Since graduation from NUS, I try to keep a regular dance schedule so that I don’t turn too rusty. It’s also my form of work out and exercise.
I’ve taken classes at a lot of dance studios and meet many new dancers who just started taking classes. Some, I feel, lack dance studio etiquette and manners. I don’t think any of them harbours any ill intentions. The lack of basic, what I call, studio courtesy, stems from ignorance.
These are some of things that gets to me when I go for classes.
Okay interruption: rare video of me dancing in class. If you can spot me that is.
Lack of spatial awareness
In a class full of moving people, it can get dangerous when a dancer is not aware of the amount of space around him/her that him/her can move in. In very basic laymen terms, it means to know how much space you have before you hit your neighbours.
While we’ll all like to stretch to our fullest, the least is to be considerate of your neighbours and manage your strength just in case you hit someone.
One of my most terrifying case seen: Someone kicked another someone in the eye and the person (who got kicked) was wearing contact lens and had to seek medical help. No joke.
Arriving late to class and taking a spot that blocks someone’s spot in the mirror
Haven’t we seen this all? Someone who comes late to class and instead of slotting at the back, the person shifts to in front of you, doesn’t bother to take window but stands directly in front of you.
Your mirror spot? Nah. My parents used to say this when I blocked their line of vision.
“Did you eat glass? Are you transparent?”
The shifty person: One who changes her spot or can’t decide on her window
Type 1: The person who’s late to class, slots in at the back during warm up and stealthily migrates to the front
Type 2: Cannot decide on a window in class.
While I will just “Tsk tsk” the first type, the second type makes it a more disruptive class.
Wearing multiple accessories or watch to class
My old instructor used to say this if he spots you wearing a watch:
You watching how fast my class goes?
To be honest, this is a safety issue too. Imagine your clunky rings and bangles hitting someone. Or rather what if you get hit by someone with clunky rings and bangles?
Taking the front row in open class
Typically, the front row is taken by the regular class takers who know the usual class warm ups. They’ve also been coming to class for some time.
Why are these dancers granted the “front row” rights? Because usually, the rest of the class will take the cues and lead from these dancers.
How about those who rush to the front row and miraculously disappear when it comes to small groups?
All in all…
To be honest, I don’t think anybody new to dance classes will know these etiquette rules of a dance class. It comes with observance and attending multiple classes.
How do you tell someone basic class etiquette? It’s not like an instructor will tell you. Personally, I feel that it can be awkward and somewhat confrontational.
My question to you is: Do you actually ask someone to move if they take your mirror spot when they’re late or do you move yourself?
Also, (in case my post goes viral), these are MERELY my observations and opinions. You may have your observations and opinions too, feel free to leave a comment below.