Inclusive teaching checklist for Ballet and related disciplines:
• Use gender-inclusive language: “students” or "dancers"
• Ask students their preferred names and pronouns at the start of each semester
• Model this; tell students how to refer to you and what pronouns you use
• If you slip and use the wrong name or pronoun for a student, simply correct yourself, apologize, and move forward with class
• When speaking with parents, be aware that students may not be able to use their names/pronouns at home
• Ask for consent before physically correcting a student with touch (see consent worksheet for more information on what consent means)
• Be prepared to hear and accept "No" as an answer
• Honor students' physical boundaries
• Re-evaluate whether your dress codes are inclusive based on gender, race, or religion
• Edit dress codes in handbooks and syllabi to include gender-inclusive language
RE-EVALUATE “ETIQUETTE” AND “TRADITION”
• Instead of “Men go last,” try offering “last group will go at a slower tempo”
• Thank one another with a neutral gesture at the end of class that does not perpetuate power dynamics or gender binaries (i.e asking dancers to utilize whichever version or gesture moves them that day)
• Teachers: ask yourself who you are complimenting and for what?
• What message are you sending if you only ever say “beautiful” to people with certain body types?
• Often, explicit language is necessary to make students feel seen and accepted: it can be helpful to remind students that they are seen, heard, welcomed, and respected
ASK YOUR ARE STUDENTS ABOUT THEIR GOALS
• This simple step gives your students agency over their education
• Not every student is the same and should not be treated the same
• Be willing to change, adapt, and learn
• Ask yourself what your investment in the power structure is. Check and re-check your privilege and power. Ask questions. Learn and listen.
• Take stock regularly of any assumptions you may make about students’ behavior, work ethic, and attitude. Pursue information about identities that are unfamiliar to you.
Learning is a never-ending process. This checklist is just the beginning. For questions, concerns, or suggested addendums, email firstname.lastname@example.org Last updated: November 12, 2022