Appropriate Physical Contact

Appropriate Physical Contact in Dance Policy

Teaching classical ballet is a physical activity and appropriate physical contact between students and teachers in class is essential to ballet training.

Teachers can make physical contact with a student to illustrate a concept or to adjust a student’s alignment (especially with the younger students). Ballet posture often requires adjusting the rib-cage and the buttock area simultaneously and it is sometimes necessary to touch the inner thigh, hips, back and waist especially with younger students.

In choreographic teaching, teachers demonstrate positions and movements to the students by moving parts of the students’ bodies and by moving dancers in relation to each other: this often involves a considerable amount of contact with students.

Marble Hill Dance Studio recognises that such physical contact is a potentially complex area; and the school also fully recognises its responsibilities for safeguarding students and teachers and for protecting their welfare.

The following principles and procedures are in place to fulfil the School’s obligations:

  1. Contact by the teacher is made with particular awareness of the needs of each individual, to assist the dancer in correcting placement
  2. All teachers will treat any physical contact with due sensitivity and care, and with due regard for the wishes of the student
  3. Contact will not involve force or the use of any instrument
  4. Teachers will be mindful of location and avoid situations where they are isolated with a student; all private classes should be held in studios and dance areas with windows or with the parent/carer present
  5. Students and parents are encouraged to discuss any worries with any member of staff or an Independent Listener
  6. Both students and teachers should feel free to report any concerns to the Principal, or the Designated Safeguarding Lead. Miss Melissa Willis.