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  • Writer's pictureSherry Moray Marsala

DANCE ETIQUETTE - Manners in Motion

Updated: Oct 11, 2021

Training Mind, Body & Spirit!

The benefits of the following classroom etiquette expectations extend well beyond dance. The Academy is proud when we see our students using the following skills to become a more responsible and respectful human being who loves the art of dance.

The following notes are reminders for all students for proper behavior and etiquette in the classroom, dressing rooms, hallways, and the Theatre.

In utilizing the following rules of etiquette, Academy students will be well prepared in life as a professional in any career of choice and be prepared to navigate the professional world of Dance.

To be and develop as a true artist of worth, you must work hard, be dedicated, disciplined, determined to succeed, show perseverance in the face of difficulties, and give of yourself with heart and kindness of spirit. This is the person/dancer you want to be in life and on stage as an artist. This is the person who lives with etiquette and manners whom all will want to emulate.

In the Classroom – Rules & Good Etiquette

· Never talk when teachers are speaking - “If your teacher’s mouth is open, yours is shut!”

· Work your listening skills very hard. Listen to ALL corrections as if they were personally addressed to you!

· Don’t cross arms, lean on the barre, or yawn. This is rude behavior and sends negative energy to everyone in the studio!

· Never turn your back to your instructor. This is seen as rude behavior and is never acceptable.

· Never take someone else’s place at the barre, especially if they arrive first at the barre or it is an Upper Level/Advanced dancer’s place at the barre. You do not want to show disrespect to a more experienced and advanced dancer that has earned their “favorite place” at the barre!

· Respect ALL substitute teachers. Treat a substitute the way you would want to be treated if you were teaching a class.

· Set an example for ALL other students to follow. Others are watching you and will take your lead – especially younger dancers.

· Be the considerate and respectful dancer that everyone looks up to and emulates!

· No toe tape, band-aids, water bottles, hair pins, clothes, smelly shoes, etc. should ever be left behind in the studios. The garbage can is in the studio for a reason – use it. Be considerate of others and keep our studios beautiful. Let’s have a clean and pristine home!

· Abide by the Dress Code – a dress code is intended to create a uniform and elegant “look” to define each level. It also reduces distractions. Teachers need to see a dancer’s body to make corrections in technique and alignment. It also keeps dancers focused on learning instead of a fashion show of dance attire which becomes costly for a parent.

· Ask for permission if you are joining the class late. For the experienced dancers, starting class late can be unsafe, depending on how much time is missed and how long the warm-up lasts. It is polite and proper for a student to ask the teacher before jumping into class after it has begun and explain why you were late.

· Be prepared when taking turns. Some dance class exercises are done in a group or one-by-one. It is considered a sign of respect for a student to be ready to dance with their group, or when it’s their turn, so the teacher doesn’t have to give reminders or police each group to be ready.

· Remember corrections. “Corrections” are the feedback students receive from teachers about what and how to improve. Retaining corrections from class to class shows the teacher that a student is engaged and is focused on improvement. Writing corrections down in a notebook after class is a tool dancers can use to remember their corrections and when praise or a compliment is given!

· Raise your hand to ask a question. Academy teachers encourage and love our students to ask questions! But students need to ask questions at appropriate times by raising a hand instead of interrupting the class or talking over their friends.

· Say “thank you” to your instructors. Many of our instructors here at the Academy are “Master Instructors” in their dance discipline as well as other classes they may teach. With that in mind, etiquette needs to be learned and practiced by saying “thank you” at the end of every class! We also encourage saying “thank you” after asking a question, receiving a correction, or receiving a compliment. In ballet classes, it is a rule at the Academy for women to “curtsey” and men to bow as they say “thank you.” This is a historical practice of etiquette we follow here at the Academy.

· Watch and learn from each group of dancers in the class. In class, you learn by watching and listening to corrections. Do NOT be the dancer that goes “out to lunch” and becomes the class space cadet! It is annoying to other dancers who are giving their all to learn and disrespectful to the teacher.

· When exchanging places from one group to the next, go forward and out and around to the back of the studio; it is easier for the next group to access the dance floor and keep the class moving at a proper pace.

· Wait to enter your classroom once the previous class has exited the studio. Do NOT barge in or run to a position at the barre – walk like a lady or a gentleman!

· Do NOT talk during class unless it is related to what is being taught. Do NOT gather into groups to have a “Chatty Cathy Doll Moment!”

· It is rude to the instructor as they are usually trying to process the next combination of steps to instruct or working on choreography to be given in their heads. In short - whisper if you must!

· Make sure you give ample space at the barre between you and the dancers next to you. We do not want to witness dancers “eating” each other’s toes!

· Arrive to class at least 5 minutes before class is scheduled to start – unless weather or another equally difficult situation presents itself.

· Older students must make a habit of not arriving at the last minute! Stretching before you begin is essential to keep your body healthy and injury-free.

Hallway, Dressing Rooms & Front Desk

· No toe tape should ever be left anywhere except a garbage container after use! It is nasty to leave these smelly “gifts” around the studio!

· Noise must be kept down as classes or rehearsals are in progress! In the studio or the theatre, do not be that dancer that is rude and disruptive!

· Do NOT leave your dance bags in the hallways or dressing rooms, and never in the middle of a room or hallway. Tuck bags under chairs, benches, next to a wall, etc., so no one trips and hurts themselves due to your dance bag!

· Always pick up after yourself. Water bottles, toe tape, lunch bags, dance bags, dance shoes, hair pins, hair accessories, etc. Do not be a piglet!

· Do not eat in areas that are not approved! Read the signs and respectfully obey them.

· Do not leave clothing, shoes, balls, Pilates rings, etc., behind in the dressing room. All belongings go home with you every day!

· Do not run! Especially around corners as it is easy to run into someone and you can both get hurt!

· Be cautious around smaller children - When passing in the hallways, do not “run over” them. Remember, some children can get frightened easily by older people that they do not know!

· Keep the noise down outside Studio I and by the Front Desk. It is often very hard to hear on the phone or speak to staff when dancers are so loud that they are carrying on like “Looney Tunes” characters. We want you to have fun with your peer group, but decorum must be maintained with respect for the needs of the front desk.

· The Academy is not Walgreens! Bring your own Band-Aids, toe tape, hair ties, etc. The Academy will only supply in an emergency.

· Reusable ice packs should be brought from home, marked clearly with your name, and stored in the freezer in the kitchenette area. Ice packs may be purchased at the front desk when in need for a nominal fee that will be added to the dancer’s account.

· Always treat our office staff with respect. They are there to help you in any way you might need, but they cannot cater to your needs at a moment’s notice. Our office staff is always busy and sometimes will have to get back to you about answers to questions.

· NO STREET SHOES should be worn in the studios - Hip Hop Dancers are required to have dance sneakers that are only worn in the studio. Please help us keep our professional quality Marley floors clean and free of dents and scratches by respecting this request.

· Be kind and considerate to ALL dancers – especially to our tiny dancers when they are in the studio. Also, remember their parents are watching you. Are you behaving like a nut or a sweet prince/princess?

· Keep your phone, money, and valuables in a safe place inside your dance bag and bring them into the studio. Put bags against a side wall in a corner.

· Do not destroy any property that does not belong to you.


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