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General

Inside Dance Master Classes

Dancers, especially those in intermediate-to-advanced classes, may be presented with opportunities to take classes from professional choreographers or performers. This is often called a master class.

Master classes can occur at a convention, at your own studio, or after a performance. In any case, a master class is a wonderful opportunity for dancers to learn a different style from an experienced teacher.

What to Wear for a Master Class
If the dress code is not specified, dancers should wear clothing that is appropriate to the style being taught. Dancewear should be form-fitting, so that the instructor can easily see the body lines. Dressing in layers is a good idea so you can easily remove warm-ups if the instructor prefers not having them worn in class.

Proper footwear must be worn, not only to comply with dress code, but also for the safety of the dancers’ feet. Bringing several different pairs of shoes in your bag will help you be prepared for different styles that may be taught.

Sample ballet master class attire might include a favorite leotard, pink or black tights or leggings, a ballet skirt, ballet slippers, and pointe shoes.

How to Act in a Master Class
Dancers should exude a positive attitude from the moment they step in the door. The instructor may not know anything about the dancers and will most likely be adapting the style and difficulty level during the class time to suit the group. Therefore, dancers should make a conscious effort to try every step or trick given to the best of their abilities.

It is natural to feel a bit of apprehension when taking a class from a new teacher with a new movement style. However, by trying everything and doing each step as best they can, the dancers can show the instructors that they value the time spent, and will gain as much as possible from the experience.

How to Follow Up After a Master Class
At the end of class, dancers should applaud the instructor for his or her time, as they do in a regular class. They should also thank the instructor as they are leaving the studio. Dancers can ask their teachers or studio owner if they can write a thank-you note to the master instructor. It is just a small token of their appreciation for the time he or she has spent in the studio, but it will make a great impact.

Remember, a dancer can only get out of a master class what he or she puts into it. Dancers can make a good impression on the instructor by being energetic and showing that they are willing to try something new. A dancer’s path may cross with this instructor again in the future, and having the connection of this master class can work to his or her advantage. You never know who will be sitting at the judging table for your next audition!

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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.

3 Responses to “Inside Dance Master Classes”

  1. On July 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm Rico Tapper responded with... #

    When it comes to dance shoes, I always buy those dance shoes that are made from natural rubber because it has greater traction on the floor. Warmest regards.

  2. On March 20, 2013 at 3:38 am Kelly Lilyblade responded with... #

    Having the right dance shoes is just as important as mastering a well-choreographed routine. If your feet are uncomfortable or if your dance shoes are slipping off, there is no way you can perform to your ultimate ability. But the right pair of dance shoes can add grace and style to your performance.

    • On March 27, 2013 at 4:28 pm admin responded with... #

      Hi Kelly,

      Very good points you make about having the right dance shoes. Thanks for your comment!

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