Do’s and Don’ts of Adult Ballet

If you’re new to ballet class, you may not know what’s appropriate in certain situations. Ballet requires a certain level of etiquette, and ignoring it is considered disrespectful to the art form, the teacher, and your classmates. Though most students don’t experience any issues, manners sometimes go by the wayside. Keeping in mind the do’s and don’ts of adult ballet class will help you to play well with others and stay focused.

Do come to class on time. Sure, stuff happens. But unless you’re late due to emergency or unforeseen circumstances, it is rude to come to class perpetually late.

Don’t drag your heels if you are late. Put your shoes on in the lobby, and enter the room immediately prepared to join the rest of the class. Offer a brief apology to your teacher. It’s highly unlikely they will smack you with their cane, nonetheless it shows courtesy.

Do wear comfortable clothing. Ballet technique requires a lot of bending, squatting, twisting, and lifting. You need to be able to move freely. If you feel cold, wear leg warmers or a sweatshirt. You can always shed them as you warm up.

Don’t show up barefoot in jeans. If you’re adamantly opposed to wearing a leotard and tights, try a tank top and yoga pants. Always wear appropriate technique shoes. Dancing barefoot in ballet class is tacky and impractical.

Do arrive 10-15 minutes early so you can warm up. Adult students do not have the advantage of breezing into class with the same resilience a child has. You’ll want to take care of your body by doing some mild stretches to prepare your muscles for class.

Don’t show up as class starts, then sprawl on the floor to do a warm-up. It’s inconsiderate. Also, if someone has their belongings draped over the barre, it means that’s their spot. Don’t take it.

Do have fun. Bring a friend! Make friends! Adult ballet class is a great social outlet.

Don’t be distracting. While it’s okay to make friendly conversation with your peers and enjoy class, be sure not to talk while your teacher is giving instructions. They don’t want to repeat themselves unnecessarily.

Do ask questions. It is your teacher’s job to help you when you’re having trouble understanding a step or combination.

Don’t hog the floor. It slows down the class when you ask the teacher to stop what they’re doing every time you need a correction. If you want extended, personalized attention, enroll in private classes.

Do take initiative. When it’s time to perform a combination across the floor in groups, volunteer to go first! It’s the best way to build confidence.

Don’t hide in the corner. You’re not expected to be perfect, so don’t psyche yourself out. Besides, if you’re the last one to go, everyone will be waiting for you on the other side. Talk about pressure!

These are the basic do’s and don’ts of adult ballet class. You may not be a professional ballerina, but it’s important to still conduct yourself in a way that shows respect for all involved. Taking these steps will demonstrate to your teacher and classmates that you’re trying to be considerate.

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image credit: Grey Barklay
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