left-right        “Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”― Dr. Seuss

“Right foot front”, “Let’s start on the right”, and “Stand with your left hand on the barre, starting with your right foot” are common phrases in almost all dance classes.

Turns are normally done to the right first, and groans are commonly heard when a teacher requests that the turns be repeated to the left. Is this because a large majority of the dance population has a preference for the right side, or is this because dance classes favor the right side?   

Children demonstrate a preference for being right or left handed at a young age. By the time they learn to write, it is usually clear which hand is preferred. However, children are normally mixed footed, not showing a preference for either their right or left feet, until late childhood or early adolescence. Studies have suggested that the preference that develops is partially a result of environmental influences.

If the environment is influential in determining which side a dancer prefers, known as a lateral bias, it seems that dance educators should examine their manners of teaching. Data gathered from observing 20 different ballet classes showed that dancers practice combinations on the right side up to 26% more than they do on the left.”

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Sourced from: The Healthy Dancer