Classroom Viewing Etiquette

Let’s face it, one of life’s greatest joys is watching our children grow and learn everyday, and the dance studio is no exception. Being a mom myself, I understand the happiness you feel when you see your child learn a new skill, but we must do so in a manner that can allow our children to train in a most effective fashion.

Besides being a mom I am also a teacher. Though not in the traditional sense that most think of as an instructor, this is exactly what I have been educated to do, teach your child to dance.  And I need your help in order to do this successfully.

The viewing windows were placed in my studio so parents could be aware of the events going on during class. They could check in from time to time to see the smile on their student’s face or note something new that their child was learning. They were not designed for means of communication between the parent and child, for entertainment purposes, or for regular observation of the class. Below is a list of rules and practices to that will help your parents follow good  etiquette while waiting for children during dance class.

Keep the curtains closed.

I spent a long time selecting the perfect curtains for the viewing windows. I wanted something transparent for parents to be able to “peek” in on their student. Children are easily distracted and I only have them for 1 hour once a week. Please allow me to have their total attention for this short time frame in order for me to teach them to the best of my ability. Please leave the curtains closed for the entirety of the class in order to allow your child and all the other students to have the opportunity to focus on the class and what is happening inside the studio.

Viewing Etiquette

Please do not converse verbally or physically with your child through the windows.

Have you ever been to the zoo or an aquarium where the sign asks you not to tap on the glass? This is probably because it will disturb the animals. The same is true for a dance class. Tapping on the glass, standing close to it, having a sibling bang on it for attention, or having a conversation with your student through the glass is non-effective to their learning process. I have had several instances where I was trying to get the attention of a child in class to correct them when I discovered they were trying to have a conversation with their parent from the waiting room. I can tell you now, they have no idea how to read lips or understand your sign language so it really isn’t useful anyways. Please allow me the opportunity to teach your child and the others all of the wonderful things that come with a dance class, including how to listen to their teacher.

Viewing Etiquette1Please keep siblings from standing on chairs to look through the windows.

It just isn’t safe.

Do not enter the studio unless it is an emergency.

I have spent many years perfecting my class lesson plans and how to engage a student in just the right manner at just the right time. Opening the door to take something from your child, to find out if they are feeling okay, or to check in when you might hear something is very disruptive to me, your child, and the other children in the class. It can take me twice the amount of time to get them back on track after an interruption. If I need you I will come and get you, ALWAYS!

Teach your child to let their teacher know if they have to go to the bathroom.

Checking on your child when you think they might need to go to the bathroom or having them ask you through the window is yet another distraction. Please teach them that they can ask me if they need to go. This might need to be a conversation everyday so that they understand how to ask. Stop me before class to point out to your child “You can let Ms Emily know if you have to use the potty, Okay?” Even better, be sure they do it before class so there is nothing to worry about.

Viewing Etiquette2Relax and enjoy your break, read a book, play with your other children, catch up with a friend, do some work, or get a coffee.

With 12 plus years of teaching experience you can rest assured that your child is being taken care of by one of the best teachers in the Valley! Please take the time for yourself knowing that your child is receiving quality dance education and having fun while doing it!


By |June 7th, 2019|Teaching|2 Comments

About the Author:

Emily Finch is Owner and Artistic Director of Dance 101 in Tempe, Arizona. Emily, a native of Marshalltown, Iowa, began her dancing career at the age of three. Always knowing she wanted to be a dance teacher, Emily attended the University of New Mexico to study dance and transferred to Arizona State University where she earned her BFA in Dance Education. She was the Outstanding Dance Education Student for the ASU Department of Dance and the 2001 winner of the Arizona Choreography Competition. Following graduation, Emily danced with two Valley modern dance companies. Ms. Finch then moved to Iowa where she was an Instructor and Studio Director for her childhood studio in 4 neighboring communities. Emily was a core member of Des Moines’ only professional modern dance company and has performed in Canada and Minneapolis with them. Since moving back to the Valley in 2006, Emily has taught for local studios in Scottsdale, Chandler, Mesa, and Tempe. Ms. Finch has 17 years of experience instructing classes in pre-school dance, creative movement, ballet, modern, pointe, lyrical, jazz, tap, contemporary, pom/cheer, yoga and fitness. Emily is thrilled to be celebrating Dance 101’s 7th season. Ms Finch also shares her love of dance with her two beautiful daughters.


  1. Tim C. June 17, 2015 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    When we recently remodeled our new studio, we opted to go with cameras and televisions instead of viewing windows. It makes the aesthetics of the studio much more dynamic. If we need to see one class on all three TV’s, its just a channel change away. If we want to record video of the class, we now have an unobtrusive and distraction-less camera well hidden in the corner of the room. We can even stream the video to parents or grandparents in their winter retreats. I couldn’t agree more, viewing windows are bad for the students. If you can’t rip out your windows, you might at least apply mirror film so you can’t see out of the classroom.

  2. Isabelle Cook June 18, 2015 at 7:20 pm - Reply

    I installed two way mirrors. They can see us we cannot see them. Works wonders. What do you do with children who have to go potty during class even though they went before?

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