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Teaching Respect in Dance: The Value of Reverence

teaching respect in dance

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:

  1. Traditional Curtsy, or Bow in Ballet
  2. Goodbye Circle: Younger dancers hold hands in a circle to curtsy/bow and applaud for the class.
  3. 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!”
  4. 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.

Looking for more dance class culture development? Check out these articles:

How to Promote Productive Dance Practice

Being A Dance Teacher: 8 Tips for Strong Student Relationships

Add a Little Magic with Dance Studio Mascots

Chasta Hamilton Calhoun

Chasta is the artistic director and owner of Stage Door Dance Productions in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is also the founder of The Dance Exec, a website and organization that provided resources and training for dance studio owners. The resources from The Dance Exec have a new home on the TutuTix blog, giving dance studio owners an even more in-depth library of free tools and information with which to grow their business. Chasta contributes to the TutuTix blog from time to time, offering her perspective as a studio owner (and TutuTix client!).