Ballet Class Etiquette for Adult Beginners

Before Class

  • Wear form-fitting, breathable clothing.
    • Teachers need to be able to see the lines of the body in order to help you find the correct posture and positions. It is also helpful for you to be able to see the shapes you are making.
  • Secure hair up and away from the face.
    • Remember, teachers need to be able to see the lines of the body, this includes the head, neck, and back.
  • Remove watches and jewelry.
    • Chunky necklaces, noisy bracelets, large rings, and long earrings are distracting and possibly harmful to yourself and other students.
  • Leave any temptation to eat, smoke, or chew gum, all at the door.
    • It is both disrespectful and a possible health and safety risk. Drinking water during class is usually permitted.
  • Set mobile phones to silent or simply turn off.
    • If you are expecting an emergency call, please advise your teacher before the class starts and leave the studio to take the call so as not to disrupt other students.
  • Arrive early to class.
    • Always get to the studio early enough to warm-up adequately to avoid injury.
  • Ask the teacher for permission to join class if you arrive late.
    • For example, “My apologies. May I join class, please?”
  • Communicate with the teacher if you already know that you need to leave class early. Be respectful.
    • For example, “Only doing barre today. Need to take my cat to the vet.”

During Class

  • Avoid folding your arms, yawning, and sitting down (unless you are injured)
    • Be aware of your body language in class, it matters.
  • Mind the instructor at all times.
    • Resist chatting. Only if you have a question, or if the teacher asks you a question, then is it an appropriate time to speak in class.
  • If you need to leave the class at any point, it is best to communicate this with the teacher instead of suddenly walking out of the studio without any explanation.
    • You might find your teacher chasing you to ensure you aren’t injured or sick!
  • Assimilate corrections given to other individuals.
    • If a correction is directed toward another person, apply it to your own learning.


  • Combinations with one hand, start with your left hand on the barre.
  • Turn toward the barre between exercises.
  • Resist the temptation to lean against the barres.


  • When another group is dancing, prepare yourself to begin dancing as they finish.
  • When executing a combination in the center of the room that advances forward, finish the exercise and move directly to the front, then to the side before returning to the back of the room to repeat the exercise.
    • This will allow other dancers to begin.
  • When you are finished with an exercise in the center, leave the floor as quickly as possible.

Give thanks to the instructor at the end of each class. Also known as reverence (curtsy/bow).


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