To all of the dancers out there, I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say there’s naturally a hidden code of conduct between us. About the turmoils we endure day in day out that, and the problems we face; all things that outsiders could never even try to understand. But what is it that brings us together? Here are the 13 things that EVERY dancer has experienced…
1. A never ending collage of cuts, bruises, blisters (you name it!) all on display across both feet, both ankles, both knees, and, more or less, everywhere (NOTE: contemporary dancers in particular need to have been born without a pain threshold – I salute you people!).
2. A consistent jump between your two personalities – Mrs “I’m so motivated I will do 1,000 crunches and never touch a carb again” and Little Miss “I’ll try again tomorrow”, your swap between the two being so quick you have the whiplash equivalent to a dozen triplet pirouettes.
3. Hunger. Always. And yet, an internal war of whether you want a non-rumbly tummy, or a flat one (cue the rant of WHY CAN’T I HAVE BOTH!).
4. …and in addition to my previous point: a constant feeling of guilt when you come to terms with the fact that the ONE biscuit did in fact turn into 2, 3, 4, 5… Or in my case, the entire packet.
5. Divas. The “I’ve performed everywhere” type. The “mummy and daddy bought me my own private studio” type. Oh, please!
6. Horrific show costumes… And with them, a great familiarity with the words ‘camel toe’ – sad, but true! These costumes were never created with slightly larger thighs or even ANY thighs in mind, were they? And don’t even get me started on stage make-up – long gone are the days when one make-up wipe was enough to help your pores breathe again.
7. Having to decline all offers of social invitation, whether night or day, with the excuse “sorry, I have dance” AGAIN.
8. Watching mind-blowing choreography on YouTube (performed by someone half your age), then appearing like a frog in a blender when you make an attempt yourself.
9. Feeling the need to break out into Broadway mode… At every given opportunity. Hearing the words ‘good morning’ and subconsciously screaming ‘BALTIMORE’ in reply – in the shop, in the shower, in the street, in the pub…. Wherever! (Those non-performer folk will NEVER understand.
10. Post-show depression… (See number 4)
11. A precise awareness of exactly where your faults lie on your body, and an ever-growing list of just how many you have. For me, that would be flat feet, short legs, big thighs, pointy elbows, wide hips, large boobs, short neck and fingers that, more often than not (or so I’m told), resemble bananas.
12. A 24/7 desperation for a shower…
13. The heart-breaking reality of how much money you are likely to earn if you’re one of the 9% or so that are actually lucky, or brave, enough to make it in the industry; goodbye dreams of a nice car and two holidays a year, hello reality!
Featured image: Joel/ Flickr.