TOM TOM LISTS: The Struggles of Being a Dancer

Five, six, seven, eight, here’s a list of the things dancers hate.

Jessica Lamberty

More stories from Jessica Lamberty

Every dancer knows that life is not always “en pointe,” so laugh along to these hilarious observations about everything–from messing up a dance sequence to losing all 100 brand new bobby pins.

  • Doing turns with a runny nose
  • Choosing between sleep, dance and good grades
  • Having to hold back from spazzing out when someone says “dance is easy”
  • Remembering that there’s homework, but you can’t even move your arms
  • Toe touches don’t stretch anything anymore
  • You have 99 bobby pins, but you can’t find a single one.
  • Having to start an entire dance over because someone messed up
  • That one day in class when everyone has the giggles
  • Having to decline invitations because rehearsal never ends
  • Hating one leg more than the other
  • The hair tie won’t go around three times, but it’s too loose if it’s only wrapped twice
  • Seeing a big hallway and wanting to practice combinations
  • Wearing dancewear under your clothes because you have to run to the studio after school
  • Being able to dance for hours but getting tired after two minutes of running
  • Having an itch under the bun form that can’t be scratched
  • Not being able to afford the leotard of your dreams
  • Spelling “pointe” like this
  • When a non-dancer has beautiful feet and the jealousy settles in
  • Being blinded by your pony tail during turns
  • Searching the floor for free bobby pins
  • Knowing choreography but forgetting how to do a simple math problem
  • Pointing your toes so hard that they get a cramp
  • Relying on safety pins to keep everything in place on recital day
  • Being stuck in a costume and having the sudden urge to pee
  • Missing one class and coming back to a completely new routine
  • Telling the hairdresser “no” because it has to be long enough for a bun
  • Getting weird looks while dancing down the aisle in the grocery store
  • Stomach lines because of tights
  • Always needing a new pair of tights because there is a new rip every class
  • Using arabesque to close doors
  • Not having enough room in the house to dance
  • There is never a free moment after school
  • Not being naturally flexible
  • Finding bobby pins in your hair while taking a shower
  • Standing in awkward silence as the teacher decides what to do next
  • Dying inside when someone bends their knee or doesn’t point their toes
  • Walking around “en pointe” in the pool
  • Now plié and “crack”
  • Falling asleep in frog position hoping to wake up with a lovely turnout
  • The instructor expects perfect execution after just demonstrating the moves
  • Losing control of a turn
  • Being able to change an entire outfit in 15 seconds


When asked about her personal struggles with dance, junior Lea Fanella stands strong.

“I don’t really dislike anything about dance,” Fanella said. “It is a very challenging sport, but I love it how dance challenges me to do many intricate moves and motions.”

Even with its challenges, dance has made Fanella a stronger person, inside and out.

“I feel like it makes me work harder to become better, even though it can become tough at times,” Fanella said.


Dance may seem easy on the surface, but there is more to it than what meets the eye. From hours of rehearsal, special diets, daily stretching, and dedication like no other sport, dancers face many struggles but learn to overcome them with each and every rehearsal. For more funny problems that only dancers understand, visit and feel free to share any new ones in the comment section.