For many people who love to dance, the activity is something that eventually becomes an innate part of their life that is hard to shake off. Because of this, many dancers end up unconsciously adopting certain habits that are attributed to dance. A lot of these behaviors are healthy and normal ones for dancers to have, but some of these also start to transcend into daily life once they step out of the studio. To a regular observer, these behaviors may seem strange or random (or pretty cool!), but to dancers, they are just as normal and familiar as anything else in their lives. Here are some seemingly “weird” dancer habits that most “normal” people don’t have. If you are a dancer, you might read this and discover some unconscious behaviors that you’re already doing!
Dancing or Stretching While Waiting in Line
Even if they aren’t in rehearsal or performing, you may find dancers stretching out their legs while waiting for the bus, tap dancing in line at the store, or doing a Rumba box while talking on the phone. Most of the time, the best thing for a dancer to do while they are idle in class is to stretch out or move around so they can keep their bodies warm. This habit may find its way into a public setting while a dancer is waiting around with no other activity to do. It’s a pretty good behavior to keep up with, too. Everyone could use a good stretch or warm up when they get the chance!
Remembering Random Choreography (and Dancing it Out)
Within a dancer’s lifetime, they have probably had the opportunity to learn or create choreography for many routines, and a lot of these routines are still in their memories. In addition to remembering old choreography, dancers might also end up doing the actual movements from those routines if they hear songs associated with them. Sometimes it’s like a light switch that turns on; they hear the music and they just start dancing! If they are out with a group of friends who all know the same choreography, they all might start doing it together (which is an interesting scene for observers who aren’t aware of the eccentric world of dance).
Hearing Music and Thinking “I Could Dance to This!”
If they enjoy creating routines, some dancers will constantly be on the lookout for new music to dance to. Whenever they do hear a song that interests them, they might start thinking of choreography to do. They might even start doing small movements with their hands and feet to demonstrate the type of choreography they plan on doing. If they are ballroom dancers they might even listen to a song and try to determine what style of dance would best fit that song. Listening to music on the radio and saying, “ooh, this is a good Rumba,” or “this would make a great Tango,” is a familiar experience for many dancers.
Cracking Body Parts
A lot of people crack their knuckles or necks from time to time, but dancers are a strange group of people who end up cracking a variety of different body parts and then move along like it was no big deal. Bystanders might freak out a bit when they hear their dancer friends casually pop their hip or shoulder, but it’s nothing to be too worried about. Some dancers’ joints will crack (often loudly) just because of the years of intense and flexibility-based movements they do. If you do happen to hear loud cracking noises coming from your friends when they stretch or move their joints, don’t be alarmed unless they yell out in pain.
Counting in Eights
Dancers typically break down steps in counts of eight, so if they are used to their peers and instructors counting like this all day, they are likely to move this habit into their daily lives as well. Not all dancers do this, but the most common place a dancer might start counting in eights is if they are in an exercise setting. While working out, dancers may use counts of eight to sum up their reps. Instead of doing a set of ten push-ups, they might have to do eight or sixteen in order to make themselves feel even (especially if they are exercising with music).
Changing Clothes/Doing Hair and Makeup Really Fast
Many of us can probably get dressed and ready fairly quickly if we tried, but dancers who have been in shows requiring them to change into multiple costumes know a different kind of pressure when it comes to getting ready. Quick changes are an unpredictable experience – it can depend on how much time a performer has between numbers, how complex their outfits are, and where they can go to change. Although these can be stressful experiences, dancers endure them, and some even carry their skills over to everyday life. Dancers who have had plenty of practice with struggling to get into costumes, fixing their hair, and applying makeup in less than five minutes will probably have no problem getting ready for a normal night out. They can be set and ready to go in less than an hour! Friends may wonder how they are able to fix their hair into perfect buns so quickly. The answer is “experience!”
Happy Dancing! ^_^