Ten Signs You're an Adult Ballet Dancer Who is OBSESSED With Ballet

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Once you fall in love with ballet, it becomes extremely difficult to have a casual relationship with it. Ballet has a way of permeating your thoughts and actions. As far as hobbies go, ballet is what you might call an invasive species...

If you began ballet as an adult, you probably realized pretty quickly that ballet is, in many ways, more than a hobby: it is a way of life. And you may have become (if you're anything like me) a little bit fixated on the ballet lifestyle.

Here are the top ten signs that you are an adult ballet student and dancer who is totally, completely, utterly, hopelessly, head-over-heels in love with (and obsessed with!) ballet...

#1) You see ballet EVERYWHERE you go, even at the park and the supermarket.


Ever since you fell in love with ballet, you see the world through a different lens: a ballet lens.

You can't help but see ballet everywhere you turn.


Every park bench or railing seems to be a barre.

Every grocery store aisle seems to beg for pique turns.

All wide open spaces seem to beckon to you to perform a grand allegro combination.

If you've ever had the urge to grand jeté across a parking lot, then you know exactly what I'm talking about!

Now that you have found ballet, you just can't help but feel as if all of time and space is meant for dancing. 


#2) You sporadically dance when no one is watching.


You actively seek out hard flooring for pirouette practice — even if it means dancing in the kitchen or bathroom.

And any time you catch your reflection in a mirror, you automatically feel compelled to pause and practice a little ballet.

If no one is in eyesight, you may lift your arms into an expressive and fluid port de bras. Elongate, you think to yourself — and don't forget your fingers! 

These details are what make ballet so beautiful and special to you.

You may also lift your leg into arabesque and then quickly plié and pas de bourrée, or you may do any number of your favorite steps  — because these days, mirrors exist solely to help you improve your ballet skills.

But even if there are no mirrors around — any moment alone is a moment to dance. 


#3) Cooking and doing dishes is an opportunity to practice footwork. 


When you are standing at the kitchen sink or counter, you can't help but plié, relevé, and tendu. 

You may even rise into a position such as sur le cou-de-pied or retiré and test how long you can balance  — you drill your leg into the floor, tuck your pelvis under your torso, pull up your abs, round your arms, lengthen your neck, and sigh a deep sigh of satisfaction when you find your balance and hold it for as many counts as you can.

Then you go back to loading the dishwasher and wiping down the counters — wishing all the while that you had more time to dance. 


#4) Ballet videos are basically the whole point of YouTube now. 


You find yourself following internet rabbit holes late into the night — watching YouTube video after YouTube video of professional ballet productions and World Ballet Day company classes from 2015. 

Whoops, there went three hours, how did that happen?


NO REGRETS.

You also religiously follow channels like Kathryn Morgan and Ballerinas By Night.

You don't even remember what you used YouTube for before you used it for ballet — ballet is, like, the whole point of YouTube, right?


#5) Foam rolling and cross-training are just a normal part of life.


You feel a little bit emotionally attached to your foam roller — it just gets you, and it helps you work out all of those kinks in your body so that your muscles feel a bit looser and you feel a bit more ready for the demands of ballet.

You also stretch daily, and you even took up yoga and Pilates for the sole purpose of improving your ballet technique. 

Because if you're going to work out, you might as well do things that will help you work toward your ultimate goal: being the best ballet dancer you can be.

You may not openly admit it — but your ballet progress is one of the most important things to you.

#6) You've cut back on buying regular clothes, but your dancewear drawer is overflowing. 


Do I really need fifty leotards?

Yes, yes, I do.

And don't forget the the wrap skirts, the pull-on skirts, the crop tops, and all manner of ballet warm-ups — looking the part helps you dance the part and dressing like a dancer is a small way for you to pay homage to the art form you love so dearly.

Plus, with so many dancewear shops on Etsy, you can't help but feel amazing about supporting small businesses AND buying yourself beautiful dancewear.

#7) You've got your go-to ballet class hairstyle down to a science. 


Whether it's a french twist, a low romantic bun, or some other classic updo, you can get your hair up and ready for ballet class in a matter of minutes.

You may not create a flawless masterpiece of a hairstyle for every single class, but you know that stray hairs and wispies are just fine as long as you aren't performing on a stage — so you don't let your perfectionism slow you down.

Because as an adult ballet student, time is of the essence.


Whether you are coming to class after a long day at the office or a long day of changing diapers and corralling toddlers, you don't want anything thing to get in the way of you making it to class on time. 

Your ballet class time is precious to you, and you don't want to miss a moment.

And that means you can get your hair on top of your head as fast as a teacher can say: "Let's begin with pliés."

#8) You fall asleep at night and dream about ballet.  


Ballet is so much a part of who you are that it dwells not only in the forefront of your mind but also deep within your subconscious, too. As a result, it makes appearances in your dreams.

In fact, it's not at all uncommon for you to dream about ballet during a deep night's sleep.

Sometimes hilarious and sometimes terrifying, these dreams range from happy ones of sky-high extensions and effortless full-split leaps to embarrassing performance and class bloopers like showing up to class naked or walking onstage only to realize you've forgotten your pointe shoes and your tutu.

I myself had a dream in which I showed up to class — at the Vaganova Ballet Academy, no less! — super, super late, and then my ballet bun kept unraveling during barre.

As with any bad dream, I woke up feeling relieved that it was just a dream. (But also slightly sad that I didn't actually get to take class at the Vaganova Academy.)

It's like I said before: ballet has a weird way of permeating your life. And your dreams are no exception.

#9) The rest of your home may be messy and chaotic, but your ballet gear is meticulously organized. 


You wipe a single speck of dust from one of your pointe shoes, even as your laundry pile slowly grows taller than you are.

You have mastered the KonMari folding method for your leotards, tights, skirts, and legwarmers, which are beautifully laid into a drawer and organized by color.

All the while, your regular clothes are either heaped in the laundry room waiting to be washed, or the ones that actually made it through the wash are sitting in a laundry basket waiting to be folded.

And those clean clothes have been in that laundry basket...longer than you care to admit.

But it's okay.

There's always time for laundry, you tell yourself, but there's not always time to dance.

Therefore, your dance gear must always be ready at a moment's notice. 

#10) You'd rather have ballet class than any material possession. 


You have begun to sacrifice in certain areas of life — cutting back on eating out, getting fancy coffees, buying new clothes — all so you have more money to spend on ballet class.

Because the experience of going to ballet is priceless, and you'd rather have ballet class than any material possession.

Ballet means more to you than you can adequately express with words, and giving up little luxuries is totally worth it if it means you can have more ballet in your life.

So, there you have the have it: the top ten signs that you might be totally obsessed with ballet.

You do all of these weird things because ballet makes you feel alive. And you can't imagine your life without it.

If you are an adult ballet dancer, do any of these ring true for you? What would you add to the list? 

1 comment

  1. This is all absolutely true. I also realized that my obsession with making everything as beautiful as it can possibly be, and my constant desire to better myself, have a lot more to do with my early years training in ballet, than with anything else! Now that I am back in ballet, I understand aspects of my personality that are normal in the ballet world but not so much in the normal world!

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