Ethics - moral principles; standard practices; and even etiquette (good manners) are important elements in the dance world and should be part of dancers' education. Dance teachers--who inspire as well as teach their students--should not only include concepts of ethics and standard practices in their curriculum, but also lead by example.
students grow in skill and ability, some decide to step up to
a professional or public level in teaching and/or performing.
Unless they give forethought to ethical decision-making and
become aware of standard practices, their inexperience often
leads to mistakes that have far-reaching effects. Even
innocent mistakes can cause hurt feelings and rifts in the
Unprofessional habits are often passed from teacher to student - the result of when people who lack extensive knowledge and adequate training begin teaching or performing. Some common concerns are:
These negative actions impact how the public perceives the dance and can also create a hostile environment within the dance community.
Oriental (belly) Dance is a specific form of dance derived
from various cultural sources and folk dances, not jazz,
modern, ballet, hip-hop, "club" or recreational dancing done
in a belly dance costume. If you perform or teach, even if you
don't make a living by doing so, set your standards high. Even
hobbyists can produce work of "professional caliber" by
gaining a broader understanding of the dance form, adhering to
high standards, and following sound ethical principles.
There's no consensus on the definition of "professional" - a professional could be someone who
I researched codes of conduct for the professional organizations of consultants, coaches, music teachers and tennis players; and also asked the opinions of students and other teachers or performers to put together my personal Code of Conduct (see link below). It is clear that for belly dance teachers and performers, following a formal code of conduct has two important benefits:
Some Oriental Dance organizations require adherence to their ethics or conduct codes and promise disciplinary action if neglected. A pledge of honor requires no signatures, just honest intention. Mistakes will be surely be made; but honest mistakes can lead to growth. Exercising your free will while still respecting others' rights brings true liberty to all involved.
If you wish to copy this article or the Code of Conduct to use in your work please do so, and credit is appreciated.
"Etiquette" (good manners)
Anthea's articles: Student Etiquette Tips | Attending a Workshop or Show
Jasmin Jahal's "Class Etiquette"
Miramar's "Dance Class Etiquette"
"Ambition is dangerous until it is fully socialized. You have not truly acquired any virtue until your acts make you worthy of it." - UB 48.7.17