Because we're quickly learning that absence really *does* make the heart grow fonder (photo courtesy Gev Manoukian)

6 Things Dancers Can't Believe They Miss(ed) About Dance Conventions

After a long pandemic hiatus, some dance competitions and conventions are open once again—albeit with stringent COVID protocols in place. And even as many dancers have returned to the convention floor, countless others are continuing to #SocialDisDance from home.

But whether you're dancing on Zoom or on stage, the time away from dance conventions has likely made you nostalgic for things you never thought you'd miss. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? Here are six dance convention quirks you might just be missing.

Waking up before dawn

There's tired, and then there's "morning at the start of a convention" tired. Whether you stayed in the venue hotel the night before (and likely stayed up too late with your dance besties). or if you rose before the sun to commute to the convention, no other mixture of sleepiness and excitement can match how you feel entering the ballroom for the first time.

Dancing on carpet

Tough choice: Do you sacrifice your dance shoes to the hotel carpet or give up and wear socks? Either way, some of that fuzzy carpet *will* rub off on your leggings during floorwork and you *will* take home a few carpet-burns as a souvenir. You'll wear them like a badge of honor, and if any of your non-dancer friends ask, you'll be more than happy to tell them all about your dance-filled weekend.

Or on a tiny Marley square

Claiming your own spot on the single square of Marley in front of the ballroom should be considered an extreme sport—be sure to watch out for flying elbows and legs! And even if you carve out some space to dance, convention Marley is somehow always supernaturally slippery. Do they grease these panels? Engaging your center has never been more crucial.

Performing on a portable stage

Can any thrill compare to being pulled onstage to perform a combo during a convention class? The stage is small and rickety, but when you're dancing that combo full-out in front of the ballroom, you feel like a star.

And if there's a competition portion of the weekend, you'll love the opportunity to perform for some of the convention's teachers. (Even if the stage is too small for your Large Group, or if you have to risk it all by climbing up and down metal stairs to reach the stage mid-dance!)

The line at the hotel coffee bar

Because you probably can't make it through this weekend without caffeine. These lines can get crazy, but once you have your (probably iced) coffee in hand, and you can find a deserted hallway to picnic with your dance squad during your lunch break, it's all worth it.

Buying expensive merch

You've resisted the urge to drop some cash at the merch table all weekend, but let's face it: You're probably walking out of here with an overpriced sweatshirt or convention tour T-shirt before the weekend is over. But hey, you can wear it as a dance cover-up! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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