In dance, the need for physical grace is a given. But dancers should also demonstrate a different type of grace by knowing and honoring their dance schools rules of etiquette. Every dance school/company has its own set of rules and you should make it a point to be well-versed in these. Being physically graceful is only part of the equation. Demonstrating polite behavior and respect for your studio and instructors is the basis for becoming the best dancer you can be.
Below we’ve rounded up some standard rules of etiquette.
Check with your studio to make sure you know the rules and expectations.
- Not every studio has a dress code, but most have standard rules about what is and isn’t acceptable in class. Make sure you know these rules and that you follow them.
- Pull your hair back off your face and neck and make sure it is secured. Take pride in your appearance.
- Avoid strong perfumes, colognes, essential oils, etc. This is a courtesy to everyone around you.
- Don’t just be on time for class; be early. Know your school’s tardiness policy. If you show up late, know the protocol of when (and if) you can enter the class.
- Likewise, do not leave early without informing your teacher ahead of time.
- Give your instructor the courtesy of proper notice if you know you’ll be absent.
- Never chew gum or bring food into the studio.
- Take care of your dance wear. Protect your shoes by not wearing them outside. That will not only protect and preserve your shoes, but it will also keep the studio floors safe from items that you might pick up outside. Likewise do not wear your street shoes on the studio floor.
- Remove all jewelry.
- Don’t bring valuables with you to class.
- Don’t touch the mirrors.
- Stand up straight. Do not slouch, hang on the barre, or lay down. Do not yawn, look bored, stand with your arms crossed, or project other negative body language.
- Keep your dance bag organized so you know everything is in there and available when you need it. Label your items whenever possible to avoid mix-ups.
- Respect your teacher. Do not talk while she is talking or engage in chatter not related to dance. Make sure you are listening.
- Take care of the dance space. If you see trash, throw it away.
- Do not correct other dancers.
- Accept constructive criticism from your instruction. Do not talk back.
- Ask permission before taping or recording anything.
- Be sure to thank your teacher and the accompanist at the end of class.
What other etiquette rules does your studio follow?
We’d love to hear what you would add to this list.