HONOR YOUR CLASS:
• Arrive punctually with plenty of time to change into your dance attire before class begins.
• If you are late, quietly enter the room and position yourself on the floor at the back of the class.
• If you are early for your class and have the privilege of watching another class in progress, please keep quiet. The music is never too loud to drown out your whisper.
• Wear the proper attire to your class. For example, your teacher may prefer leggings so she can see your knees and more easily correct your alignment.
• Have your props (skirt, zils, swords, fan etc.) and accessories available and ready.
• Avoid wearing hip scarves that are falling apart and litter the floor with coins and beads.
• Do not tread wet shoes and belongings onto the dance floor.
• Do not assume it is OK to advertise or put out flyers for anything without permission.
• Once class begins, be quiet and pay attention to the instructor. Do not talk, joke or whisper to classmates while the instructor is talking / teaching.
• Please do no chew gum or eat during class.
• Please do no answer your cellphone during class – please put it on silent.
• Leave with all of your belongings. Do not leave litter behind in the class, this includes empty water bottles.
• At times your class may be split into groups or each student may be asked to practice movement individually across the floor. At such times, when it is not your turn on the dance floor, you should focus on those who are dancing. Instead of daydreaming or talking, visualize yourself so that when it is your turn, you will do it right.
• Treat others with respect and courtesy. You do not have to be friends with everyone, but you can at least be polite.
• Be aware of maintaining your own dance space. It is never enjoyable to practice with someone whose arms flail wildly or cannot control a turn and bangs into everyone around her.
• Be considerate of students around you. People learn at different rates and in different ways. Be patient with others who may not grasp the movement as quickly as you do. Spend the extra time the teacher is taking with the ‘slower‘ student, to refine the movement you have just learned.
HONOR YOUR INSTRUCTOR:
• If your instructor assigns homework, please do it to the best of your ability.
• If you are ill or injured, inform the instructor before class begins so she is aware of your limitations.
• Remember, choreographies are the property of the teacher. Generally, a teacher gives permission to perform her choreographies when she teaches them. However, this does not give you the right to teach the choreography to other students or even your own troupe members. Ask the teacher for her policy regarding this very important legal issue.
• There is no right or wrong name to a movement in Belly Dance. Yes, you have had another teacher somewhere who called that movement ―The Washing Machine. Keep in mind, this dance has been passed on from one dancer to the next since the beginning of time. The movements do not have standardized names. Teachers generally call a movement what their teacher called it.
• Take notes when sitting out of active participation. If for some reason, you absolutely cannot continue the class -- you are too tired, too hungry, cramps, etc. -- understand you do not have to leave. Sit in the corner and take notes. Please do not converse with other students.
• Let the teacher teach. If you are a teacher, please do not voice an opinion in another teacher‘s class, unless you are asked to do so.
• Keep an open mind and please do not complain. Be open to new ideas and possibilities. Try to focus on how your new teacher can expand your dance repertoire.
• Practice good posture at all times.
• Accept correction as positive criticism. Your instructor is not picking on you. A good teacher makes clear, direct correction and is not afraid to be honest. View criticism as an opportunity to grow.
• Put your troubles aside and clear your mind. Allow class to release your tension.
• Cleanliness and personal hygiene show that you honour yourself by example.
• Do not openly disagree with your instructor. Do not openly criticize your teacher. Rather talk to your instructor at the end of the class and not in front of all the students. If you feel you are always disagreeing with your instructor, you may need to find another instructor.
• Courteously ask intelligent, thought-provoking questions. Don‘t be afraid to ask questions. Chances are other students are wondering the same thing.
• Take pride in your studio, your instructor, your classmates, yourself, but always maintain humility, no matter how good a dancer you become.
- Modified from the Dancing Divinity Dance Company
To My Sisters In Dance
I will not point out your failures
I will not expound upon our differences
I will not show you disrespect
I will let you dance first at the hafla
I will give you the recognition you deserve
I will consider your suggestions
You Are My Sister
At public performances,
I will not criticize my troupe mates performance
I will not comment on mistakes other dancers make
I will not hog the spotlight
I will come on time and prepared to our performances
I will not behave or speak offensively in ear shot of the viewing public
I will not leave early, I will show respect to the other performers by staying till the end of the showcase
At dance community events,
I will not gossip about other dancers
I will socialize and network with other dancers, including them in conversations
I will not demean myself, but thank someone when I am given a compliment
We Are Better Together Than Apart