I’m not a dancer

I’m not a dancer

Today I went to Bloch and bought a few tops and some canvas ballet shoes (Bloch Pro Elastic). They feel pretty different to leather ones. And the elastics are pre-sewn. Yay!

My anxiety hit the roof when I walked into the store. Sassy dancer shop assistants evvverywhere. One girl asked if I needed any help. I said yes, I was after some canvas ballet shoes but I’ll just have a browse around first.

I was absolutely breaking a sweat.

Locate the tops. Rip them off the racks. Sprint to the dressing room.

Okay, that’s a bit dramatic. I was very casual and calm but I was 100% wishing I could just throw money at them and evaporate with my items.

Why do I get so anxious about dance stores!!! Stop it!!!!!!

Anyway. The tops fitted and I tried on the shoes which also fitted (she asked for my shoe size and I totally nailed it because I thought to check the bottom of my leather ones on the way out of my house.)

As I was trying them on she made general dance-y small talk.

I explained, “I’m not a dancer, I just do it for fun really…”

And I’ve been thinking about that. And I’m not sure if it’s true or not. At what stage can you call yourself a dancer? Like I know I’m not dancing at the moment but I have before and I’ll be starting again in a few weeks. I feel like being A Dancer is something that you keep being even if you stop dancing but it’s something that you love?? But do you have to have been dancing for years before you can stop and keep the title??? Am I overthinking this????

Goal: Not to feel like a complete fraud when I tell people that I’m a dancer.



8 thoughts on “I’m not a dancer

  1. That’s a tough one, figuring out when exactly does one become a dancer. Some days I don’t feel very dancer-like; others I do. After all, do I not do my conditioning stretches, do I not practice, do I not obsess over my technique? So on those times I feel I can call myself a dancer, though obviously an amateur one.
    I may be overthinking the whole issue as well…


    1. I think it’s one of those things that everyone has their own valid answer to based on their own experiences. Unless someone says “I’m a dancer” but they’ve never danced before. That is maybe a little less valid.


  2. I only do a class that’s mainly pilates at the moment, so I feel like a major fraud, but at the same time, I reeeeeallly want cute ballet clothes. Maybe I’ll knit myself a little wrap cardigan. That’s kind of acceptable, no?


  3. I feel comfortable with “I dance” rather than “I am a dancer.” I don’t get the willies when people say “oh she’s a dancer.” or whatever, but I definitely feel like it needs a qualifier “Huh? Oh I dance. Yeah, ballet. Just recreationally, though.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thread necromancy, aaaaaaughhh!!! (But this post is worth resurrecting!)

    I was thinking about this question the other day, in part because of one of those confusing exchanges where I said of my friend B. and myself, “We both dance, and…” and someone immediately replied, “Oh! Which company do you dance for!” and I was like:
    o.O’ … >.<

    I definitely agree with the idea that it's a very individual thing. For a long time after I started dancing again (Can I call it "a long time" when it'll be two years in March? Semantics! Argh!), I boldly described myself as a dancer as a way to sort of force me to take myself seriously … but inside I totally felt like a fraud and a mountebank every time I said it or even thought it.

    Somewhere between then and now, that stopped being the case, and I have no idea when or why. I definitely apply the qualifier as needed ("Oh, no, no — we just take class; we're amateurs!"), but somewhere along the line, "dancer" became one of the planks in the platform of my identity. I no longer feel that "impostor" sensation when I think it or say it.

    Given that the sense of being an imposter in life (even when one has all kinds of solid evidence to the contrary) afflicts women disproportionately in our culture (because our culture is dumb and doesn't like to recognize women's accomplishments unless someone, preferably some old white dude, says it's okay to do so), I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the sense of not really being a dancer afflicts women even in professional companies … which is really unfortunate, because most of the ladies in my classes definitely deserve to call themselves dancers, but many of them don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

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