Proper classroom etiquette and attire is essential to the education and training of a dancer, and are provided to promote self-discipline, and create a positive and effective learning environment. A dress code also imparts discipline and aids with overall focus, energy, peer acceptance, unity and cooperation, while minimizing distractions and providing a unified look. Following the dress code takes effort and shows that the dancers are serious about improving and developing their dance skills. This is especially true for young dancers. Wearing proper dress code helps signal that they are ready for a more structured class, not just playtime. Adhering to the dress code also displays that the dancer shows respect towards the dance style they are studying.
The same dress code we follow at AAD is universal and followed by all major dance programs and professional companies. Should our students go on to study in conservatories or college programs, we want them to understand what will be expected of them.
A uniform dress code ensures that teachers can easily see a student’s alignment, muscle use, and positioning during class. Skirts, shorts, t-shirts, and any loose clothing can mask body placement issues that can potentially cause injuries.
A neat, tidy appearance is part of the discipline of ballet, but it is also for safety reasons. It is necessary to keep hair out of the face for turns so the dancer can see to spot themselves, and so that the hair does not hit the dancer in the eyes when they snap their head. During tumble, improperly secured hair can hamper head placement, or even pull the hair out. Hair should be secured away from the face; preferably in a bun that does not have to be readjusted during class.
Parents – if you get pushback from your children on dress code, we are depending on you to be firm about the expectations of the studio. As an instructor, when we have to get onto the children about dress code it makes them immediately not like us – or have something negative in their mind – because they “got in trouble.” Try not to put the instructors in this position. The instructor should be given the opportunity to teach dance, and let the instruction be how their relationship with the student is formed. There are plenty of other discipline things we will handle in the classroom, but wearing the correct attire is the dancer and parent’s responsibility.
Older Dancers – DO NOT PUSH THE BOUNDARIES TO SEE WHAT YOU CAN GET BY WITH. This too puts directors in a terrible position. Instead of focus on technique, artistry, stamina, and strength, you are asking us to hold you accountable as to whether you are dressed appropriately. You know the rules. If you are advanced, you have been around long enough to know what the expectations are; breaking the rules will only damage your reputation and waste time. Often schools do not allow dancers to take class out of dress code.
If there is a strange situation where you spill something all over your tights, or leave a leotard at home, COMMUNICATE with us! Tell your instructor what is going on, ask a friend to borrow things, but don’t just assume it’s okay to say, “I’ll just wear whatever today.”
As part of our dress code, we do not allow phones or electronic devices in our classrooms. This includes smart watches. Technology is a distraction to a positive learning environment. If your dancer has a phone, please have them notify their teacher, and we will give them a space to put their phone or watch during class; or have them leave these things at home while they are dancing.
Only plain water is allowed in classrooms; no flavored or colored drinks. No food is allowed. Substances that leave a residue could not only damage our dance floors, but potentially injure other students.
We value all of our wonderful dance families, and know that we all want the same thing from our dance class experience: to give our students the best dance education.