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General, How To...

Tips for Making a Good First Impression in Dance Class – Part I

As many dance studios prepare for their fall seasons, students may be wondering how they can make a good impression on their teachers, whether they are entering a studio for the first time, taking class with a new teacher, or just want to start their new year on the right foot.  Different studios and teachers will have their own policies and guidelines, but the following additional tips will help you stand out as a committed dance student.

Arriving at Class

  1. Always come into the studio on time.  It is a good idea to try to arrive 10-15 minutes early for class.  If for any reason you are not able to arrive before class begins, enter the room quietly.  Go to the back and warm up quickly on your own and then join the rest of the class.
  2. If you have a coat or bag, leave them in a designated area in the studio room, lobby or dressing room, not on the floor where someone could trip on them.
  3. While waiting in the lobby before and after classes, don’t shout, disturb a class in progress, or leave a mess.
  4. If you need to leave early, tell the teacher at the beginning of class.  This will allow you to leave when needed without interrupting the other students.

Dress Code and Appearance

  1. Never chew gum during class.  Not only does it distract you and alter your breathing, you could swallow or choke on it.  It could also fly out of your mouth and land in someone else’s hair!
  2. If you forget a piece of clothing or shoes, see the teacher before class.  You may be able to borrow items from the studio or another student, or wear something else instead.
  3. Secure your hair neatly away from your face before class begins, and make sure it remains secure for the duration of the class.  If you have bangs, it is a good idea to pin them back or wear a headband that will stay in place during class.

Respect Your Fellow Dancers

  1. During class, stop all outside conversations and focus on the lessons.  This shows respect to your teachers and fellow students, and helps to accomplish more in the class time.
  2. If someone is new to class, volunteer to be his or her partner.  Your teacher will appreciate you welcoming new students.
  3. Be polite to others, including other students, teaching assistants, and the teacher.  Also, be on your best behavior when the class is being observed by outside visitors or other staff members, especially the studio owner.
  4. At the end of class, applaud and thank your teacher.  This is a sign of respect and lets your teachers know that you appreciate their time and efforts.

Starting off the school year in the right way will set a good tone for the season.  See Part II of this article for more tips to use during class.

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About Terry

Terry Finch is a dance teacher and choreographer with an extensive training and teaching background that spans 26 years. Terry has held a variety of teaching positions, from assisting instructors at her dance studio, to teaching at summer performing arts camp, and leading college level master classes. She is currently in her fourth year as a dance teacher at a studio in central Pennsylvania.

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