Can you tell someone's a dancer

How to tell if someone's a dancer? Look up, not down. At their posture, that is. Nearly a sure giveaway of a dancer is the beautiful upper body carriage. That posture is trained in; it rarely comes naturally.


Well-Known Member
I could probably tell, but I've always been spotted by people as dancer, even though I was not intended to tell others, like last time I was at a salon for nails, the girl who did my nails asked me if I'm a dancer, since she has a sister who did some ballet so she can relate.
I also notice newbies who come to a dance class in 3" stilettos (anything higher then 2" is a stiletto to me) and assume they haven't been to a dance class before.
Yes! And flip-flops, or shoes with an open back that the heel can slide around in.

I can usually tell by clothes. A "real" dancer will wear something that moves easily and still looks nice, and ladies will have their hair out of the way.


Well-Known Member
Actually the funniest one, come to think of it, wasn't at a dance venue in any way. I had an adult tour group at the Concord Museum and after we finished, one lady came up and asked if I was a dancer. I admitted it and she said she knew because her daughter was a ballet teacher and I spent most of the time when I stopped to talk standing in fourth or second position!
I went to an outdoors sports store (such as fishing, hunting, etc.) with my husband once and the male cashier asked me (really stated, not asked) if I was a dancer. When I asked him how he knew, he said it was by the way I walked and the way I was standing. So I guess some people can tell a dancer from a non-dancer :)


Active Member
This is a customer service announcement..... 3-pouch multi-pack of beef jerky now priced at $9.22 to clear. Please make your way to aisle 5 where there is also a young lady ballroom dancing.
Standard dancers hug people with their head to the left.

The next time you're at a venue where there are a bunch of standard dancers, watch people greet each other. This is fact, lol.
Standard dancers hug people with their head to the left.

The next time you're at a venue where there are a bunch of standard dancers, watch people greet each other. This is fact, lol.
ROFLMAO!!! :uplaugh: I agree, this is totally true. Not just standard, but American as well... basically all ballroom dancers, really.

I'm a noob dancer, and I've already noticed this happening in the studio. All of the instructors definitely do this, and some of the veteran students seem to have developed this habit, too. In fact, I'm starting to do it too, because whenever my instructor hugs me, she always leans in with her head to the left of mine, so in order to avoid facial collision, I'm sort of forced to, by default.


Well-Known Member
Perhaps how comfortably they wear the new shoes is a better indication. If the woman (or man) looks really comfortable in the heels, then they're most likely an experienced dancer. If they look a bit awkward wearing them, then they might be new.
I don't know about this one. I can't WALK in heels to save my life. But I can sure as heck DANCE in them. ;)


Well-Known Member
... without even asking?

I have a friend who swears she can tell, whether it be at a bar or a ballroom, just by looking at the shoes.

Her theory is that, for a night of real dancing, real dancers have dance shoes that are broken in and not too flashy. According to her? Street shoes? Dead giveaway of a non-dancer out on the town. (I assume salsa and swing dancers are exempted from the street shoe caveat.) Brand new shoes? Newbie. Flashy, expensive shoes? Wannabe spending money rather than time on the floor.

Just curious. Do you think she's out of her mind, condescending, right, or other? And do you have a litmus test you use to distinguish dancers from non-dancers?
Eh. I think it depends more on the venue. Street shoes, especially flashy ones, just say to me they aren't formaly-training-in-partner-dance dancers. They could be serious club dancers or something.

The swing dancers I've seen seem to have their broken in dance shoes same as anyone else, ditto wrt salsa. Flashy, expensive shoes? Then I'm definitely at an AT venue. Now...street shoes at an AT venue..definite newbie.

As for a litmus test...if they're dancing, i assume they're dancers.

Dance Ads