Re: How respectful is the atmosphere in your dojo?
I think I agree with Janet that the details of how we show respect or disrespect aren't universal.
Intent matters. If you know that a certain behaviour is asked for by your teacher and others and is considered to be a sign of respect, then deliberately not doing it may be a sign of disrespect, but if it isn't the expected custom where you are, or if you are unaware of or don't really understand the custom or its importance to the person you're talking to, then not following it may not mean anything.
I like the many little rituals we have in aikido class and I think the formality has a purpose, but I also think it's a dangerous mistake to confuse formality and respect.