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Home > Dance Performance

Dance Class Etiquette

Dancers spend long hours in the classroom. It’s no doubt that the classroom starts to become the social circle after so many days and hours with the same people. When dancers don’t follow a certain code of conduct, they tend to disturb a classroom while they’re trying to focus and learn. Granted most dancers are very young, but that isn’t an excuse for poor choices in conduct, attire, chatter or attendance. Disrupting the focus of others dancers is a disservice and should be corrected immediately by the dancer themselves. We all slip, and make mistakes, but taking responsibility and making certain we note not to repeat the offense is evidence of good character in a dance student.

  • Chatter During Class
    No matter the level of a dancer, there is no excuse for talking during a class or rehearsal. It is entirely disrespectful to the teacher/choreographer and to fellow dancers. The worst offense is talking while the instructor or choreographer is also talking, that is not only impolite in general, but beyond rude. This person is here, dedicating their time and effort, to make you a better dancer. Abstain from talking during class as much as possible and show your choreographer or teacher that you are focused and eager to learn. It goes a long way.

  • Cliques
    Dancers inevitably form friendships with other dancers. Think about this though: do you remember walking into class as a new student and noticing the cliques of girls who were unwilling to be friendly and say hello to you? Don’t be one of them. Make certain that you know ALL of your fellow dancers in your classes and performances. Make an effort to make people feel welcome and comfortable. Too often dancers get arrogant and they don’t associate with other students who aren’t on their “level”. That shows immaturity and lack of compassion. Everyone starts somewhere and you never know where you might bump into that one dancer you gave the cold shoulder too later down the road. They just might be the next big choreographer that doesn’t give you that job because they remembered your attitude. It is hard enough to learn as a newcomer, so be kind and open to your fellow dancers.

  • Inappropriate Attire
    Young dancers are in shape and full of confidence. At a certain point in training they will feel they need to express themselves with other things such as fashion. Not all classrooms are strict, but a dancer should not wear clothes that will distract themselves or others from their main focus. When dancing, the proper dance gear should be worn per dance style. Every dance clothing outlet has a variety of clothing that is appropriate. The dance instructor will usually request a specific type of attire that should be adhered to. Remember, every time a dancer goes our on a limb with their attire, it usually draws their focus away from the dancing. Dressing too sexy or too punky is not going to help your dance training, save it for the street!

  • Being Tardy or Absent
    There are always those handful of dancers that arrive late to a class or a rehearsal or miss often. When a dancer comes in late to class it not only affects the focus of the entire class and the teacher, but it doesn’t help the late dancers own focus as well. Coming in late to class usually isn’t allowed since lacking a proper warm-up could cause serious injury. Dancers who are late and/or absent from their classes and rehearsals really throw the entire group off. Especially when there is choreography involved. It is very rude, disruptive and disrespectful to everyone involved. If a dancer regularly can’t make a class on time, or if they have to miss more than a couple times, then maybe they should just drop the class or performance schedule. There are other dancers out there that are eager for each and every class they have in their schedule, and dancers who are hard-working and eager to take your spot in that dance!

  • Spacing in Class
    Every so often a classroom will be a bit crowded. Students need to be extra careful in these situations to allow even and proper spacing so that all the students can get maximum visibility and use out of the class. It is uncouth for a dancer to step directly in front of another dancer who was already spaced and there before them. Certain dancers choose the front of the class, that is fine, but if you aren’t already placed in your “spot” before the rest of the class settles in theirs, don’t walk in front of the others and block their view. It isn’t thoughtful or kind.

  • Respect for the Teacher
    The worst offense a dance student can do above all the others, is to disrespect the teacher. Disrespect comes in many forms. The above mentioned are some of them. Another form is your body language and eye contact or lack thereof. When a teacher is talking, you should be listening quietly with a perky ear. Think of their lesson as an investment to your dancing education, be thankful for it and show courteous behavior. Each time a teacher says a correction out loud, assume it is you and check to see if you need the same adjustment. Smile and nod at your instructor when you get a correction. And if you’re with a choreographer, don’t challenge their ideas; you are their canvas to paint on. It is not anyone’s place but the choreographer to determine the spots in the dance and what you will be doing or wearing.

    If you act professional in all your dance endeavors you will inevitably be a better dancer. A dancer needs to be certain they are kind, courteous and ultimately focused. So anything that is done against that grain will produce undesirable results. If a dancer finds they cannot or will not follow this code of conduct, maybe they should look into some other interests that don’t require this amount of discipline. Maybe they just aren’t cut out to be a true dancer. So be on your best behavior and you will really shine as a fellow dancer and dance student. Learning to take class is the first step to becoming a professional in the dance industry. Be smart and mindful to achieve dancing success!

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