Things I Have Learnt About Dancers

Having been dancing various styles for pretty much as long as I can remember, I have, unsurprisingly, encountered many dancers, and I have found that we are a particular breed of person. We all have our personal quirks, but there are some things that most, if not all, of us can relate to. So, here are eight things to give you an insight into our particular kind of crazy.

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  1. We like attention. Many dancers can be shy, or socially awkward in a normal situation, but don’t be fooled. Dancing for an audience is a rare time when it’s socially acceptable to show off, when we lose the self-consciousness because we’re loving life. When we’re on stage, we want you to come and watch, and will appreciate the support.
  2. We like to be at the front. Whether in class or on stage, there are some dancers who establish ‘their place’ at the front, there are others who coyly shy away at the back, but the moment they are asked to move forward by a teacher, their smile says it all.
  3. We are often perfectionists. In terms of our own dancing, we are always trying to improve, and we have high standards. From teaching dance, I’ve realised that our own choreography becomes our baby. People doing it wrong is really frustrating, and seeing it danced the way we intended is magical, so forgive us for being pedantic about the little details, both in dancing and in life in general.
  4. We have a tendency to move, stand or sit in odd ways, without realising how strange it looks to other people. Walking/running on tip-toe happens a lot, as does absent minded stretching. Don’t worry – we’re actually very comfortable, even if it doesn’t look like it.
  5. We will crack most, if not all of our body parts at least once a day, probably without realising. Sorry not sorry.
  6. When we tell you we dance, and you perform a terrible parody (for example, for Ballet a twirl with inverted gorilla arms, for Irish an odd bouncy shuffle, usually accompanied by an attempt at an Irish accent), we will want to scream “point your toes”, and correct all of your woeful technique. But we wont. We’ll smile politely, and let you continue to think a) you’re hilarious, or b) you could have been a dancer if only you’d been given the chance.
  7. When we hear music, we tend to choreograph. If we’re alone, we’ll dance, if not, it happens in our heads, so if we look distracted, that’s probably why.
  8. Whatever real person career we end up in, we will always secretly (or not so secretly) think of ourselves as dancers.
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