National Dance Day, a.k.a. one of the best days of the year, comes once every July. This past Saturday, that day rolled around once again, and the whole world broke out their best moves. For some of us, though, we’ve been doing this our whole lives!
As a dancer of 16 years, I’ve realized that there are some things that set us, as a group, apart from most people. And some of those things are actually kind of odd.
Without further ado, here are 13 (slightly obvious) signs that you’re a dancer.
1. You’re more flexible than the average person.
Personally, I’ve never been ultra-flexible in a “How am I not breaking my back?!” kind of way. But it’s always nice, and pretty funny, when someone’s in awe of how you can touch your toes.
2. You choreograph to every song you hear.
It’s both a blessing and a curse. Sometimes, when you’d like to just listen to a song, you can’t help but make up a routine in your head. It can be nice, but other times, it just gets plain annoying. You can’t control yourself!
3. When you’re sitting, you tend to unconsciously move your feet.
If you’re sitting at a desk in school, for example, you’ve probably noticed your feet just doing their thing under there. Specifically for tap dancers, this happens all the time. Your feet just can't stop going through the motions.
4. You know the signature scent of hairspray and sweat.
And it just wouldn’t feel right without it. Whether it’s at a recital, competition or any other performance, that weird smell is common in the dance world.
5. You have strong opinions about how the media portrays dance.
I’m just going to be blunt with it — "Dance Moms." You either love it or hate it. You’re either drawn to it or despise it because of its stereotypical nature. As for me…well, we’ll just say I'm not the biggest fan.
6. You go off whenever someone puts dance down.
“Dance must be so easy, anyone could do it.” “Dance is stupid.” “Dance isn’t a sport.” Excuse me while I explain some things to you.
7. You’ve sustained multiple injuries over the years.
Maybe you’ve twisted an ankle. Perhaps you just can't stop your joints from popping. Or, maybe you fractured your leg and proceeded to walk, run and dance on it for three months before the doctors finally found the break. You know, it’s casual.
8. Your go-to excuse is, “I can’t, I have dance.”
Hang out? On a weekday? That’s a joke right? If you’re a dancer, you know the struggle of always being busy — 24/7/365. Unlike with most other activities, dance is basically year-round.
9. Certain phrases have a different meaning for you than they do for most people.
“Across the floor” and “Point your toes!” are words you hear quite often, among many others. You also know that the phrase “one more time” is just a complete, utter lie — and the reason you have trust issues.
10. You have ugly feet.
There’s no denying it. Dance screws up your entire body, but especially your feet. If you ever did pointe, the effect is magnified x100.
11. You speak some French, even if you’ve never taken an academic class.
All that ballet paid off! I’ll always remember that “fondu” means “to melt” – hopefully that’ll come in handy at some point.
12. You sit in odd positions.
Going back to that flexibility thing … it transfers into everyday life. You don’t realize that what you’re doing might be weird, until people start to look at you funny. "You mean, sitting in the straddles isn't normal?"
13. And, finally, you absolutely love what you do.
It can be hard at times, both physically and emotionally, but being able to step onto that stage and let all your problems go is completely worth it!
Now, go celebrate, have some fun and dance like no one is watching!