Dancer characters have always been here and there in the Roleplay world, but with the popularity of Dance Moms, SYTYCD and other shows, they’ve started showing up a lot more. So, this tutorial was created. From a competitive dancer, a tutorial telling you how to realistically play a dancer; the basics, and those little things you might not have known.
Notes: This is only what I’ve learned over years of experience with dancers. This does not apply to every single dancer, just the generic population.
Despite what most people think, dancers don’t always want to dance. Having meet dancers from across the country, most dancers don’t want to go to practice. On the other hand, many dancers dance randomly through out the day. So, for your used, from head to toe, the body language of a dancer.
Feet: Dancer, particularly those that tap, create rhythmic patterns with their feet. While concentrating, most dancers create beats and patterns, or go through combinations using muscle memory. Also, many pointe and flex their feet and toes or roll their ankles while sitting and relaxing.
Legs: Dancers walk faster, on average, than most. Why? Longer legs (for the most part) and they travel. Using steps to travel is something that ingrained in dancers from a young age, and is a natural thing after a while. Hips, knees, ankles, and other various joints will pop. It’s gross, but it happens, and frequently. Older dancers more towards late twenties and early thirties commonly need hip and/or knee replacements.
Torso/Back: Dancer generally have more flexible, particularly if they train in acro and contortion. For those that do train in those styles, or do lots of floor work in general will often end up with bruises along their spines, shoulders, and ribs.
Neck/Head: Whiplash is common among dancers, so pain in their neck isn’t unheard off.
While not a commonly known fact, a good percentage of dancers have a low grade version of synesthesia. When music plays they see automatically see movement and motion in their head. Most dancer who have this are good at improv and choreography.
Not every dancer is a perfectionist, many do it because they love the art. However, dancers that are perfectionist are often misportrayed. They feel not the need to be the best, but to be perfect for themselves and those they care about. (This is all based off three girls I have talked to, all who shared the same general comments and thoughts about the subject. Please take this with a whole mound of salt, loves.)
As I mentioned earlier, many dancers tap out patterns with their feet or fingers when concentrating.
When learning new steps, turning, or dancing period, many dancers share the same habit of biting their lip, sticking out their tounge, or biting the inside of their cheeks.
Dance is different wherever you go in the world, but dancers have a generic build depending on where they’re from. Dancers from the mid-east and east tend to be shorter, and dancers form the mid-west and west are often taller. Dance style range within the USA as well, so it may be helpful to look up a few popular dance studios from the area your character is from.
Despite what you might think, most dancer tend to be dorks when not dancing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard ‘Aren’t you supposed to be a dancer?’ when I’ve tripped or fallen.