10 Reasons Why I Love Dancers

Since I have moved back to NYC and am temporarily living with two dancers, I have begun to realize (or re-realize) a VAST difference between the two breeds: humans and dancers. Below is my list of the reasons why this experience has been so charming.

1.) Dancers are vain. Very. Because hey, if we don’t think we are good enough for the job, who will? We spend a lot of time working on our style,  our look, and we spend a TON of time working out. We spend hours on end looking in the mirror and creating.  And we very much realize that we make movement look attractive. That is our job.

2.) Dancers are very, very odd. A life full of contradictions. It’s a rather glamorous field, yet we don’t make much money. Eat really healthy, but consume plenty of booze. We look really good, but we are typically wearing … how to say it… an ensemble of work-out type clothes… ish… (not unlike a box of “lost and found” items). Huge stage: closet for dressing room. We can relate to artists, we can relate to athletes. Our education is (usually) only in dance, but we tend to be so worldly, and sharper than your average bear. These things are puzzling for others, but it all makes perfect sense to us.

3.) The injuries. On any given night when I come home, someone is icing. Or massaging. Or stretching and/or sporting some sort of brace or wrap. One morning C left at the crack of dawn. “Where you headed C?” “Oh, just swinging by the doctor before rehearsal! But if I need surgery I’ll get it after the season! Have a good day!” Speaking of doctors, they often times just confirm what we already know is wrong with our various overuse injuries. Dancers are SO IN TUNE with their bodies. It really blows my mind.

4.) Everything pops. Constantly and loudly. Knees, hips, elbows, knuckles, back, toes, ankles, shoulders. Hell, I’m pretty sure the neighbors think we have African drums up in here. Normal people are freaked out, but this is just how we start/end/get through the day.

5.) Everything revolves around dance. “Yeah, I’ll go to yoga! I totally want to stretch in parallel.”

6.) We can adapt to any situation. Anything. Director tells us to stand on our head then we have to stand on our head. End of story.

Make it to the other side in eight counts? Done.

Learn it all from the video? Wouldn’t be the first time.

Have to sing in the audition? Doe Ré MEEEEEEEEEEEE!

You need a place to stay? Sure.

Can’t be in two places at once? Yes you can.

Need that square to fit in the circle? Okay.

7.) Copious amounts of coffee. A few old ballet-school friends and I have a pre-saved text template for every year when Starbucks comes out with their holiday beverages. Also, I have not been in this apartment once without their being a pot of coffee out.

8.) Even an untrained eye can pick a dancer out of a crowd. There’s just something about them.. (it’s the posture people, and perpetually semi-turned out feet, and the focus…and the…)

9.) Finances. Are so meticulously calculated. Taking unemployment during layoff season, or teaching, or free-lance work.. you name it. We know, down to the penny, exactly how to get by. Please do not move those receipts. And also you owe me for that organic salad, remember? No it’s okay. Just whenever you can.

10.) I am hard pressed to believe that you will ever find a group of people who work harder than professional dancers. The attention to detail, the obedience, the creativity, and the discipline required to make it in this field is simply unparalleled.

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10 Reasons Why I Love Dancers

47 thoughts on “10 Reasons Why I Love Dancers

  1. v says:

    i don’t think dancers are “worldly.” every time i try to talk to one of them about politics, or international affairs, or even decisions being made in our own country, they blank out.
    “Hey what do you think about what’s happening in Syria?”
    “I think their dancers are so right to change companies!” WTF?!

    1. interesting – you may be right. However I’m a dancer who has lived all over the world and most of the dancers I work with have either worked on cruise ships all over or have traveled for work extensively. My accountant and homemaker friends may know whats on the news but I know that I shouldn’t wear a sports bra out running in Singapore and how exactly to show respect when amongst businessmen in Japan, I know what time the stores close in Argentina (its so different then in America) and that the Chinese think Americans tend to have an offensive odor (they can smell dairy in our sweat and they don’t like it). Perhaps its a different kind of worldly.

    2. Molly says:

      I think that depends on the use of the word “worldly”. No, not every dancer spends their day reading updates about political debates, but we (as I am also a dancer) can look at the world at large in such a different way than others. For example, I feel I understand the homosexual/transsexual/utopic space that we currently live in because of the field I work in unlike most heteronormative people, which is just as imperative as other worldly topics. It also depends on the person, a lot of people in general don’t pay attention to such affairs.

    3. Ashley says:

      That would depend on the dancer.

      That’s like saying dentists aren’t worldly because this weekend I was talking to my dentist friend and he didn’t know about what’s happening with the government shutdown.

    4. Star Jada says:

      I am a worldly dancer most dancers are since they are foreigners. But alot of dancers we are busy dancing that we dont make time to find out whats going on in Syria.

      1. Paul says:

        Right…when you dance you make your own world. Who needs politics, international affairs? Normal people can’t effect politics but dancers can
        advance civilization.

    5. Anita says:

      I am a professional dancer and teacher, and I love politics and world affairs, and watch programs such as Question Time every week to keep up. as well as reading papers, watching news etc, may even stand for local council elections! But it’s not everyone’s ‘bag’! 😛

    6. Kim says:

      Have seen that singleness of focus in Olympic athletes too, restrict development in other areas of interest. The physical demands and dedication it takes to succeed in both groups seems incredibly exhausting and all encompassing. Perhaps our tendency to idealize public figures might lead to expect minds that equal their bodies. Not sure that’s so fair.

    1. I’m so sorry- for some reason I didn’t read this until just now. Doing well, thanks. I do. A bit of teaching here and there as well- a true pleasure.
      Thanks for reading! Cheers

  2. Jennifer says:

    The vanity and preening part is evident in your high minded sense of self and your complete oversight of how hard other disciplines work. Ever seen the work a PhD in genetics puts in? Worldly as you may fancy yourself, that doesn’t make you smart, and it doesn’t mean you work harder than other people.

  3. I just read your previous post. You want to become a doctor, trust me its gonna be harder than being a dancer. (I’m a surgeon now). Good luck with it. Dont be too hung up on the prestige of medical school, its the very very first step of your career and what you learn and do after graduating is far more important. Best wishes, Puddle

  4. I lived with dancers for years and I was also a dancer for part of that time. It was a bit like living with jocks-they were loud, crass and naked all the time. At first I thought I was going to kill them, then we ended up the best of friends.

  5. Naeli says:

    I have a question, though….. What happens when it all ends? When you reach your 40s, or your body just does not function that way any more, or when an injury stops your career as you know it? What then? What do dancers who reach ‘the end’ do? After all the work and sweat and years… I am so anxious about this.

    1. A lot of my friends plan on teaching/choreography after they retire, and a lot of others are taking a university class here or there so they will have a degree when they retire. My career was put on hiatus because I injured my lower back. During my time off I earned a premedical degree, so I will be heading to medical school after I officially retire. It’s a huge decision that you won’t be able to make until after you’ve had lots of experience. Maybe something will force you to stop dancing sooner than expected? Maybe you will have a performing career well into your 40’s and 50’s? You just can’t predict these things. Follow your heart and make smart decisions along the way- and no matter what, pass on your legacy!

      Wishing you all the best,
      Sarah

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