Dance is definitely more than just a hobby. It is a way of life often not understood by "normal people." We live and breathe our art form, and our hard work and dedication sets us apart from other people. Because we spend so much time in the studio perfecting our craft, we all develop some habits non-dancers find very strange, and here are a few:
1. Cracking any possible joint
People tend to be especially disgusted by this habit, but as a dancer, there is nothing as satisfying as hearing that hip "pop." Contrary to what most think, it is usually absolutely painless and relieving because it allows us to have full range of motion. Whether it be our back, ankles, toes or neck that crack, it is a good sign.
2. Sitting in very weird positions
Stretching, after years and years of practicing, comes natural and feels good. For this reason, any occasion is good for stretching. We might be reading in a split or watching TV in a frog position, and while our friends give us death stares, having our hips open is way too comfortable for us to care.
3. Unconsciously dancing outside of the studio
Can't reach something? A releve (standing on tip toes) can certainly fix that. Bored? Casually pirouette in the middle of the street. Dropped something? A panche (position in which a leg is fully extended to the back, creating a 180 degree angle) will certainly make picking that up a lot easier. Have to cross the street? A grand jete' (leap) is way more fun than walking.
4. Listening to music
Music is everything to a dancer. It is a source of inspiration, and we heavily rely on it to complete our movements. This is why listening to music is so much more than that. We start picturing dancers twirling around and envisioning a whole choreography before our eyes. Without mentioning that we constantly hear 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 and 1-2-3-4-5...
5. Dancing in store aisles
I don't have an explanation for this, but there's just something about store aisles that makes for the perfect performance stage. It can't be helped, it's a need that must be fulfilled.
6. Asking for foot massages
Dancing is not easy. A lot of stress is placed on our bodies, especially our feet that are constantly being pointed, flexed, jumped on and sometimes stood on (if using pointe shoes). Foot massages are the best to relieve the tension created. So we always ask people to give us foot massages and when they refuse, we just do it ourselves.
7. Feeling sore
Being sore is part of the job. Yes, sometimes it gets so bad that getting out of bed is physically painful but other times it's very rewarding. Being sore is a way for our bodies to tell us that we are working hard and we are getting better.
8. Can't hold still
It is our nature to move. Holding still isn't an option. Ever.
These habits can be applied to basically any dancer out there. They may be weird, but I wouldn't want it any other way.