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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Class Etiquette

In preparation for our SPRING SESSION starting next week below are some various CLASSROOM ETIQUETTE TIPS that you may find helpful!! 

(Below is adapted from The Ballet Companion, by Eliza Gaynor Minden)
 Please share these with your dancer!
"Studio etiquette may seem mysterious at first, but its importance soon becomes apparent." 
Dress the part:  Please wear the appropriate required attire listed under the Attire tab on the website.  This is not to squash individuality, but to enable the teacher to see clearly.  Wearing the attire shows you are ready to take class seriously!  You will dance better too.  If for some reason you do not have the clothing or shoes before the first class starts, just let the teacher know you will have it soon as its on its way! You may wear leggings, shirt and socks until the clothing comes in.
Oh---and for those new to ballet----your tights ARE your underwear.  Don't wear underwear with your leotard and tights!! Thanks!! :)

Be Neat:  Hair that moves is a distraction.  It should be tight against your head so that you can spot freely (if you don't know what that is, you soon will).  Also, long braids or pony tails are hazardous as they can smack you or someone else!  Before you arrive at class, your hair needs to be in a bun or a french twist.  For those young children or with short hair, you may use two small and short pony tails or something close to that.  You may also use a headband to pull the bangs and whispies away.  A hair net should be used for buns.  They are easy to find at the store next to the bobby pins and come in a little package with usually several in one.  They should be invisible once in your hair.  I have a couple links below to help you and your parent/guardian learn how to do a great ballet bun!! I recommend the dancer learn how to do their own as soon as they can!!   Remember, we are looking for excellence in everything we do!
Ballet Bun Tutorial - Check this out!
Quick Bun

Be on Time:  Arriving late disturbs other students and the class already in session.  The class builds on the exercises done at the beginning. If you must be late, ask permission to enter. You can do this with eye contact and hopeful look! Locate a spot before walking into the room and take your place quickly and quietly.  Do a few plie's on your own to warm up as needed.  Once class starts there are no bathroom breaks, excepts for real emergencies; have you and your mom plan accordingly! Plus the bathroom is quite a walk!!  Also, don't eat a big meal just beforehand, but don't dance on an empty stomach either.

Jewelry:  Don't wear jewelry to class.  Small stud earrings are allowed, but no dangling earrings, bracelets, large necklaces or watches. 

Be Clean: As there will be all ages at the studio from time to time, those of age to use deodarant, please do!  Respecting others means wearing a clean leotard and tights.  Airing out the ballet shoes is also a necessity! Shower before class as needed and possibly keep some deodorant in your ballet bag as well.  Avoid strong perfumes or cologne, what smells fine to you may be overpowering someone else.  Also, have your mom give you a fabric softener/dryer sheet to put in your bag if its gets smelly.  This will help keep it fresh smelling. 

Mind your manners:  Dancers are ladies and gentlemen. They are polite. They don't lean against the wall or sit down unless directed to do so.  They wouldn't dream of chewing gum in class.  Rudeness to the teacher is unthinkable; you could be dismissed from class or even expelled! Yawning, talking, whispering or having private giggles with your friends counts as rudeness. 

Pay attention:  You are there to work and learn.  It is your job to watch and listen, especially when a combination is given. Your teacher may not give it twice!

Stash your stuff:  After you have used your dance bag to get ready for class, look for the other dance bags and place your by the others. Be careful to place it safely out of the path of dancers.  Speaking of dance bags, here is another link for what to bring: Dance Bag  You may not need all of these items just yet, but I am sure you will find it helpful. 

Do the movement as given: If the teacher showed everyone what to do and you decided to 'improve' it, its not only a distraction, its downright disrespectful to your teacher.  If your teacher is talking and you want to share something before everyone starts doing the combination, you may raise your hand. If she does not call on you, put your hand down and consider it after class.  Do not interrupt your teacher with your ideas during class unless the teacher asks for your thoughts about something. If you have an injury and need movements modified, let your teacher know before class so it does not surprise her. 

Also, finish every combination given.  Even if you mess it up 'royally', the discipline of ballet requires you finish it with as much poise as you can!  Sighing, making faces or otherwise showing your frustration or other emotions is inappropriate. 

Know where to stand:  We do not have barres yet, but will hopefully have some in the near future. The barres help support the dancer while she practices during class.  The dancers are expected to share the barre with others and not always to have the same spot.  The teacher may suggest a spot for you, otherwise find an empty place and ask your neighbor if there is room and settle in.  If there is not room to extend your leg while doing grand battement for example, then angle out when doing exercises.  If the barres are portable, help get them out and remove them.

When class moves to the center floor, the dancers create a line of 3-4 dancers across depending on the size of the room.  The lines will rotate so everyone gets a chance to check placement in the mirror.  However, we do not have mirrors yet either, so you will probably just rotate in front of the teacher.  All must take a turn at being in front and being on their own. If the line is not rotating, sometimes the teacher will have the more skilled dancers stand in front so others may follow. This is an honor to stand in front, work hard for this honor!

When everyone lines up to dance across the floor, take your place in line and be ready. Know the right number, count or phrase to start on so you can start on cue.

Drink Politely:   Do bring a water bottle with you and drink before class starts, but the norms of the gym do not apply to ballet class.  You may drink only when the teacher gives permission. When we have barres, you will be allowed to drink while the barres are being put away and before center work.  Do not drink while your teacher is giving a combination or between exercises. 

Ask permission to leave: Always ask permission to leave the studio if its during a session, even if you are suddenly ill.  Wandering in and out of the room is not allowed.  If you must leave early, get the teacher's okay before class starts.  Acknowledge the teacher by catching her eye and communicating your thanks with a silent wave, then leave unobtrusively.

Routine:  Class will have a set routine each week.  The class will involve learning Bible verses about dance, learning God's purpose for dance, learning ballet steps and combinations and learning how to express God's word/worship through dance.

Future:  Eventually, there will be a foundational praise dance class that will be separate from other dance forms.  It will take some time to grow, but the Master's Dance Academy plans on having ongoing year round sessions and adding more class choices over time. One main goal of the academy is to have a dance troupe that travels and/or holds worship services to display God's Word and worship through dance.   At this time, Alyssa and Derek plan on traveling to Ukraine over the summer to adopt their child(ren) and Alyssa plans on have a fall session start in Sept. 2013.  She plans on all those currently attending to attend again unless otherwise spoken.  Thanks in advance!!


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