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10 Things Dancers Are Sick of Hearing from Non-Dancers

Today, thanks to social media and the popularity of shows like "So You Think You Can Dance" and "World of Dance," people know more about dance than ever before. But when it comes to actually being a dancer, there are some things our friends outside the studio will never understand. To reassure you that you're not the only one explaining "I can't, I have dance" every five minutes, we present to you the top 10 phrases dancers would like to stop hearing (please).

"Show me a move!"


If you're not going to give us 30 minutes to warm up and a completely empty sprung marley floor, the most you're going to get from us is a single port de bras.

"You're on a dance team? So you're a cheerleader?"

No. No, I'm not. (Shoutout to this ESPN reporter for providing some clarity, though.)

"Can you teach me?"


Gladly! As long as you have proper attire, an appropriate studio space, and about 10+ years' worth of time to dedicate to the cause.

"You must be like, SUPER flexible."


Can I do the splits? Yes. Is it the most significant thing about me as a dancer? NO. I'm not a circus sideshow.

"What other activities do you do?"


Uh, does watching dance movies count? Dance training is no joke—it basically takes up all of our time. (Not that we really have a problem with that.)

"Why can't you just skip practice?"


Because missing the 64+ counts of choreography and formations taught during just one rehearsal is a #prettybigdeal, so we try to avoid it as much as possible.

"What kind of dance do you do?"


This question is a bit more amusing than annoying, as the non-dancer is never quite ready to hear the 15-minute long string of dance styles every comp kid has studied over the years.

"You must be able to eat whatever you want!"


Sure, carb-loading and post-performance feasts can be fun, but there's no way we're getting through our weekly dance schedule unless we think carefully about how we're fueling our bodies.

"I took ballet when I was little, but then I quit."


That's nice to hear, but we hope you don't think our dance classes still include twirling around aimlessly in a tutu.

"But what do you want to do for a real job?"


We have no words.

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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi, dance friends. It is a strange time to be a person in the world, and an especially strange time to be a dancer. As the dance community faces the coronavirus crisis, a lot of you are coping with closed studios, canceled performances and competitions, and a general sense of anxiety about how your world will look going forward.

Yes, dancers are super resilient, and there's been a lot of inspiring community-building happening. #LivingRoomDances and Instagram dance parties and virtual ballet classes with the pros are wonderful. Dance can, and should, be a bright spot in the darkness. But that weird, empty feeling you have? It might be grief. The loss of the certainty of daily class, the loss of the promise of that big end-of-year performance—that's real. The dance studio has always been a safe place; it's especially hard not to have that outlet now, when you need it most.

We're here for you. We—and our friends at Dance Magazine, Pointe, Dance Teacher, The Dance Edit, and Dance Business Weekly—are doing our best to document the hurdles facing the dance industry, and to advocate for dancers in need. We're developing more online content that will help you maintain and improve your technique while you're at home, and process the mental and emotional fallout of all this upheaval. (You can keep up with the latest stories here.) And we're still making our print magazine. We have issues planned and shot, full of great dance stories and beautiful photos. We're not going anywhere.

We want to hear from you. Talk to us. Or dance to us. Or both. We won't stop moving, and you shouldn't, either.


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