Teachers, have you ever sat down and thought about the importance of rules & procedure in the studio? It seems like a given, common sense, but often times, when we are not transparent about the expectations of our dancers in terms of etiquette and studio behavior, we open the door to distraction, lack of focus, chaos and minimal progress. Remembering that classroom or studio management should always be Lesson #1, will allow your dance classes to run efficiently, creatively and cohesively. Without the boundaries, you will wind up spending more time fielding questions about things that should be common knowledge and dealing with behavior which may detract you from your actual lessons! Food for thought- think about the type of dance environment you are trying to create! Give all students a common denominator so that your littlest ones to your advanced, understand studio expectation and how things run! Once you have this down to a science you will quickly notice all the dancing you are actually able to get to and an ideal environment you and your students can flourish in! Below, I share some of my own in-studio rules & expectations which have come to be a lifesaver for creating that common understanding and transparency all children need in order to perform at their best!
~A Prepared Dancer Is a Professional Dancer
.Preparation is the key to success. Dancers are always prepared physically, mentally and emotionally for class. This includes consistently maintaining appearance and following dress code. Dancers will wear black leotards and appropriate tights for class. (Pink tights for ballet, black for jazz and nude, footless tights for modern.) Have all appropriate shoes with you upon entry to studio. Dancers may wear legwarmers or black ballet sweaters if they are cold.
.Hair is ALWAYS NEATLY pulled off face and jewelry is safely removed and stored.
.Keep all cell phones in your lockers.
.Engage in the mind-set that class time is an opportunity for progress and growth.
.Engage in the mindset that the end product is rewarding but so is making process part of your journey.
.Maintain a mind-body awareness of others and your surroundings.
.Visualize how teacher’s comments, feedback, critique and praise will assist in your preparation towards progress and becoming a professional dancer.
.Understand quickly that hard work and dedication are a prerequisite for success. Success does not happened over night. Be prepared, willing and ready to pay your dues. Nothing is owed to you, so don’t expect it.
.Understand nobody likes excuses nor cares to hear them.
.Treat your body, mind and spirit kindly at all times.
.Dancers should change and be in class at the designated time.
.Please bring only what is necessary: shoes, homework, dance journal, a towel, anything necessary for injuries.
~Your Dance Studio Is Your Home Away From Home
.Be visually aware of where unnecessary shoes, trash, liquids, food, etc. belong and do not..Work as a group to be mindful of YOUR space at all times, (especially upon entry and exit.) Maintain cleanliness and condition of studio for later classes as well. *AKA: Your mother doesn’t live here. Pick up after yourself at all times because no one here is going to do it for you!
~Wear the Title of Dancer Respectfully
.Be mindful of your purpose in the dance studio.
. Follow ALL studio procedures at ALL times.
.Be present in the space.
.Be void of excuses.
.Do not cast blame on others for things you didn’t do, forgot to do, need to do, etc. Do not blame or use mommy as an excuse. Be your own advocate and take responsibility.
.Maintain focus throughout lesson using your visual, audio and physical awareness.
.Respect yourself and others.
.Respect YOUR ‘sacred’ space & art.
.Take responsibility of your technique, education, appearance and etiquette.
.Think before you ask a question.
.Be bold. Be innovative. Take chances. Think outside of the box. Be you.
.Always thank teachers for corrections and feedback.
.Open mind= Limitless opportunity. Learn everything without resistance or questioning why you need to learn it. Trust. Your. Teachers.
.Be the one to set an example and inspire others.
.Know what you are safely capable of working through when ill, injured, etc. i.e. Having the sniffles or a stubbed toe does not constitute a reason to sit out for the day.
.Focus on what you can do today, not what you can’t.
.Be sensitive to fellow dancers’ process.
.Demonstrate unity and encouragement for fellow dancers.
.Have fun! Enjoy yourself and remember why you dance!
See you in the dance studio,