To an outsider, dance is a perfectly polished, effortless art. Ballerinas are beautiful and Broadway dancers are babes — and there’s nothing to it all, right?
Dancers know that while, yes, tutus are lovely and belting your favorite showtune in front of a packed house is a blast, but the rewards don’t come easy. In the spirit of October — and Halloween being right around the corner — here are 10 seriously scary things every dancer fears.
1. Getting injured
As a dancer, your body is your instrument, and you need it to be in tune at all times. So the thought of rolling an ankle, twisting a knee, or suffering from a stress fracture sends you into a panic. (The lesson here: Always take care of your body! Foam roll, ice your achy muscles, get massages, and listen when your body is giving you signals. A little rest does a body good.)
2. Showing up at a competition and realizing you forgot something
You arrive at the venue, set up in the dressing area, and realize that — with 10 minutes until you’re onstage — that you forgot your hat, shoe, top, or tights. #nationalsnightmares
3. Forgetting your choreography onstage
The spotlight’s on you — and you can’t remember your next move. Whether you blank and freeze or are able to recover, onstage gaffes are always tough to move past. (Deep breath and keep going, though — you’re a pro and you’ve got this!)
4. Losing a toenail on account of a faulty toe pad
This might be less of a fear and more of something we, as dancers, just have to accept. But taking off your pointe shoes to see a bruised or bloody big toe will never be a welcome sight.
5. Running out of bobby pins
J/K. That would never happen.
6. Poking yourself in the eye with eyeliner or getting eyelash glue on your eyeball
OK, so these are minor, but there’s something unsettling about having all those pointy and sticky objects near your eyeballs!
7. Your best friend quitting or switching studios
That would never happen either, right? Right???
Falling onstage. Falling from a partner lift. Falling out of a turn. Anytime you’re unintentionally on the floor — and on your butt — is not a good time.
9. Blowing an audition
You wore your hire-me outfit and applied your makeup #flawlessly. But then you got in front of the casting team and totally blew it. Ugh. (Shake it off. You’ll book the next gig!)
10. Getting sick
And having to miss class or — nooooo — a competition or convention. A few sniffles, you can deal with. But a full-blown chest cold or flu? The worst!