17 Ways to Be an A+ Student in Dance Class

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Teachers will be the first to tell you that it takes more than just talent to be a great dancer. It should go without saying that you need to work hard in your dance classes, too. However, did you know that the best dance students not only work the hardest, but display other common qualities? If you want to temps levé to the top of your dance class, take note of these 17 traits:

  1. Arrive early. Not on time. Early.
  2. Come prepared. Everyone is forgetful sometimes, but the best students start preparing for their class in advance.
  3. Stay focused and alert during class. Be rested and eat well—this makes it easier to stay awake and alert (especially if you have an early morning class!).
  4. Apply corrections quicklyNo one likes to give the same correction over and over, so if you don’t understand, ask questions!
  5. Ask questions and listen to the questions asked by others. Just remember to think before you ask.
  6. Absorb movement and direction as quickly as possible. Sure, this is a skill that takes practice but good dance students always work to get it faster.
  7. Think ahead as you dance. Believe it or not, this also takes practice. Develop your intuition for choreography and other things by making sure you’re staying focused, applying corrections, asking questions and practicing.
  8. Take notes. Dancers don’t often take written notes during class, but they do take mental ones and then write them down later.
  9. Condition the body outside of class. Dance class is where you develop your dance skills. You develop greater dance fitness, strength and endurance to perform these dance skills with cross-training outside of class.
  10. Avoid being a distraction. Yes, this is a “what not to do.” Know proper dance class etiquette and follow it.
  11. Listen to the body in class. A good dance student knows his or her limitations and modifies the movement or steps when it is necessary to avoid injury.
  12. Talk with your teacher about things relative to the class. Establish a solid, professional relationship with your teacher. Stick to the subject, ask questions and avoid being a distraction.
  13. Trust and respect your teacher. Trust his or her judgement, decisions, methods and knowledge. If you have good reason not to, find a teacher you CAN trust and respect.
  14. Be ready, willing and eager to go back to the basics. Hardcore dancers learn from dancing with beginners and returning to the basics of their technique. That’s why they love it.
  15. Mentally tag your mistakes and show up rather than show off. Wouldn’t you rather spend time trying to improve than rehash what you already do well? Thought so.
  16. Be supportive and encouraging of your classmatesClap for them. Praise their efforts and accomplishments. Offer to help or give help when asked.
  17. Respond graciously and with gratitude at all times. Leave any negativity outside the studio. Remember to say thank you for corrections and compliments.