DOs and DONTs of dance class etiquette

You may not be fighting for a job at an audition or performing on a professional stage, but that doesn’t mean that your daily dance class is a place to goof around.  Here are ten important DOs and DON’Ts when it comes to dance class etiquette:

DOS

Dress to impress.  You don’t have to wear a full face of makeup or an eye-catching outfit, but you should also not look like you just rolled out of bed and into the dance studio.  Wear appropriate form-fitting clothing so your teacher can see your lines.  Keep your hair neat.

Listen, listen, listen.  You can learn a lot from your peers—listen and apply their questions and corrections to your own dancing.  Listen when the teacher is talking—but also, don’t dance at the same time.  Use both your eyes and ears to pick up choreography and style.  Stay present and engaged…You never want to be the dancer in the audition room who asks a question that’s already been answered!

Have spatial awareness.  Dance classes can often be crowded—especially if you’re at a convention master class.  Be cognizant of your movement so you don’t kick or step on dancers around you.  The teacher will eventually split you up into groups and give you more space to go “full out.”

Practice good manners.  Greet your teachers at the start of class and thank them if they offer you a correction (and, of course, apply that correction!).  Don’t interrupt the teacher when they’re explaining an exercise or choreography (even with a question) or talk with your friends on the side of the room.  Watch and clap for other groups when they have the floor.

Take class for you.  Class is meant to be a safe space to challenge yourself and grow as an artist.  Focus on the process—not perfection.

DON’TS

Check your phone during class.  Even if you have a 5-minute water break, sneaking a peek at your text messages or social media notifications can be distracting.  Keep your phone on silent and tucked away for the duration of the class.

Stand in the front if you’re new.  If it’s your first time taking a class, introduce yourself to the teacher but don’t force yourself to the front of the room.  Standing in the front, especially during warm-up, is a privilege and a responsibility since dancers behind you might be trying to follow along.  It’s kind of an unspoken rule, but typically seniority rules in determining where you stand in the studio.

Arrive late/leave early.  Be respectful of your teacher and your classmates by showing up on time and staying for the duration of the class.  It’s important to do a proper warm-up so you don’t get injured when you start dancing.  If you do have to leave early for any reason, notify your teacher before the start of class and, when the time comes, make your exit swift and silent so you’re not distracting.

Dance in the back/on the side of the room when another group has the floor.  Respect your peers by giving them attention and as much studio space as possible when it’s their turn to dance a combination.

Record class without permission.  Sharing clips of class on social media has become trendy, but the studio should be a safe space.  Don’t record or post videos of your fellow dancers or your teacher’s choreography without proper permission from the studio, your teacher, and your classmates.

Do you have more DOs and DON’Ts to add to this list?  Share them with us in the comments section below!

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