One day, I woke up and realised I wasn’t a cute little girl in a tutu anymore. The concept of moving out and paying bills made me realise that something had to go, and that something was the only thing I’d ever been certain about. But now, living in my own flat with a whole new life ahead of me, I know for sure there’s more than just one reason I said ‘no’ to a dance career…
1. Papa John’s two-for-Tuesdays
Okay, not EVERY Tuesday I promise! But all I know is this: if my girls call me offering me pizza, wine and a cheeky film, I’ll be damned if I say no. A bikini bod sound good to me, but then again so does PIZZA!
2. Shaving your pits every day is just a no
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of keeping myself and my body in good health and condition, but sometimes a girls just got to have a day off. Come on, am I right?
3. Lie-ins (What are they again?)
So maybe journalism wasn’t the best career path to choose in terms of wanting extra lie-ins. BUT there is a massive difference between a 7am wake-up followed by a leisurely shower and dress while checking the latest headlines, and a 7am work out followed by a 13 hour day, plus rehearsals, plus gym…. Just no!
To those of you out there living your dreams, I applaud you! And to those of you still dreaming, I apologise in advance for raining on your parade. But as soon as the stats flashed up that less than 18% of dancers make it into the industry, not to mention reach a reasonable wage, I was scared half to death. I suppose it’s about finding the right balance between what you want, and what you need. What you need, and what you can actual achieve.
5. Having nice things
I mean, I ain’t no spoilt brat. Nor am I some kind of high-maintence, self-obsessed shopaholic. HOWEVER, dancers just don’t get the privileges that normal folk do. Once the tap shoes, point shoes, jazz shoes, character shoes, leotards, tights, foot thongs, etc. have all been purchased, well that leaves a very, very unhappy bank balance!
6. I want my limbs in-tact
If I wasn’t a sprained ankle, it was a broken wrist. If it wasn’t a broken wrist, it was feet torn to shreds by more drag runs. Dancers? More like warriors!
7. That’s the thing about true love…
Falling in love with something isn’t really any different to falling in love with a person. If you fall in love as an adult, you’re more prepared and smarter than to let it get you down and take over your life. But if you fall in love when you’re young, you’ll find it hard to lose, harder to let go of and impossible to forget – like they always say: “you never forget your first love”.
I will never let go of dance, but I just didn’t want my greatest love in life to become a chore to me. I wanted to know that when times get hard, I’ll dance. When I need a release, I’ll dance. I don’t need an audience, I don’t need any medals. I just need an empty space, some music and the passion I’ll carry with me, always.