Ballet Etiquette

Updated: Jan 5


  1. Dress appropriately and come prepared. Don’t chew gum or bring food or drinks (a closed water bottle is okay) in the studio.

  2. Never wear dance shoes outside the studio or wear street shoes in the studio.

  3. Don’t wear dangling or sharp-edged jewelry.

  4. Come to class showered, with brushed teeth and fresh breath.

  5. Leave your things in a cubby, if available. Put any sanctioned personal belongings at the back or sides of unused studio walls (never the front).

  6. Don’t record or photograph anything without permission.

  7. Don’t come late and if you do, enter very quietly.

  8. Don’t leave early. If it is a must, talk to the teacher before class. If you need to exit for a true emergency, exit as quickly and discreetly as possible.

  9. Don’t talk while the teacher is talking, not even whispering to the person next to you.

  10. Stow your cell phone on silent. Even vibration is often audible.

  11. Listen first, then ask relevant questions.

  12. Respect the personal space of others.

  13. Respect the dance space. Pick up trash, your clothes, and don’t turn things on, off, up, or down in the space without permission.

  14. Watch your body language, even when you mess up.

  15. Don’t hang or slouch on the barre--or anywhere else for that matter.

  16. Never sit down unless you are asked to, and when you do, sit tall. Never lie down.

  17. Be attentive at all times, especially when waiting for your turn. Beware of negative body language (like folded arms).

  18. If you are late, don’t apologize until after class; just wait for the okay from your teacher to enter the dance floor. Once permission is granted, find an easily accessible or inconspicuous place to warm up or participate.

  19. Develop spatial awareness and demonstrate it. Give the instructor space, but not too much space.

  20. Avoid the front unless you really know the combination.Refrain from correcting others (that’s the teacher’s job).

  21. Don’t quit in the middle of the room, a combination, or the class. Go with the flow if you are lost or confused. Never stop traffic.

  22. It’s okay to mark combinations while you wait for your turn as long as you are out of the way.

  23. Don’t visibly yawn or show boredom. You may get away with it in a lecture hall, but not dance class.

  24. Bring a towel to wipe your sweat and germs off the floor or barre.

  25. Don’t take a class way above your skill level. If this mistake is already made, do your best, but stay out of the way of other dancers.

  26. Once you’ve claimed a space in the center or in a group, it’s generally yours for better or worse. But don’t be pushy or try to reclaim a spot if yours gets taken.

  27. Restrain movement in a crowded class until broken into groups. If you bump into someone, quietly apologize; don’t make it a big deal.

  28. Never give your two cents on choreography to a teacher or choreographer unless your opinions have been requested. If you find you have many questions about something, save them for after class.

  29. If you want help with something that will take more than a minute or two, please schedule a private lesson with your teacher.

  30. Applaud for demonstrators. At the end of class, applaud and thank the instructor and musician (as part of the group).

  31. I can’t is not in your vocabulary.

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