Friday, October 10, 2014

Things You Should Never Say to a Dancer

In my post about being a dancer in college, I had a point about correcting everything that is that wrong someone says about dance. Well, along those same lines, here are five things to never say to a dancer because you are probably wrong.

How many spins can you do?
Please just avoid the word "spin" whenever talking to a dancer. We do not spin, we turn. Also, what kind of turn are you talking about? I can do two good pirouettes, but I can do three or four good fouettes. Do you want the turn to be en dedans or en dehors? What style am I using? Cecchetti, Vaganova, Balanchine? I could go on for days about the usage of spin versus turn. Always use the word "turn." Always.

Dancers don't know how to count higher than 8.
Of course we do. We're not dumb. We have to follow the counting of the music in order to choreograph a dance. We may make that joke to ourselves sometimes, but that's one of those times when only dancers can joke about it. Otherwise, you're coming off as rude and like you're calling us idiots. Just don't do it.

Why don't you try out for the school's dance team?
Unless they are doing legitimate jazz or hip-hop, no. Just don't even ask. Please, I don't mean any offense to anyone who has been on a poms or dance team through their school, but I dance. I have no desire to put that huge bump in my hair and shake my butt in front of an audience. I'm not about to condone all of the girls who try to do a "C" jump without the proper turn out, pointed toes, or overall technique required to do one accurately. I will never be drawn to the stereotypical kick line that seems to be in every routine. No thank you. Just no.

Is your teacher like the one on TV?
Absolutely not! My teachers are kind human beings who want the absolute best for all of their students. Now, I'm not saying the one on TV doesn't, she does. She just shows it differently. My teachers are very compassionate and loving. They help us grow and progress as dancers in a humble environment. They are some of the best people you will ever meet. The only reason I would ever have a dance teacher like the one on TV is if I wanted to become a superstar dancer, and she was my only choice. My teachers are by far better than that.

You must be very graceful if you can dance.
This is one of my favorite stereotypes of dancers. We can make anything look graceful in a dance. However, if you were to watch a rehearsal or just our everyday lives, we are far from graceful. I cannot tell you how many times I've fallen, flailed around, or tripped on the flat ground during dance class. We are able to contain our clumsiness long enough for a performance, but that doesn't hold true for a regular daily life. We're normal human beings just like everyone else. We have our clumsy moments, and we try to make it look graceful even if it's not.

These are just five of the things you should never say to a dancer. Maybe I'll revisit this topic later on, but for now this is it. Think twice before you want to say one of these things to a dancer, you are just setting yourself up for a rant from a dancer. Just saying.

Until next time,

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