedule prevents you from remaining in class until the end, be sure to inform your instructor before class begins and then leave quietly when you need to go.
6. Always listen quietly as your teacher speaks; even whispering is not acceptable.
7. Be attentive to your teacher, even as you wait in line. Not only will that allow you to focus on your own form, but it will also keep you from distracting those whose take their turns while you wait.
8. Pay attention and participate according to your teacher’s instructions. Listen carefully before asking any questions, and make sure any questions you do ask are relevant to the topic at hand.
9. Be sure to refrain from sitting unless your instructor tells you to do so.
10. Always use proper posture, never hanging on the barre or slouching. Also be aware and vigilant about negative body language; dance is all about using your body to express beauty and art.
As the dancers in your studio follow the above etiquette tips, they’ll ensure that your classes run efficiently and that dance class is something all your dancers — and instructors — can enjoy!