Ballet Etiquette 101

For success in ballet class, rehearsal and performance.

Ballet Class

No talking.

Ballet class is an inner journey of self learning and growth. Social period happens in the hallway and before and after class. The only sound should be the teacher and the music. If the teacher asks the student something, the student can reply, quickly and respectfully. If the student has a question for the teacher during class, he/she must raise their hand and again quick and respectfully ask the question.

Wear Proper attire.

If the dress code is black leotard and pink tights, wear that. In my day of training if we wore something outside of the dress code we were asked to change, sit out or leave. If it is a class en Pointe have your shoes ready to dance in, meaning, prep them the night before so that you aren’t suffering during class and having to constantly adjust your shoes.

Hair secured in a tight bun.

It is ok to have some variants of bun styles as long as the hair does not hinder your classroom focus and performance at all. Hair should be completely out of your face and secured tightly so it doesn’t get in the way of dancing and learning.

Be on time.

Always be ready to dance at the time the class starts. If you are running late, or will be absent call the office and let them know.

Always finish each exercise and sequence.

Each exercise at the bar and in the center usually ends in a particular position of the feet, body, arms and head. This position must be found at the end of each exercise and held until the teacher says relax. If it finishes in fifth, finish in fifth. If it finishes in a croise attitude derrière hold it and then elongate when the teacher finish and close in fifth. Wait until she/he says relax to come out of the ending position of every exercise. This also applies to choreography, always finish the dance until the lights go out and/or you are completely off stage.

Have spacial and directional awareness.

  • When at the barre, space yourself so you will not kick anyone or anything else.
  • Turn towards the barre after each exercise unless otherwise indicated by the teacher.
  • Across the floor space yourself in windows so that you will not crash into anyone else.
  • Stay in your lane!
  • If you have to cross the room to get to the other side, always go around the back, never walk in front of the teacher.

Be teachable.

If you receive a correction, that is like receiving a compliment, a gift and a lesson all in one little interaction. Take the correction and apply it immediately. Try it on, work on the correction. Students who resist correction will not improve as rapidly as those who eat it up like milk chocolate bunny on Easter. Those who eat it up often receive more corrections and have the opportunity to advance in their craft quicker. The biggest obstacle to being teachable is yourself!

Always be grateful.

Say thank you for each correction you receive and at the end of class make a point to walk directly up to your teacher and thank him/her for the class. You can also bring up any questions you might have to the teacher at that point.


All of the above applies to rehearsals as well.

The only difference is many times dress code is more lenient and you can wear colored leotards. Just make sure it is appropriate for what you are working on, if you wear a tutu, wear a practice tutu, if you wear a skirt, wear a practice skirt, if you have a lot partnering, wear something that your partner will be able to hold on to.

I would also add, if you have an issue with something, instead of gossiping I suggest finding a way to bring it up to the people that might be able to help you with your frustrations.


All of the above applies to Performance.

I would also add be a team player and not a diva. Be humble. Even though you might be the best dancer that ever existed in all the history of humanity, you still have room to grow as a person and artist and everyone you dance with matters, even the stage hands.

***In my professional opinion your teacher, director and/or choreographer reserve the right to ask you to leave if you do not adhere to these rules of conduct.

Leave a reply