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Funny Things Dancers do in Elevators

dancer in elevator

Most of us catch elevators up and down, up and down, up and down in our everyday lives, but this monotonous exercise doesn’t always have to be a chore for a dancer.

As dancers, we tend to feel the need to dance anywhere and everywhere, or at least crack our hips or do some calf stretches in public when we get the urge. Elevators are not immune to our movement. They are perfect little stages, which many times have mirrors and a barre-like handrail. And when passing the time as you wait for your floor, who doesn’t break out in a dance move from time to time? Come on… be honest. I know we’ve all done it!

Capezio Athlete

Abigail Simon, previously of Joffrey Ballet and ABT. Photo by Gina Uhlmann Perno.

Here’s six funny things dancers do in elevators – and yes, I am guilty of all of them:

  1. Jump as the elevator descends. If you plié and then sauté as the elevator starts to go down you can experience an extra split second of air time. Who doesn’t want to be weightless? You can even try and achieve that double or triple tour en l’air with that extra air time! Although a little un-nerving, jumping in an elevator is always fun, particularly when you add beats.
  2. That mirror on the back of the elevator that’s used to create the illusion of more space is perfect for checking your posture, not just your lipstick. Dancers can be caught standing side on to make sure their alignment is correct. And if no one else is in the elevator, they may be seen practicing port de bras or even hitting the latest dance move. If there is a mirror, we will dance!
  3. Tap dancers are caught tapping anywhere, particularly when bored waiting in a queue. An elevator is another perfect example of when tap dancers start to shuffle as we wait for our floor. The closed space can amplify the sound, and the limited floor space is perfect for practicing tap over most other dance styles. If you’re sharing the elevator, I’m sure the other patrons wouldn’t mind the rhythmic entertainment… probably.
  4. Elevator music is rarely played anymore, but if it is, dancers can always be seen swaying or bopping along, or choreographing in their heads – look out for weird little twitches and hand gestures as we create dances in our minds that only we can see.
  5. Many lifts have handrails on the back. Dancers can regularly be caught going through a barre exercise or with their leg perched up on it stretching. If there is a barre, we dancers will use it!
  6. And who can resist leaping out when the doors open? It’s a great chance for a spectacular grand jeté exit! Just make sure that no one is standing there that could get a foot to the face…

By Deborah Searle of Dance Informa.

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