The quickest way to spot a dancer in a crowd is by shouting, "Five, six, seven, eight." You'll immediately know who used to spend their days pointing their toes, rocking leotards and sparkly tutus, and perfecting their pliés by whoever perks up like they're about to start a routine. Even if you haven't been to a class in years, you will forever be a dancer if you grew up dancing. It's ingrained in your heart, just like that turnout you worked so hard to master.
My days doing ballet, tap, jazz, and contemporary dance classes molded me into the person I am today, and I'm not just talking about my flexibility. It's in the way I walk, do my hair, schedule my time, and even do my makeup every morning. I got it all from being a dancer. Some days, I forget where I just put my keys, but I will never forget my jazz competition routine from over 10 years ago. It's a special part of my life that'll always be with me.
So, I hope you've warmed up properly, because we're about to get into these 12 things that all of us can relate to, having grown up dancing.
1. You Still Walk Around With A Slight Turnout
I don't know how many times I've been told I walk duck-footed. Non-dancers just don't understand it's not a duck walk, I'm just forever stuck in first position. I blame it on my years of perfecting my turnout, and I wouldn't trade those memories for the world. Sure, we may never walk with our feet perfectly turned forward, but even after all these years, our feet are totally ready for dance class.
2. You're Killing It On The 'Gram With Your Throwback Pics
Throwback Thursday is when you really thrive, because you have so many dance recital photos that are true gems. Sometimes, they are just cute AF with you in your sparkly tutu, but my favorites are the ones that make you LOL. You know exactly what I'm talking about. It's those pics with the truly random costume of you as a cowboy for a hip hop number, or dressed as playing card for a ballet routine. Only you would understand the context.
3. Old Routines Are Still Locked Away In Your Brain Forever
You drilled those routines so hard that now they have taken up a permanent residence in your brain. It's that muscle memory you worked on, and when an old competition song comes on, you start dancing. Even if you're at a bar with your friends, when "SexyBack" plays, you're out on the dance floor doing your routine.
4. You Have The Ability To Slay A Perfect Bun In A Matter Of Seconds
This is truly such a skill, and you're honestly grateful AF for it. Even your attempts at a messy bun are still ready for ballet class. You don't need any bobby pins, either, because you're such a pro.
5. You're A Boss At Stage Makeup
The first time you learned how to put on makeup, it was for a dance recital. So, you glammed it up to the max, and have the pictures to prove your skills. You were great at creating a gorgeous masterpiece for the audience that coordinated perfectly with your costumes.
6. You Still Have A Pair Of Tights, Or Two, In Your Drawer
You probably hated having to wear those pink or brown tights when you were little. They were itchy, and definitely made having to go to the bathroom so much more difficult. As much as you hated them then, you still have a pair or two in your dresser today. I personally have definitely worn a pair of dance tights under a dress to a wedding. It's not really stockings, but it does the trick.
7. People Look For You On The Dance Floor
As a former dancer, it is your duty to keep the dance floor going. It's a struggle when you just want to go sit down, because you have to keep everyone else jamming. No one will forget that you used to dance everyday after school, so all eyes are on you, queen.
8. You're An Expert On The Quick Change
Dancers are total pros at having to do a quick change backstage between routines, or in the same routine. You're able to switch from outfit to outfit in very little time. It's a skill you should be able to put on your resume, to be honest.
9. You Know How To Manage A Busy Schedule Because Of All The Classes You Took
When you were little, you had not only school and homework, but you also had dance classes every night of the week. You were pretty much booked solid, but it taught you how to manage a tight schedule. Now, when you're jumping from meeting to meeting at work, it's really no big deal.
10. You Love And Have Seen Every Single Dance Movie
Center Stage, Step Up, Save the Last Dance — these are all classics. I think I could watch every single Step Up movie every day and not get tired of them. There's just something about dance films that make us dancers feel at home. We get it when the character is fighting with their parents, and all they want to do is dance, because that's how we feel. Mom, I just want to dance, OK?!
11. You Still Know How To "Spot" To Not Get Dizzy While Turning
Pretty much, being a dancer is like being a superhero, because you do acquire so many special skills, like being able to spot and not fall over when turning. It not only helps you to not get dizzy after a bunch of fouettés, but it can help you for other spinning situations as well. It's come in handy for me when I'm on the tea cup ride at Disneyland. I will never get sick, as long as I spot.
12. You Still Dream Of One Day Being A Professional Dancer
Even if you gave up taking classes years ago, you still have a slight dream of one day becoming a professional dancer. You've caught yourself more than once daydreaming out your work window about becoming a principal dancer for the American Ballet Theater. It will forever be a dream, and you're here for it.