What’s the most important part of being a dancer? Some might argue that it’s the thrill of performing before an enthusiastic audience. Others may care more about winning competitions. But being a great dancer is about much more than wearing elaborate costumes and impressing crowds or judges with complicated steps and flawless form. It’s about developing certain vital character qualities and habits that will help you to excel both in dance as well as in life. So what are those qualities and habits? This series of 3 articles will seek to answer that important question.
The first article (below) will focus on basic dance studio etiquette. It’s a good starting point for beginning dance students who want to advance to the next level. The second article will center around mastering positive habits that can lead to even greater success in the world of dance. The final article in our series will address positive qualities for advanced students who want to reach their full potential. If you’ve ever wondered if there’s anything special you can do to make the most out of your study of the art of dance, this series is for you!
Essential Dance Etiquette
Etiquette refers to the way you conduct yourself. To have good etiquette means to know what is polite, acceptable behavior in a certain situation. Some of the rules for dance etiquette will carry over into other areas of life, while some are unique to the world of dance. Though many may be common sense, it’s helpful to remind students about the importance of behaving appropriately for the good of the entire dance class.
1. Be prepared for class. Make sure you have everything you need, such as the right shoes, practice or performance uniform, makeup, grooming necessities, and other accessories.
2. Don’t wear dangerous jewelry. This would include anything that dangles or has sharp edges. You wouldn’t want it to get caught on anything and cause you to injure yourself or others.
3. Don’t eat or chew gum during dance class. One exception: some instructors allow water bottles with closed lids.
4. Only wear your dance shoes in the dance studio, never your street shoes. Also, save your dance shoes for the studio floor only. Other floors, streets, or the sidewalk could damage them.
5. Make sure you’re clean, wearing deoderant and have fresh breath in dance class.
6. Leave personal items in the dressing room or a designated space where they’re not going to be in anyone’s way.
7. Completely silence or turn off your phone and store it away in a safe place. Don’t allow it to make any sort of disruptive noise, including a vibration noise, during class.
8. Be on time and plan to stay for the entire class unless there’s an emergency or extenuating circumstance. If you ever do have to come late or leave early, enter or exit as silently as possible.
9. Never talk while your instructor is speaking.
10. Always pay attention so you don’t waste the instructor or other students’ time.
11. Follow instructions carefully, and only ask questions when necessary.
12. Strive to maintain a good attitude. A positive classroom environment makes it easier for the teacher to teach and for you and the rest of the class to learn.
13. Only sit down when the instructor tells you that you may.
14. Always use appropriate language.
15. Show respect to your fellow classmates by giving them ample room to practice. Think of others, not just yourself.
16. Clean up after yourself. Don’t leave anything lying around the studio. If you notice trash on the floor, pick it up and throw it away even if you didn’t put it there. Keep your belongings tidy and in their designated spot.
17. Always ask permission before borrowing anything, using anything, or touching anything that doesn’t belong to you.
18. Strive to use excellent posture and body language at all times.
These rules of etiquette will put you well on your way toward a successful, productive study of the art of dance.
Continue reading with Part 2.