In our first article in this series, we focused on basic rules for dance etiquette. Our next article deals with some important habits which dancers should seek to incorporate into their lives. These are some of the building blocks you’ll need to spring forward on your pathway to success in the realm of dance. These qualities, such as confidence, graciousness, poise, and discipline, will carry over into other areas of life to help you become a more well-rounded, balanced, and positive individual.
A habit is something you practice doing over and over again until it becomes second nature and you do it automatically without giving it a second thought. For example, brushing your teeth each morning after breakfast and each evening before you go to bed is probably a habit for you. Developing these good habits will help your instructor to be able to get through dance classes without many interruptions. They’ll also help you and your fellow classmates be able to learn your steps and combinations better than you would if everyone in the class just did their own thing.
Positive Habits Dancers Should Master
1. Try not to ever be late, but if for some reason you are, stand outside the dance floor and wait until the instructor gives you permission to enter. Then find a place to warm up off to one side where you won’t be in anyone’s way before you join in with the class. Apologize for your tardiness after rather than during class.
2. If you need to sit out for all or part of the class, maintain good posture.
3. Strive to look engaged at all times. Displays of boredom like yawning and letting your eyes wander are not acceptable.
4. Learn to be aware of your space on the dance floor and don’t invade other people’s space.
5. Attempt your steps with vigor and enthusiasm, even when you’re not sure you’re doing them correctly yet.
6. Stay near the back of the classroom when you’re unsure of your steps. Wait until you’ve mastered them before dancing at the front of the class as others will pick up on what you model in front of them.
7. Allow the instructor to correct others when they make mistakes. Don’t try to do their job.
8. If you’re unsure of yourself or you make a mistake, avoid the temptation to quit in the middle of a move or combination. You don’t want to disrupt the flow of the class.
9. Avoid crossing the paths of other dancers or crossing the center of the dance floor if you have to exit.
10. Avoid leaving and returning to the floor unless it’s necessary and the instructor gives you special permission.
11. Don’t monopolize the class asking questions. Save most of them for later.
Learning these habits won’t happen overnight. Consider placing a copy of them up in a place where you’ll see them on a regular basis. Read them over and over again and think about them when you go to class. Mastering them will help you to be able to progress more rapidly in your study of dance.
In our final article, we’ll look at some positive qualities that you can add on to these good habits as you advance.