DANCE STUDIO ETIQUETTE FOR TEACHERS
by Deborah Joy Block, certified etiquette instructor and professional dance instructor/performer
There are lots of articles about social dance party and class etiquette for students and a few about ballet student etiquette but despite the fact that ballroom studios have existed in this country for over 100 years it is quite rare to find an article on the subject of professional guidance for dance instructor etiquette . Unfortunately, common sense does not always prevail in a room full of “divas” so an official etiquette rule book is required. These tips are designed to ensure a pleasant work environment and high quality lessons for optimal customer satisfaction. Studio landlords, feel free to copy this and post it or distribute it to your staff. I hope you will find it a useful resource to maintain a peaceful and pleasant studio atmosphere! Feel free to add your own etiquette suggestions (without specifically IDENTIFYING individuals as that is ALSO a breach of etiquette and your comment will be deleted.) Enjoy!
- If space allows, set up speakers & use mirrors at OPPOSITE CORNERS of the studio NOT NEXT to another lesson already in progress.
- Once all 4 corners are full THEN fill in the middle sections to avoid creating a crowded, distracting and dangerous teaching environment.
- If you need to play music LOUDLY or NONSTOP while rehearsing SOLO routines directly next to ongoing lessons please use EARPHONES.
- GROUP lessons requires MORE space and are noisier so either rent the whole room or do NOT teach middle sections. Simply swap positions with your neighbors.
- If you set yourself beside a privacy curtain assume that your neighbors may expect you to use it or else switch places with them so others can take advantage of the amenity.
- Rent space during non peak hours (anytime BEFORE 6pm) if you are teaching tap or flamenco, drumming, zills or other loud percussive dances. Anything after 6pm requires that you rent the entire back room as you are making it IMPOSSIBLE for others to teach next to you.
- Be mindful of volume levels and speaker location/angle or take turns if nobody is able to hear their music. If your speakers are poor quality bring A/V wires to take advantage of the many speakers the studio offers. If the bass is adjustable set it to MEDIUM.
- Approach management with unresolvable complaints rather than gossiping or cyber bullying on social media as that damages the studio reputation and creates a toxic work climate.
- Ask permission before adjusting the teaching environment –curtains, lights, fans, borrowing speakers, using overhead speakers, adjusting temperature climate, closing or opening blinds or windows, switching music, etc…
- Due to the high risk, direct contact nature of our jobs, use sanitizer or wash hands frequently to prevent spreading germs around the studio.
- Turn your music OFF when not teaching or dancing to minimize the overall noise in the room. Don’t leave music playing unattended.
- Don’t leave your belongings around the studio to “save” a space indefinitely. Let your neighbors know when you plan to return.
Please use common sense and good etiquette to be part of the SOLUTION be creating a FUN environment for yourself, colleagues and clients that is friendly and respectful so clients, staff and renters will recommend and return to support your studio and share in your passion for dancing!
Deborah Joy Block is a professional ballroom dance performer and instructor with 17 years of teaching experience with close to 10,000 students. Throughout her career, Block has had 30 professional instructors on her staff including international competitors and world champions. Block has a Bachelors in Public Relations/Communications and Business from James Madison University and received her certification in etiquette from the American School of Protocol in Atlanta, Georgia with 10 years of experience as the Director of Back to Basics Manners Social Graces Program teaching for the DC metro community and local public and private school systems. Deborah Joy Block, is also the Founder of The Wedding Dance Specialists – the first wedding dance company in the nation. She is recognized by the media, wedding industry leaders and engaged couples as the premiere national expert of the wedding dance industry. The Wedding Dance Specialists inspired the entire niche industry to expand worldwide! Ms. Block is available for interviews, guest blogging, consulting and teaching etiquette and social dance instruction in the DC metro area or worldwide!