Thursday, April 16, 2009

I Thought We Were Grown-Ups

I'm taking a ballet class this semester because I've always admired ballet. I took a semester in college ages ago, another six or eight weeks last spring, and now I'm back doing it again. Something happened yesterday in my class that embarrassed me greatly, and I wasn't even part of the incident. After one-third of the class straggled in after class started, a student argued with the teacher because someone cut her off in the floor work. Specifically, we get into groups when we do turns, jumps and large steps so we all have room to move without running into other dancers, and she was in one group and someone took her spot. This led to the teacher sitting us all down like children at the end of the class to lecture us on good behavior. Fortunately, I've been in dance classes weekly for over three years. I know what's expected and I behave like it.

This post is for those who just plain don't know, need a refresher, or want some validation for doing it right.
  • Show up 15 minutes before class starts so you can warm yourself up. Even if the studio is locked or occupied, you can do some stretches while you wait. It also shows the class is important to you.
  • Give other dancers space. Don't move in front of someone when you can already see yourself in the mirror. Don't crowd up on other dancers. Make room to accommodate people where you can.
  • Help others without stealing the focus of the class if you can. Sometimes students catch on slower than the teacher teaches. When appropriate, help them get the moves down.
  • Dress for the class. The teacher should be able to easily see how your body is moving and correct it. Wear what is recommended for that particular style of dance. I had a jazz dance teacher who insisted we wear black tights for jazz class and said pink tights only for ballet. She had a reason.
  • Don't disrespect the teacher. If you have questions or concerns that don't have to do with what's being taught, don't be a damn drama queen and start to walk out because you were bumped from the second group. Deal with that later. When you disrespect the teacher, you disrespect your fellow classmates as well.
  • If you can't stand the heat, get the hell out. If you don't like a teacher, don't want to put in the work to get it right, or hate everyone else in the class, go do something else.

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