I have a few friends who fantasize about dating a dancer. I think it comes from teenage daydreams that this beautiful mystical creature who is petite and graceful will want to spend time with them. The reality of dating a dancer is that it is not easy, especially if you are not a dancer or athlete yourself. Dancers, especially those dancing full-time, are physically fatigued much of the time. We spend a lot of hours pushing ourselves physically. Doing things repeatedly until we are nearly satisfied. This is not only physically draining, but mentally and emotionally draining as well. The effort it takes to stay focused and disciplined to accomplish this makes for some hard days.
Doing this while feeling under the weather, battling an injury, or having other stressors overwhelming makes it exponentially more challenging. At the end of a day of rehearsals, the day is often not over. There is still research to be done, especially when a new piece is being developed. There may be choreographic mapping, editing of music, studying of others in your genre for inspiration still on the docket. In the midst of learning or developing a new piece, it can be hard to shut my brain off because it will be on autopilot trying to understand the new information. This can make me appear distracted or disconnected. That can allow for annoyance with anyone around me as I may not be as present as they would like or the conversation may veer towards this topic more than they think palatable.
Take all that and add on nursing an injury, being stressed about financial stability, politics in the community, or any number of issues that arise in a dancer’s life and you can start to see why the dating of a dancer is a challenge. Dancers, especially those who are more than just a dancer in a project, are often seen as complicated. I think this is because we access more of our brain than those who are not artistic. We are able to find a way to take everyday scenarios and present them in a way that challenges the audience in many ways. This allows for complex thought processes in the dancer which trickles into complexity in approaching life.
Dating a dancer does have it’s rewards though. For one, being around someone who is passionate about something in their life can be invigorating. It can move you to want to find more meaning in your life. Being around someone who is as physically fit and body beautiful as a dancer can inspire better care of yourself. Being around someone who puts their heart out for examination on the stage can inspire more honesty in your own life.
Finding the energy at the end of the day to be super social, especially as the dancing years add up, can be challenging. I know that I annoy many people in my life when I want to stay in after putting in so many hours on the floor during the week. Many of my friends are social dancers and that is the best time for me to see them and catch up – when they are at the club. If my feet are sore, or I am nursing an injury, getting out the club may not be in my physical best interest. There has to be a balance between career and life. This is definitely something that I struggle with.
Dating another dancer, especially someone who is a social rather than professional dancer, surprisingly can be a greater challenge than a non-dancer. The non-dancers seem to be able to identify with the idea that working out that many hours a day has to be exhausting. The social dancers often want to spending their social time with me on the floor. There can be a lack of empathy that I want some non-dancing time in my life too. Some time to just be a normal human being. Obviously, I haven’t found the magic formula yet – but seriously, who doesn’t want to date a dancer? 🙂