What it normally means: A friendly contest for some prize, honor, or title.
What it means to a dancer: A style of dance wherein one learns to split one’s legs in the air, wear fishnets on stage, and snarl sexily at an audience by the time one is 7 years old.
What it normally means: The fifth sign of the zodiac, represented by a lion.
What it means to a dancer: Short for “leotard,” a treasured piece of fabric that is the essence of you. Basically your Horcrux with all the sweat it’s absorbed over the years.
What it normally means: A place where you have drinks and hang out with people.
What it means to a dancer: Your lifeline at the beginning and end of every ballet class. Sometimes also a place where you have drinks and hang out with people.
10. “Bobby pins”
What it normally means: A beauty accessory used to keep stray hairs in place.
What it means to a dancer: A tool rammed into your skull to keep your bun looking perfect. Often found scattered all over your bathroom, your pillow, your room, your car…
What it normally means: A gender-neutral term for a significant other; someone you do lab experiments with.
What it means to a dancer: Half of your body, half of your own mind. Usually in a non-romantic way, but don’t be surprised if they’re your actual soulmate.
What it normally means: To use your finger in order to gesture at something.
What it means to a dancer: The inhumanely metal act of jamming your feet into silken brick cases and floating across the stage like you’re a goddamn fairy princess.
What it normally means: What every twentysomething wished he or she could do with their free time.
What it means to a dancer: Moving across the floor in the exact same way for the millionth time; making each step take you five feet forward instead of one.
What it normally means: A vehicle that has four wheels and an engine and that is used for carrying passengers on roads.
What it means to a dancer: Your combination dressing room/makeup studio/mess hall/wardrobe center, from which all good things flow forth.
What it normally means: Someone you share a role with for the purpose of splitting the work and avoiding exhaustion over eight performances a week.
What it means to a dancer: Your best friend/rival/competition/evil twin whom you might murder in a psychotic rage because IT’S YOUR TURN.