Dance is Not Human

Kelli Albert
3 min readFeb 13, 2021


We see dancers as this amazing and beautiful people. What most people don’t know is the deep darkness behind the idea of a “dancer”. Growing up as a dancer was difficult. You have to portray a certain image as well as body image. A non skinny dancer wasn’t the most liked thing in the dance world, although I wasn’t a stick growing up. I had a really hard time with body image.

Reading an article by Laura Riva, titled “The Darkside of Dance Addiction”. One main part of the Dark-side this addiction in social isolation. Dance is a very social activity although people who are dance addict are profoundly lonely especially in large scenes. Many of the most diehard dancers substitute dance for inner personal connection. Sometimes it’s because I feel awkward and social contexts. Developing dance skills become a form of ‘social credibility’, with dance desirability replacing real friendship. Many new dance Alex end up losing touch with old friends as they become more ‘serious’ about dance. That’s even worse, who wants to end up friendless even tho your doing what you may love. At the end of the day the dance addict realizes they don’t know anyone, even if they’re the most sought after dancer in the room. That can be an incredibly lonely realization.(Riva, 2016)

Next to social isolation, there’s the idea of escapism. Dance is very very exhilarating and engaging using dance is a great way to run away from responsibilities. It can become an escape from reality. It’s great to be able to escape from a high tough situation for some fun, but only if you’re able to return to the problem recharged and ready to deal with that. being someone who danced every single day throughout middle school to the end of high school, it’s very easy to run to dance rather than tackle your problems. no matter what you have going on financially, interpersonal, professionally or other problems. Don’t let dance stand in the way of managing your life. I personally love dance because it was something that made me feel good and help me get out my feelings, but I realize when I get to the end of the day, I still have high school to go back to when the idea of moving on.

A good example talked about by the author of this article, Laura Rita, she says “ Think of it like alcohol: it’s great if you drink socially for fun once in a while. If you use it every night to forget about your tough day, it’s hurting your ability to cope with reality. When it’s alcohol, we call it alcoholism. We just don’t have a word for it when it’s dance-related.” this example is really hard-hitting. There are so many people that are I need to do this when I dance, I need to learn to this role, I need to get these turns. And that’s all I think about is bettering themselves in dance and getting that job, and that role. When in reality there’s more their life than just dance.

In the conclusion of this article, Riva talks about the fact that dance is simply not everything. She says that although dance is therapeutic and social, it can’t fill in for interpersonal relationships on its own.

Being someone who’s danced since I was five years old, I am lucky to never have this be something that changes my interpersonal relationships and messes with my life. Are use dance as a way to escape anyway to think of my life differently. But I knew at the end of the day I would always have to come back to what I was brought into.