Dance started as a social activity, and inevitably, the dance community evolved to be a very, very social place. Yeah. We’re loud. But! Not all of us are natural extroverts. In fact, a lot of dancers I know consider themselves introverted, just making themselves be “out there” when they need to be, for the sake of fitting in, networking, etiquette, and the like.
It can be difficult to be someone who craves solitude in a scene where everyone knows everyone and your popularity seems to matter a lot. It’s sometimes fun, but often exhausting. But hey, even if you want to be physically alone, know that you’re not alone emotionally! We feel ya. And we can laugh along with you at these moments that have provoked mad anxiety in us introverts. Such as these…
1. Retreat, or any situation of being stuck in a cabin / hotel with people for a weekend or more
Cabin fever for wallflowers.
2. The first few months in a new season when you want to bond but don’t know personalities or boundaries yet
When can I start being weird and be taken as weird in a good way and not just weird?
3. Eating at a table and worrying you’re boring everyone
Is everyone wishing they sat at the other table?
4. Being glued to your phone because you feel uncomfortable but hating that you’re coming off distant
It’s my safe space
5. When you really just want to be alone but “My capacity for social interaction ran out” is not a valid excuse for missing rehearsal
“Hi sorry *ahem* yeah I can’t make it… I’m sick (of people)”
6. Purposely driving places by yourself so you can have a surefire way to leave an event whenever you want
Your anxiety will not be at the mercy of your driver.
7. Getting a big/little/buddy and feeling bad that you aren’t as outgoing or fun as you think they’d want their little/big/buddy to be
8. Having so much love and appreciation for the team but not being able to share how you feel during circle-ups
If you guys only knew..
9. Laughing a lot at the token “extra” person on the team and secretly wishing you could be as comfortable in the spotlight
Haha he’s “the most.” Wait, am I… “the least”??
10. The feeling that washes over when it’s choreo day and it’s mandatory to be vulnerable
11. When it seems like every single dancer is naturally extroverted and you wonder if you’ll ever be able to fit in
Is it a pre-requisite? Did I pick the wrong hobby??
12. When you really just want to get to know other dancers or teammates in a one-on-one setting but don’t want to be too forward and ask to hang out
Are they gonna think I’m creepy? Do they secretly want to say no??
13. Having to make small talk with everyone you’ve ever met at a competition and not knowing how to end the conversation
“Hey so yeah great job! I’m gonna go stand over there.”
14. When you want to compliment someone for killing a class but no words come out
15. Or when someone compliments you and you’re just like
Excuse me! Enjoy! You’re welcome! I mean uh. Thank you!
16. Wanting to go out to a club and just dance but knowing you’ll run into a squad or two
“Oh hey! Who’d you come with?” “Myself”
17. When you want to ask a question in class and miss the next 8-count because you’re debating on whether or not to ask the question you had 5 mins ago
Just raise your hand. No, it’s a dumb question. Wait but I really couldn’t see what he did. Maybe just wait. No, just ask! No! Yes! Agh! *time for groups*
18. Blocking project? I’ll just do what you guys say
Nose goes on being the group’s leader
19. Texting your directors that you have to miss practice (even for a good reason)
Step 1: draft text
Step 2: hit ‘send’
Step 3: curl up in a ball in vibrate mode
Being an introverted dancer definitely come with hang-ups like these, but there are also so many sweet things about it, too. 1x for the small-group hangouts where you can get to know your teammates more intimately, for the times in rehearsal you’re happy to observe and soak in all the energy around you, for those fellow introverts with whom you grow a genuine bond with over time, and for online communities and social media where you can express yourself without the pressures of face-to-face contact.
Calling all introverts (quietly)- Can you relate to this list? What are some things you deal with (or delight in!) in the dance world? Comment below and share with us!
Introvert or extrovert, being bae-less in the dance community has its own set of struggles…
This list was catered to a specific type of personality, but watch this video on more generally-relatable dancer problems.