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    25 Things Dancers Are Still Recovering From Years After Retiring

    Let's journey back to that overly hot and musky studio.

    If you spent your childhood in a dance studio then I'm sure you have some stories to tell! If you're like me and haven't danced in years, let's take a trip down memory lane and look back at the highs and lows of the dance world – from glitter to tutus and everything in between!

    1. The smell of smell hairspray, and the immediate flashbacks that follow.

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    The misty haze that filled the dressing room still haunts me. There is a particular brand I can no longer use because I get anxious I'm running late for my next number. Did anyone else also use it to stick their leotard down? 

    2. Having to put on overly dramatic makeup that looked ridiculous in natural lighting, but amazing on stage.

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    This applies to any kind of performance. Stage lights wash you out so more is more, and all attention is good attention at a competition. The look on parents' faces at the end of the night was always priceless.

    3. Repeating the words "I can't, I have dance" A LOT in our time.

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    I missed out on celebrating the last day of school for competition practice, and my social life barely existed. No matter how much you wanted to go to that party, it would have to wait.

    4. 5AM weekend starts, and then still having to be up early for school.

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    Time management was key. You had school all week, and then a show on Saturday and Sunday, did you get a day off? Of course not, you had a maths exam on Monday morning. 

    5. Nailing a pirouette when there wasn't a single soul around to witness it.

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    If someone didn't see it, it didn't happen. I perfected a  triple spin on many occasions and the number of people who actually saw it is next to none. 

    6. Getting asked the famous question "Can you do the splits?"

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    Are you even a dancer if you haven't been asked this question? For years, anyone I ever met asked this and then followed it with "can you show me?" Why is it they hear you can dance and then assume you can lift your leg over your head?

    7. Using your social media profile picture to showcase a new move.

    Girl doing a handstand against the wall.
    Molly Townsin

    This typically consisted of some kind of scorpion pose or leg hold. Extra points if you got all your dancer friends to join in!

    8. The quick changes backstage gave you the worst anxiety of your life.

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    Whether it was a show or competition, the number of outfits needed usually exceeded the amount you had in your wardrobe at home. Making sure you were ready on time before the next dance was terrifying. 

    9. The ever-annoying buying and losing bobby pins cycle.

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    The amount of these I went through would be enough to build my first house. As soon as you removed them you had to accept the fact you would never see them again. Seriously though, did they have legs?!

    10. Destroying new ballet shoes so you could dance in them, and yes that included banging them against the wall repeatedly.

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    If you weren't a ballet dancer, I suggest you watch how to prepare a new pair of ballet shoes... it seems counterproductive, to say the least. And if you DID take ballet classes, then sincerest apologies to not only your pointe shoes, but your bank account too.

    11. Having Impossibly tight hairstyles, which prove how poorly hairbands are made.

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    We all know the frustration of hearing the third band in a row go *SNAP*, and having to ask around for another one. I considered shaving my hair on multiple occasions.

    12. Gruesome workouts you're probably still recovering from, I know I am.

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    Even now I can still feel the burn in my legs from the five-minute wall sit, 100 squats, and endless high kicks until they were perfect. And honestly, did anyone really hold the plank for the entire time?

    13. Our feet being constantly in some kind of pain, not to mention the hard skin situation.

    Ballerina stood with one pointe shoe on and one bare foot showing it wrapped up due to blisters.
    Piero Migailo / Getty Images/EyeEm / Via Getty Images

    I'm sure you've heard the phrase 'dancer's feet'. As gross as it sounds, our feet aren't the nicest– at the height of my dancing days, I was lucky if I went two or three days without a blister.

    14. It was completely acceptable, natural even, to change in front of people.

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    All those took me a few years to realise that not everyone was comfortable changing in the PE changing rooms at school. 

    15. Similarly, it was absolutely normal to walk around in nothing but tights and a leotard.

    Male and female dancers standing together smiling, girls in white leotards and boys in white tops and black leggings.
    Thomas Barwick / Via Getty Images

    That last part might be a more personal experience, but I had to become comfortable in my own skin very early on, especially for rehearsals. Good ol' tights and a leotard were all you needed.

    16. We all had the same not so funny joke that we could only count to eight.

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    Five, six, seven, eight! I distinctly remember arguing with my maths teacher that I only needed to count to eight because "I was a dancer". Not to say those maths equations were completely useless, but I haven't needed to know the square root of anything yet.

    17. Using sounds or words for each count and everyone being somehow able to flawlessly follow along.

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    Especially when it came to hip hop or street dance, sounds became your best friend. On very few occasions did you actually count out the steps. I never even realised I was doing it until someone from my contemporary class would make fun of me.

    18. Arguing over terminology, and were convinced the person you were arguing with obviously knew nothing.

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    This one might only apply to those who had friends that did a different style to you, or if you yourself did different styles. To settle it once and for all, a 'step-ball-change' IS a 'chasse' just in different dance styles! (You know who you are).

    19. Naturally standing in fifth position, even when we weren't in a dance class.

    Close up of dancers feet standing in a line, with ballet slippers and tights in in third position.
    Highwaystarz-photography / Getty Images/iStockphoto / Via Getty Images

    Whether it be subconsciously or because you always had your dancer-head on, your natural stance would mean your feet go into fifth position (sometimes third) whenever you were standing. It's more comfortable than it sounds.

    20. Being told that dance isn't a "real sport", which is as infuriating as it is untrue.

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    Despite retiring from the SPORT almost five years ago, this one still riles me up. If you break down everything that goes into being a dancer then there is a good chance your workout routine rivals that of any other sportsman. And could a football player get their leg behind their head? Unlikely.

    21. Everywhere was a dance floor, and be it the supermarket or the classroom, you found yourself dancing around to music no-one else could hear.

    Why do dancers always feel the need to body pop and dance EVERYWHERE? Bus stops, train stations, funerals...

    Twitter: @ChuckieOnline

    This is the one I find myself still doing the most, even years after I stopped dancing. Usually just a pirouette here or développé there, but I couldn't go anywhere without doing at least SOMETHING.

    22. And I'm sure you'll remember listening to the radio and hearing songs you've danced to over and over again.

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    I said this about every song I heard for a very long time. Especially if you were a hip hop dancer, you probably did a routine to every song in the charts.

    23. There was always one dancer that everyone believed was the teacher's favourite.

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    If you're thinking right now that you DIDN'T have someone in your class that fit this description, then you were probably that person yourself, and everyone else knew it. 

    24. If you competed you'll understand the struggle of sleeping in countless hotels, B&B's, and the odd caravan site.

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    They weren't glamorous either. I travelled all over England when I competed and had to quickly learn how to fall asleep in unfamiliar surroundings, and share a room with multiple people.

    25. And finally, the pushy parents.

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    There was always one parent that made their voice heard. They showed endless support but had an opinion about everything.

    Don't forget to share your dancing stories in the comment below!