6 Mistakes to Avoid in Dance Class

We're all seasoned dancers here, right? Meaning, we've all had countless dance classes, have danced for countless hours, and have been taught by countless instructors.  Sound about right?

Well if that's the case, then why is it even necessary to discuss class etiquette?

So glad you asked.

As a choreographer and instructor, I've taught thousands of students both domestically and abroad.  In my experience, I've found even among seasoned dancers, some students continue to make a few key mistakes when it comes to how they take class.

With that, I recently contributed an article to 'Dance! North Texas' on this very subject.  Here's a snippet of what I had say.

Well, it’s that time of year again.  You’ve probably just spent the summer with swimsuits and selfies, but now it’s time to get back into the swing of things.  Pretty soon, school bells will be ringing and lectures will have begun.  You’ll have carpools, traffic, homework, and more.  All the while, your friend dance will be eagerly awaiting your return.
The start of a new school year also ushers in a new season of dance.  Schools and studios everywhere are gearing up for this new beginning.  Concert and recital themes are being discussed, instructors are being put into place, and workshops and conventions are being planned…all for you, the dancer.
So much time and energy is put into executing a successful dance season.  Beyond structuring the season, even more is invested in your classroom experience.  From planning lessons, to finding new music, to creating choreography – you name it – dance professionals go through great lengths to ensure you have a fulfilling dance life.   
So let’s talk payback.  What can you do to show some love to dance instructors who’ve worked so hard to help you become the phenomenal dancer that you are?  How can you do your part to make the countless hours of planning worthwhile?
There are plenty of ways you can be a gracious dancer who makes our job a delightful experience, and I’m sure you don’t need help coming up with ideas.  So, I’ll tell you what you shouldn’t do.  Instead of giving you a list of “Do’s”, I want to give you a list of “Don’ts.”   
Here is a list 6 Dance Class Don’ts.  Avoid these mistakes to make sure you and your dance teacher have the best season possible.

1.          Don’t Be Late.

I’m sure we already know this one, but humor me for a moment.  The hour or so you get in a typical dance class flies by in the blink of an eye, and your dance teachers are responsible for juggling many tasks within that short period of time.  Arriving to class late not only causes you to miss out on material, but it also disrupts the rest of the class.  Of course, circumstances beyond our control will cause small delays from time to time, but do your part as a gracious dancer to be on time.  Actually go a step further, and arrive a few minutes early.  Go even further than that by warming up or reviewing before class begins. 

I love to see my students already working when I walk into class. It shows that they are hard working and dedicated.  Not only that, dancers who are consistently late to class tend to not perform as well as those who arrive on time or early.


2.         Don’t Check Your Cell Phone.

This should be a “no-brainer”, in my opinion, but it’s still worth mentioning.  While smart phones have been great in making our lives more interesting and convenient, they have no place in the dance class, unless your instructor says otherwise.  Even if you’ve been excused for water or the restroom, or if you’re waiting for your group’s turn to perform, whatever the case, just say no to cell phones in class. 

Again, there are exceptions to every rule.  If there is a family situation that requires you to use the phone during class, simply notify your instructor of the matter before class begins, then discreetly excuse yourself when you need to take the call.  Or, if your instructor is like me and allows you to record the combination at the end of class, absolutely take advantage of the opportunity, then place the phone back in your bag until you’ve been dismissed.

Cell phone use in class is incredibly disrespectful.  By using your phone in class, you’re disregarding all of the effort your dance teacher has put into giving you quality dance instruction.  It also says a lot about the type of dance student you are.  Gracious dancers are always fully engaged throughout class and aren’t easily distracted. 

Ready for the remaining 4 Tips?  Click HERE to read the full article.

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