6 Things You Might Not Know About Dancers

6 Things You Might Not Know About Dancers

"I used to dance, but I quit." I didn't quit, and here are six things you might not know about dancers.

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When I tell people that I have been a dancer for 16 years, I get a lot of the same responses.

"Wow, 16 years! That is basically your whole life!" Yes, I have danced my whole life.

"I used to dance when I was little! But then I quit." This is probably the most popular answer.

I've been a ballet dancer my whole life, but now that I am in college, I've tried other types of dance which I have also come to love. But here are some things I thought I would share that you might not know about dancers.

1. We aren't all flexible machines.

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Yes, you read that right. Now, while it is true dancers tend to be more flexible, we aren't all flexible in all the same muscles. We practice our flexibility so it gets better. Some people have all their splits, and some people don't have any, and that is perfectly OK for us dancers. Just because we may not be as flexible doesn't mean we can't point our toes and extend our legs to great beautiful lengths!

2. Standing at the front of the barre: scary.

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When we warm up at the barre, everyone takes a spot. Then we go over the combination, and then we dance! However, one of the worst parts about standing at the front of the line is that everyone watches you. Then you have no one else to follow, and if you zoned out, then everyone behind you knows it!

3. We practice months, just for one show!

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Dance sometimes looks so incredibly easy for those who aren't dancers. However, for just one show, we practice for months. Months of rehearsal and learning the dances, and then weeks and weeks of drill, conditioning, and practicing our places and timing for the show. A lot of work goes into a show!

4. We dance in our houses too.

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I don't know about other dancers, but I find myself dancing in my house a lot. Those hardwood floors make a perfect platform for turns. Just dancing around the house with simple turns, jumps, and kicks is pretty normal for a lot of dancers. It is also normal to hit things and/or break things in your house on accident. I am one of those people (sorry Dad for the time I broke the wooden rim of the counter).

5. Sometimes its a love-hate relationship.

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Dance is extremely hard on a person's body. Through all the stretching, we try and take care of ourselves, but it doesn't always work out. Through show times there will be lots of pulled muscles, rolled ankles, knee issues, and back problems, just to name a few. Sometimes it's a love-hate relationship from this standpoint because if our bodies are injured, we have to take a breather and relax our dancing schedule in order to heal. Which is a bummer because then we can't join everyone else in what we love most.

6. We pay attention to the feet on stage.

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Last but not least, the feet. I can't stress enough how much dancers care about feet representation on stage! Pointed toes and a good turnout are the main goals. However, usually, when people go to see a performance they watch the arms, the nice leaps, and the turns. Most dancers on the other hand (especially for pointe work and tap work) pay attention to the feet and look out for sickled feet (which is when your foot is not properly turned out and pointed, it looks horrible) and dangling toes that aren't pointed.


So there you have it, six things you might not know about dancers. I love what I do, and I hope to continue for the rest of my life. I know these things will always apply to me and most of my other wonderful dance friends.

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything
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They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.


Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

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Sports And Religion

Why are so many athletes religious?

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I recently just made it on to the USC Track and Field team, and it is easily the biggest accomplishment I have ever made in my entire life. I worked so hard to physically and mentally prepare to try out for the team, let alone actually make it. I thank God for allowing me to have the chance to be a part of this team, as well as giving me that physical and mental strength required to do so, and I express this whenever someone congratulates me for making the team or even asks if I made it or not. However, I noticed that when I did this, some of the responses were a bit dismissive when I brought religion into the picture. When I said I thank God for it, I would be met with responses like "Yea well even aside from God..." or another response that drew the conversation away from my faith, away from the concept of a god.

In fact, I've noticed that many athletes are religious in some form-- more so collectively than other student bodies aside from religious groups themselves. I thought about why this may be, aside from the obvious answer such as growing up religious at home, because that does not answer the question; many people grew up in a religious household and are not religious themselves. So, I began to think personally. Why do I thank God for my athletic performance? There's a certain level of uncertainty within every sport. All athletes train their hardest to minimize this level of uncertainty, in order to maximize their chances of success. However, you can only train so hard. To me, no matter how hard you train, there's always some type of level of uncertainty to every level of performance: the chances of you getting injured, the chances of you winning your game or race, the chances of the opponent's performance, etc. This is where I think God intervenes, and perhaps other athletes would agree. There have been countless times where I ran well and had absolutely no idea how I did it. Yes, I worked hard to improve my times, but when you are in the moment of a race, or a game, that fades into the background, especially when everyone else has been working just as hard. It's just you, your race (or game), and God. That's it.

I could have not made the team. As a walk-on, there is more pressure for you to perform since the coaches did not seek you out; you sought them out. You are proving your abilities. Thus, I was nervous about my chances of actually making the team, especially considering the fact that the USC track team is arguably the best collegiate track team in the United States. I performed well during my try out and finished all the workouts, however I wasn't as fast as the other girls. In addition, I was 3 minutes late to my last day of tryouts and got chewed out by the coach for it. I was convinced that I blew my chances. And yet, somehow, I made it. I worked so hard for it, yes, but I thank God for keeping my body healthy so I could train to the best of my ability. I thank Him for allowing the coaches to have the time to try me out. I thank Him for allowing them to see my potential. I thank Him for giving me the best high school track coach possible who prepared me mentally and physically, as well as supported me throughout all the highs and all the lows. I thank Him for giving me this chance to continue my track career at the most prestigious collegiate team. My gratitude for all this, is simply infinite.

There is good reason why many athletes are religious; being an athlete requires you to be more than yourself. It requires you to dig deeper, into places that you didn't even think were possible, and really aren't without the belief of a higher power. The belief in a higher power, in whatever form or name that takes, means the belief in infinite possibility. And for an athlete to have that, means nothing can stop them from chasing their dreams.

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