What is the namaskar we do at the beginning and end of each class, and what does it mean?

Dancers traditionally do the namaskar which is both a greeting and an invocation to the god, asking for help, and also forgiveness from Mother Earth for pounding on her. All dances are done barefoot, as leather is not worn by Hindus. There are many different forms and styles of namaskar, depending on the artist’s preference and training.