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Dance Studio Etiquette


Teacher article



 It is very important to set ground rules for all levels of classes, from pre-school to adults. We call this dance studio etiquette because it is more than what takes place in the class room. This is all part of the plan to help with classroom management and helps the students learn important life skills that will be with them for a life time. Yes sometimes it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks but what the world needs now is self discipline (and love) and dance training should provide plenty of both. If we can get our students to act in a self disciplined way and to respect themselves and others, think of how that will positively affect their lives.

One way we like to encourage this is by setting guidelines that must be followed. Self discipline and respect should be a byproduct of learning how to dance and these life skills will help them succeed in any endeavor that they choose. First let's start with the classroom etiquette guidelines, this list can be altered to fit your studio.

1. No gum chewing

2. No sitting in class unless told to do so

3. Hair must be off the face, no ponytail hitting them in the face when they are learning how to turn, a bun for certain classes.

4. No big over sized tee shirts, a regular tee shirt for hip-hop

5. No TALKING, this is a very important. If you have a talking class filled with friends then they may need to be split up in class.

6. No laughing at other students. When students fall or mess up sometimes kids can be cruel and laugh at them. We make it a point to let everyone know that this will not be tolerated, one way is to have every one fall on the floor at the same time so that no one has to feel funny about falling

7. No jewelry is to be worn except for stud earrings. This is a safety factor

8. Only an open mind in class. All students must be eager and ready to get and apply correction. Folded arms are not allowed. Closed arms = closed mind!

9. Be on time! There is always that one poor student who always seems to be late, hair a mess and so on. This one the parents need to be in on because as we know it is generally there fault.

10. The right shoes. Simple yet we know how many times a child will arrive with the wrong shoes or in bad shape. Next we like to create a list of guidelines for studio etiquette. The hope here is that these things, as they so often do, will translate into other parts of their lives.

1. Respect everyone. We are big advocates of treat others how you would like to be treated.

2. Your words are very important. Being mean, nasty and big headed only lead to negativity in your studio. This one needs reinforcing a lot!

3. Hard work = fun. We try to get this one across as much as possible. It does not have to be misery because they are striving to get something and having to work hard to achieve it. Let the process be the fun part. If we can get them to apply this one, their life and work will be lot more enjoyable.

4. Help others. Why not let the students help each other. This builds camaraderie and a great community feeling.

5. Good grooming. When their hair is just right, leotard clean, tights clean and no holes, shoes in good condition it shows that a student takes pride in themselves which can only lead to getting better results.

6. Listen and learn. Too many times students get offended by a correction. We like to stress that it is a gift from the teacher to the student and that it should be accepted that way. Just by listening you can learn a lot and not just in the dance studio. Watch, listen and learn.

7. Quitting is not an option. Parents all too often let a child quit much too easily. Then all that is learned by the child is how to quit. We like to keep an open line of communication with students and parents to try to keep things from festering. We also give a talk in class about how when things are hard or not going the way you thought they would, that it is important to come and talk to us so we can help them figure things out. Quitting is bad for them and us. Lets help our dance students learn more than dance technique and we will make the world a better place for all.


Angela D'Valda Sirico

Angela D'Valda Sirico

Originally from England, Angela spent her early years in Hong Kong where she studied with Carol Bateman. She continued her training at Arts Educational Trust in England. After moving to New York City she continued her studies with Martha Graham and Matt Mattox. She appeared with the Matt Mattox Company and toured with the first Disney On Parade working with Disney and N.B.C. Contracted to the Teatro National of Buenos Aires she performed for one year and spent an additional year as a featured soloist at the Teatro Maipo, Argentina. Travelling to Madrid, Spain she worked for Spanish television in a weekly variety show Tarde Para Todos and from there decided to form her own Dance Company. With the Company she choreographed and performed throughout Spain in theatres, and on television. Angela met her husband Steve while working together on a television special The Valerie Peters Show filmed in Tampa, Florida. In 1979 they formed the Adagio act DValda & Sirico appearing in theatres, clubs and on television shows such as David Letterman, Star Search and the Jerry Lewis Telethon. In 1982 they were contracted to Europe and appeared in a variety of shows in Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland and Italy before going to London, England where they appeared as Guest Artists for Wayne Sleep (formerly of the Royal Ballet) in his show Dash at the Dominium Theatre. Angela and Steve have owned and directed their dance studio in Fairfield, CT. for the past twenty two years and in 2005 added music and vocal classes to their curriculum. Angela served as chairperson for the tri state panel of the Royal Academy of Dancing and is Co-author of a Partner syllabus currently used for teacher training by Dance Educators of America. She continues to adjudicate and teach for major dance organizations and choreographs for theatre, television and conventions and was commissioned by Boston Ballet 11 to choreograph the highly acclaimed Brother Can You Spare A Dime? DValda & Sirico are currently in production choreographing the opening to the National Speakers Association convention on Broadway at the Marriott Marquis for August of 2008. Angela is co-owner of Dance Teacher Web designed as an online resource for teachers worldwide.

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