The Importance of Uniform

At Pranavam School of Dance, we stress the importance of coming to class wearing the right uniform. But why is uniform so important? Many studies have proven that uniforms help improve a student’s focus and performance. In this blog post, we will be going over some key reasons we require our students to wear uniforms and the effect that a uniform has on a dancer.

1.Uniforms create a sense of discipline.

Discipline is very important to any task and especially to something as intensive as dance. Dance enables you to use your body, mind, and emotions all at the same time. As a result, it requires a lot of focus and discipline. Studies have shown that uniforms help with this. When we wear a uniform, we feel a sense of duty towards the work that we are doing. Uniforms allow dancers to see and truly respect the art of dance which helps them stay focused and disciplined.

2.Uniforms help students see themselves as dancers. 

Studies have shown that uniforms help people envision themselves in certain roles, like that of a professional dancer. It is the same principle as acting like the role you wish to have, not the role you currently have. Although our students are all currently learning, we know they all hope to be as good as a professional dancer one day. Acting like one will help them reach that goal. Uniforms help students envision themselves as professional dancers and thus it helps students stay focused and dedicated to attaining this goal. We see this in our life every day. We associate certain uniforms with very specific professions. For example, when we see a white jacket and a stethoscope we instantly know that that person is a doctor. When we see someone in a police uniform, we immediately regard them with far more respect because we associate the uniform with a sense of protection. Similarly, when we see ourselves wearing the proper dance uniform, we start seeing ourselves as professional dancers. 

3.Uniforms help students get in the mood for practice. 

Doing something tangible like wearing a uniform has been shown to psychologically help people differentiate when they are in class and when they are not. We have all experienced the importance of this as a result of the pandemic. We used to travel from work to home and home to work. This trip helped us mentally separate our home life from our work life. Without it, it seems like every workday is so much longer and it has become harder to focus on work. The same is true for dance classes. Wearing a uniform is something tangible that students do before coming to class. This means that as soon as students put their uniforms on, their brain starts getting ready for class, and as a result, their class etiquette improves. This is further proved by the Stroop Colour and Word Test, otherwise known as the SCWT. This was a neurological test conducted to prove that an external stimulus can affect the way we perceive things and the way that we behave. Uniforms work as a trigger to the brain to help students get in the mindset appropriate for dance.

4.Uniforms help maintain the appropriate posture needed for dance. 

Uniforms are generally stitched using a cotton fabric. Not only does cotton absorb sweat, but it is also really breathable and helps maintain the body at the appropriate temperature. Maintaining an appropriate temperature is essential to helping dancers focus on their dance. To add on, in dance there are numerous positions which require the body to stretch beyond what it can do in normal clothing. The uniform fabric is designed to allow easy transitions while ensuring no damage to the outfits. Further, when Bharatanatyam students graduate to the dance saree and dupatta practice uniform, the sash helps hold their back. This gives support to the spine and helps maintain an erect posture while ensuring little to no damage to the tailbone. The uniform is also designed in such a way that the teacher can easily correct the body postures to maintain the right frames and lines as required by the style that they are learning.

While these are a few key benefits of wearing a uniform, it certainly is not all of them. Uniforms truly do improve a student’s dance experience and what they get out of each class. We require every student to come to class wearing the right uniform so that they too can get the most out of every class!

 

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