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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

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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!).