Things I Learned From Dance
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35 Things I Learned After Dancing For 15 Years

You learn more than ballet in the walls of a dance studio.

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35 Things I Learned After Dancing For 15 Years
Tayler Klinkbeil

Before graduating high school, I clocked in 15 years at the dance studio a couple of miles from my house. I took Ballet, Jazz, Tumbling, Tap, Modern, and the toddler classes there since age 3. Although some haters may say it's not a sport, I think we can all agree that spending that much time and effort on an extracurricular activity changes your outlook forever.

Spending dozens of hours a week at the studio in the few years before I graduated, I thought I'd had enough. I was tired of Ballet exams and recital rehearsals and aching pain. But when I walked the stage and moved away to start the next chapter of my life, I realized college was missing something.

Now I know, I could have joined a club on campus or a local studio, but dance wouldn't be the same for me unless it was with my teachers, my friends, and the familiar setting of Leggz Dance Academy.

As the recital buzz flies through the air, my 13-year old sister prepares for her eleventh performance on the Bob Carr stage. I'll be in the wings, with a volunteer shirt on, but the smell of hairspray and sweat will be enough to catapult me back into my past.

To all my fellow dancers, I'm sure you'd agree that spending a lot of time in the walls of a true dance studio teaches you so much more than technique. It teaches you things about exercise, about life, and about yourself.

Here are some of the things I learned in my 15 years as a dancer.

1. How to make a bun. 

2. How to tie ribbons.

3. How to put tights on in a moving car.

4. How to put mascara on without a mirror.

5. How to fix someone's leotard strap while they're still moving.

6. How to turn without falling over.

7. How to pretend you're not embarrassed after you fall anyway.

8. How to point your toes.

9. How to turn out.

10. How to stretch.

11. How to stretch someone else.

12. Piggyback lunges.

13. Splits.

14. How to eat, do cardio, and not throw up.

15. How to chug water.

16. Ab routines.

17. Wall sits.

18. Leg routines.

19. V-ups.

20. Pushups.

21. Cartwheels.

22. Pirouettes.

23. Leaps.

24. Jumps.

25. How to peel off ripped toe skin.

26. How to ignore pain.

27. How to walk barefoot anywhere.

28. How to navigate the backstage of a theater in the dark.

29. How to do homework on the studio floor.

30. How to love and loathe conditioning.

31. "One more time, from the top" is a lie.

32. Dance teachers will change your life.

33. Dance friends will mean a lot.

34. Sometimes you may want to quit, but you would miss it.

35. You will cry at your last performance.

I know that the future can hold anything, and something tells me Marley floors are on my horizons somewhere. Although my feet may not thank me for picking back up the ballet shoes, I know that no matter how horrible my turn out is after 2 years off, I will be in the company of dancers who know the same things I do. Moving across a room to the beats of the music and the shouted counts from your teacher doesn't exist anywhere else in the world. Dancers spend their lives trying to get back to it, and although it may be hard, the final bow will be worth it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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