Dancer problems


Art by Shanthi Chackalackal

Chanel Vidal

Compiled by Chanel Vidal and Shanthi Chackalackal

“Dance is easy.”
“Dance is just an art.”
“Psh, dance isn’t a sport, what are you talking about?”

I hear it every day when I mention dance. People usually don’t consider dance to be hard. It totally makes sense. Dancing on your tippy toes and doing a 120 second routine jam packed with jumps, turns, and a kickline is easy, and just comes to us without an issue, right.

Dance, in fact, is harder than it looks. Don’t believe me? Here are five reasons that will prove that I am right.

1. In most sports, you start out with a quick warmup consisting of a couple hamstring stretches and jumping jacks. Warming up for dance takes multiple centuries. It consists of sitting in your splits, and if you don’t have them your dance teacher will sit on your legs until you do, despite the fact that you’re crying in pain, and you just heard about every bone in your lower body crack.

2. Flexibility is something dancers have to be worried about on top of having good endurance and technique. As a football player, being able to touch your toes is suitable. As a dancer, being flexible is mandatory. If you can’t touch your toes, you might as well take your ballet shoes and chassé out of the studio.

3. There are many things required to be a good dancer. Self-control is one of them. I don’t only mean in your dancing, I mean when your dance teacher tells you to run your routine one more time, but three times later, she’s still saying, “That was good … just do it one more time.” Being able to fight the urge to scream every time is not an easy skill. Granted, I love my routines and running them multiple times makes them better, but man, the lies get to me.

4. Looking good at dance is something that is unheard of. A slicked back bun and sleek black leotard isn’t exactly the cutest look. But there’s always that girl who uses the mirrors to do her hair or adjust her fancy straps on her ridiculous leotard, rather than watch herself dance. Obviously, this makes the dance teachers pretty happy. So happy that the intensity of class goes up. It’s great. Oh wait, there’s something wrong here…

5. In other sports, your hair is put up in a ponytail, and you’re ready to go. Nothing wrong with that. It’s easy. In dance, your hair MUST be in a slicked back bun. If your bun is not directly up from your ears, your dance teacher will notice and make you redo it. Even if there are only two songs before you go on stage. If your bun does not have the proper amount of bobby pins, it will whack you in the face with each turn you do. If your bun form is too small, it looks like a pile of hair attached to the top of your head.

But dance, unlike other sports is difficult in its own peculiar ways. Constantly worrying about hitting each technique and being able to get through the dance without passing out and looking graceful is not easy, but it is something each dancer is apt to doing. The expectations placed on dancers are completely irrelevant and different from other sports, but like other sports, they do have their own “things”.

Art by Shanthi Chackalackal
Art by Shanthi Chackalackal