Don’t be Discourteous and 16 other Dance Teacher Pet Peeves


Joy Karley

by Joy Karley, CPT, MA

My list of “gentle pet peeves” address things that annoy teachers and even cause distress to students when they are called out. In fact, it seems like this is happening even more so today because people are much more sensitive and not as accustomed to the old-school rules of the dance world.

The reminders below are aimed at adult beginners and all of those currently taking open classes who did not go through a formal dance training program:

Dance Class Behaviors to Avoid:

  • Coming to class excessively late
  • Coming to class late on your first day
  • Coming to class late repeatedly with no good reason (i.e., tight commute from work/school)
  • Talking in class
  • Sitting down in class (other than stretching, tying your shoe, etc)
  • Allowing your phone to ring in class
  • Answering your phone in class
  • Texting in class
  • Wearing inappropriate clothing/shoes
  • Hair not tied back
  • Talking/asking questions once the music has started
  • Standing in the front of the line & not going when it is your turn
  • Blocking other students from taking their turn
  • Stopping while traveling across the floor
  • Turning around while dancing and walking into other students who are dancing
  • Being unaware of the space around you
  • Showing discourtesy to other students

If you can minimize or better yet, eliminate these behaviors, the only time you’ll come up in faculty room conversation will be for all the good things you did in class!

About Joy Karley

Joy Karley, MA holds a Master’s degree in Biomechanics and Athletic Training from San Diego State University and a Bachelor of Science in Modern Dance from Kent State University. Her background includes extensive training in classical ballet, jazz, tap, Latin, and theater dance.

Joy is also a Pilates Method Alliance Certified Pilates Teacher (PMA, CPT) and an AFAA & IFTA Certified Fitness Instructor & Personal Trainer. She teaches Pilates, fitness and dance classes throughout New York City.

You can read Joy’s bio at

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