“You’re a dancer, aren’t you?”

Dancers will have this statement/question posed to them by strangers many times during their dance career. They’ll smile, nod and give the person a moment to revel in the glory of correctly guessing their occupation.

As a dancer, have you ever wondered what gave you away? How do people determine what you do just by looking at you? Well we’ve got a list to help satisfy that nagging question! Here are the top 5 reasons people see you and know without a doubt that YOU are dancer!

1. The way a dancer stands

There’s no denying it, dancers just stand differently. They might not realize it, but while they’re standing in line at the Panera bread, people notice the natural turn-out of the feet and legs, the random fourth position pose, or even the occasional B Plus! As dancers, you work daily to perfect your positions, and they display themselves in your everyday life…your teachers would be proud!

2. The snap, crackle, and pop of a dancer

The constant strain on a dancer’s muscles and joints causes any movement to become noisy. People recognize a dancer by the way they stretch their back, the constant rotation and clicking of a sore ankle or the way they say/exclaim, “Finally!” after their hip pops. We can’t say that the continuous cracking of joints and muscles is a good thing, but it’s definitely a dancer thing!

3. It’s all about the clothes

When people see a dancer out and about they’ve likely come from a class or rehearsal. This means they’re decked out in tights rolled up to their calves or right under the knee, flip flops displaying taped toes, warm up gear and loose fitting tops. Dancers stick out like a sore thumb, and since they’re usually in a posse of fellow ballerinas sporting the same dance-wear, this one is an obvious giveaway to strangers.

4. Constant movement

Whether or not they realize it, dancers are constantly moving. A dancer who loves what they do will let it play out during every moment of their life. That choreography they learned in class is what they’re subconsciously doing as they walk down the aisles of a grocery store. Whether they’re marking a movement, or full-out dancing in the street, dancers dance, it’s just what they do…and people notice!

5. Dancer hair

Most dancers have their hair pulled back. If you get the question again, ask the person what tipped them off. Their go-to answer is that they saw your hair in a bun. Dancers spend much of their time with their hair in a bun or french twist, and because of this, it’s literally second nature to create the perfect hairstyle. Everyone knows that a bun = ballerina.

So there you have it. The top 5 ways that people spot dancers. When someone notices, be gracious and thank them respectfully, because deep down, it’s very likely that they always wanted to be a dancer too!