“Please” and “thank you” are important manners for all times, but did you know there are special manners that we use in ballet class too? Ballet etiquette is used during all portions of a ballet class. Everything a dancer does in class, from exercises at the barre to the reverence at the end of class, is done with respect toward the teacher and the other dancers. Not only are these rules—or etiquette—a sign of respect, they are necessary to progress quickly through all the combinations that make up a full class. There is simply not time for a teacher to be reprimanding students or calling them back to attention every few minutes. Below are a few ballet class etiquette reminders prepare you for any ballet class.
Be On Time
Arriving late is disruptive to the other students, the teacher, and the overall flow of class. Teachers carefully plan class lessons to build on the exercises done at the beginning of each class. Students who arrive more than 15 minute late may be asked to observe class. Students are expected to stay in a class until the end and should not leave the classroom without permission.
Dress Like a Dancer
Follow the dress code policy. The dress code allows the teacher to see your physical movement and make the proper corrections. Being properly dressed shows the teacher you are serious about your art form. You will feel more confident and dance better when properly dressed for class. Dance shoes should never be worn outside on concrete or asphalt surfaces, as it will ruin them and the studio floor. Show others you have respect for yourself by coming to class clean, neat, and well put together.
Dancers are expected to be respectful to their teacher, peers and studio. They should not lean against the wall, or barre. Sitting down unless directed to do so is not acceptable.
Rudeness to teachers and peers is absolutely unacceptable in ballet, for which you may be dismissed from class or even expelled from the school. Yawning, talking, whispering, or having private giggle sessions with your friends is considered rude behavior.
Dancers are in class to work, watch and listen, especially when combinations are being demonstrated. At higher levels students are expected to know the proper vocabulary and be able to pick up steps quickly and correctly. Giving your instructor your full attention is important. Teachers may not show the combination more than once.
Perform Entire Combinations as Given
It is not only distracting but is also incredibly rude and disrespectful to your teacher to do combinations other than the way the combination was given. Any physical problems should be discussed with the teacher before the class begins so the teacher understands why you may not be doing a step to your fullest potential.
Finish every combination no matter what. Even if you are having difficulty, ballet discipline requires that you finish a combination to the best of your abilities and with as much grace as you can. Stomping your feet, making faces, making rude verbal noises or comments, or showing your frustration or other negative emotions is considered inappropriate.