When I started in ATS®, back before it was a program with a registered trademark, we all learned something called 'the puja', or 'the moving meditation', a brief mental and physical grounding meant to mark the transition from the street into dance space, to prepare for the work. It's not called that anymore; I understand that 'puja' refers specifically to Hindu religious practice, so the original name was laid aside out of respect.
I like the idea of moving into dance space with a transition of some kind, because it's necessary to have a particular type of focus established in order to make group improvisational dance work. I am aware that some dancers and dance teachers find a spiritual experience in this type of dance. If that works for all involved, so be it, but there is a danger of making dance practice uncomfortable for those who don't take this approach, who are trying to find a place among those who do.
This transition was always primarily the individual's responsibility; with adult learners, discipline should be self-generated. Walking into the studio, take off your shoes, and take off the outside world with them.
Our particular form of dance requires two things to work right: a deep internalization of the step vocabulary, making it easy to recognize and follow changes, and an 'on the beam' focus. Without them, cues are missed and complex steps fall apart.
I can see that focus in a dancer's lines. If her knees are soft and she is grounded in her low center, she is relaxed and ready to spring into the next change. The whole body is in the dance at all times, even for a hand gesture. Without this physical readiness, it will be more difficult to both lead effectively and also to follow smoothly. In sports, this is called 'physicality'; it means being focused, present, and all the way in, rather than absorbed in thought.
Stance shows in lines. Stance indicates readiness and focus. Focus makes for a compelling artistic presentation. Dance with your whole body.