Teaching Respect in Dance: The Value of Reverence
It’s important to be teaching respect in dance, and instilling a sense of reverence in our students. By definition, reverence means “deep respect for someone or something,” and we should be building that mentality in all of our dancers.
By adding a small ritual of respect into our lessons, we can ensure our dancers grow up with a love for the art and an admiration for its teaching. Here are some examples of classical and contemporary ways to end a class:
- Traditional Curtsy, or Bow in Ballet
- Goodbye Circle: Younger dancers hold hands in a circle to curtsy/bow and applaud for the class.
- Tap Break: Create a signature rhythm for students to execute at the end of class. After the rhythm, they will clap their hands and say “Break!”
- Take a Bow: For contemporary classes (jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, etc.), it is important to have the students demonstrate a gesture of respect. Whether through a bow or a fun, whimsical movement, they should signal the end of the class and applaud.
As a part of reverence, I also like to encourage my dancers to learn the importance of thanking your teachers.
Whether it is the teacher you see every day, a guest artist, or in a convention environment, it matters for students to show respect and gratitude to their instructors.
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