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Class Ettiquette “Rules”

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Dance ClassI found these class ettiquette rules for another instructor’s class online, and found it interesting to say the least. Give it a read. I wonder what you think…

DANCE CLASS ETIQUETTE by [name removed]

These rules are not only for studio dance class use but also for workshops and classes around the world. These rules are innate to all dance forms. Rules are expected in mainstream dance where teachers demand and get respect. Furthermore all students benefit by dance classroom protocol.

1. Show respect for the teacher.
In Eastern disciplines such as martial arts and yoga, the teacher is revered, worshipped, and given great loyalty and respect. Teachers have worked long and hard and made many sacrifices to master their arts. Many have dedicated their lives to dance.

2. Be on time.
There is no excuse for being late. It disrupts other students and the teacher when someone arrives 10 minutes late. You forego essential warm up stretches. Try to be there early if possible. Also try not to miss classes as this also disrupts the flow of the work and leaves you missing work. Which means things have to be repeated.


3. Position yourself relative to your dance expertise.
European dance students begin their studies at the back and earn their position in the front. If you feel confident that you will catch on quickly and perform movements accurately, try to get a position up front. However, if you are a beginning student or do not grab the moves quickly then stay to the back of the room where you will have more advanced students to follow.

4. Wear Suitable Attire.
Do not wear costuming to class. This is very inappropriate. Beginner students have a tendency to do this. Save your sequins, etc., for performances. Costumes are made to perform in not take class in. Check to see what is appropriate for your style of dance class.

5. Keep Talking and Giggling to a Minimum.
Part of the fun of dance class is the interaction with others but there are limits. Don’t chat incessantly. Keep your attention focused on the teacher. If you have a question ask the teacher.

6. Avoid Being a Know It All.
By all means never openly challenge a teacher’s expertise.

7. Take Notes When Sitting Out.
Do not wander in and out of the class space while a teacher is teaching. If for some reason you cannot continue, quietly apologize and go the side. Take notes. Do not talk! Do not shop! If you go back to participating in the class go to the back and quietly resume.

8. Let the teacher teach.
You should under no circumstances voice an opinion in a class. Try to focus on how this teacher can expand your dance horizons. Do not compare openly to other teachers. Do not complain about how a movement is presented or that it is too difficult or too easy.

9. Pay Attention.
Whether it be a demonstration or a verbal instruction. You are paying for a class and so are others. Make sure you and others get their money’s worth. In addition you will benefit in the long run. Be a good participator and a good sport. You are in class to learn and to be taught.


10. Be Open Minded.
You will benefit by learning all you can about the given subject.

So what do you think? Do these look like “universal class rules” to you? Is this what every dance classroom should look like? Why or why not?
Shay
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Shay Moore is the director and primary instructor at Deep Roots Dance in Seattle, WA. She loves writing, movies, costuming, knitting, cooking, and bellydance to the moon and back again; and loves her amazing husband and doggies even more than that.

Shay
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One Response

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    1. Show respect for the teacher.
    -Yup

    2. Be on time.
    -Yup

    3. Position yourself relative to your dance expertise.
    -I respectfully disagree here. For a dance that is only forward facing, I can see this logic. However, our dance has so much turning and movement WITHIN our space, that it’s beneficial for new students to be surrounded by experienced dancers, not just behind them. This is why I try to position myself towards the back of the room and provide a solid example for back facing movements. Wrap turn, box combo, barrel turn, etc.

    4. Wear Suitable Attire.
    -Mostly agree. A little (quiet) bling is fun, but yes, full costume isn’t appropriate for class.

    5. Keep Talking and Giggling to a Minimum.
    -We break this one all the time! Well, the giggling part. But I believe our group does very well with the respect portion, and unneccessary chatter.

    6. Avoid Being a Know It All.
    -But don’t be afraid of asking questions, either!

    7. Take Notes When Sitting Out.
    -Yup

    8. Let the teacher teach.
    -Wow, never voice an opinion? How can we communicate and grow this way? I can agree with the spirit of this rule, but I really don’t like the “no opinions” part. It depends on the level of the class, experience of the students, and relationship with the instructor. A blanket “never” makes me shudder.

    9. Pay Attention.
    -Yup

    10. Be Open Minded.
    -Yup

    Class attire:
    -No skirts? Skirts add such a unique dimension to movements, and quite literally change the physics of spins and turns. How can one learn how these changes affect their movements, if they don’t dance in skirts?

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