Pirouettes And Etiquette: What Your Beginner’s Ballet Class Expects Of You

If you are getting ready to enroll in your first ballet class, you're probably thinking about all the exciting moves you will be learning and dreaming of your first performance. You're likely wondering what you can expect from your instructor and fellow dance students.

You should also know what your ballet class expects of you. Learning the proper ballet class etiquette, before you attend your first dance lesson, will help you get off to a great start.

Dress the part

Ask about your dance studio's dress code before you show up for your first dance lesson. Dress codes for ballet class may seem rigid. However, the goal is not to stifle your creativity but to enable your instructor to see your moves clearly. Dressing according to the studio dress code shows you are serious about learning.

Even if your studio does not have a specific dress code, wearing layered or loose clothing can make it more difficult to achieve certain positions. You want to choose clothing that fits well and does not obstruct your dance moves.

Be on time

If possible, it's best to arrive to class about 15 minutes prior to the start of your scheduled dance lesson. This will allow you a few minutes to relax and prepare for class. It will also prevent you from missing the vital beginning segment of your ballet instruction. Your instructor has prepared a class routine that builds on the warm-up exercises done at the beginning of class. Proper warm ups can help prevent dance injuries.

Be respectful

Courtesy is especially important for performing artists. Putting on a show requires cooperation among managers, directors, performers, and the technical crew. Being polite and treating others with respect is important whether you are in class or on stage performing before a crowd.

Listen carefully to all instructions given. If you have questions about a specific dance move or combination, wait until your dance instructor opens up the floor for questions or wait until after class.  

Avoid wearing heavy perfumes or cologne to class. What may be a pleasing scent to you may trigger an allergic reaction in someone else who is sensitive to certain scents.

Be neat

Keep your hair securely in place. Hair that moves around can be distracting. Fasten long hair into a bun or French twist. Avoid ponytails and long braids that can strike other dancers when performing close moves.

Never wear dangling jewelry that could fly off and injure another dancer. Most studios prohibit all jewelry. However, some may allow small stud earrings.

Finish all moves in their entirety

Whether you are a beginner or a professional dancer, a performance is rarely flawless. Expect a few minor mishaps, and don't feel bad when they occur. Learning how to handle imperfections gracefully is a necessary dance skill for beginners to learn.

Strive to complete every combination move your instructor gives you. Even if you make a mistake, continue on and finish the sequence of moves to the best of your ability. Nobody is perfect, but the show must go on. With a little practice, you will become more confident in continuing to dance when things don't go as planned.

Dance studio etiquette may seem a little strange in today's world where less than perfect manners seem to be the norm. However, proper etiquette helps to create an environment conducive to learning and will help you learn the necessary discipline to succeed in ballet.