You’re hanging out with a few friends ‚Äď maybe they’re from high school or a chapter of your life that didn’t involve dance ‚Äď and you’re about to meet some of your friends’¬†friends.

Perhaps they know each other from college, from work, from Tinder.

In any case, you’re mentally preparing yourself for the introduction, the handshake, the, “Nice to meet you, I’m _____,” followed by the, “Wait what’s his name again?” thought a few seconds later.

As you search for easy topics to establish conversation over, you get asked about your hobbies. “Oh, I just do a little of this and that, I like to hang out and I dance.”¬†

“Oh you’re a dancer?!?!?!?!!”

This has happened to everyone at least once, whether the person asking you is a mutual friend or one of your grandma’s bingo playing buddies. I don’t know which is worse though:

A) the non-dancer who asks a million mainstream questions and demands for you to dance MONKEY DANCE, or

B) the non-dancer who swears he/she knows way more than you about anything in regards to dance because he/she watches ABDC, SYTYCD, Dancing With the Stars, and Dance Moms (I can’t believe Paige is suing Abby whaaaat)

So this is for you, from one dancer to another.

Here are some questions that dancers are asked by non-dancers, how you can politely answer them, and how you would answer if you had 0 chill.

1. Can you show me a routine?

dance

What you can say:

Oh sorry I would but it looks weird with just me. I need my team with me! It looks better together!

What you want to say:

Yeah, have you heard of YouTube?

2. Can you show me how to do *insert dance move here including, but not limited to, the shmoney dance, the dougie, the nae nae, the jerk, “crank that soulja boy”*?

dance

What you can say:

Sure haha well it’s just kind of like this…

What you want to say:

Can you show me how to not be annoying? I know you don’t even REALLY want to learn it right here, right now, as we are standing in the middle of Starbucks.¬†You’re just asking me so you can slyly let me know that you know what the dougie is. OK dude, even my mom knows. Bye.

3. Can you teach me your favorite moves?

What you can say:

I have so many! It’s kind of hard to pick a favorite!

What you want to say:

Yeah! Ok so you start by taking a step to the left, then another to the left, and then a few more to the left, until you are successfully walking out the door. Practice makes perfect.

4. Do you get distracted by all the hot dancers?

dance

What you can say:

Oh no we are all just friends!

What you want to say:

Lol there’s like 1 hot dancer out of every 250 and there’s a 400% chance that he/she is taken. So yes. Yes I do get distracted by all the hotties.

5. Do you have hot dancer friends?

What you can say:

All of my friends are hot… on the inside and out! #PersonalityMatters

What you want to say:

No. And if I did, there would clearly be a “boy/girl” in front of that “friend” word, nawmean.

6. Do you not have to work out because dance is like cardio?

What you can say:

I mean I don’t usually have time to go to the gym, what with all of my practices, but it is an acceptable work out for now!

What you want to say:

Yeah because a 6 minute set (that which I’m in like… 2 minutes of it… maybe) is equivalent to running a marathon. Why I don’t have 6 pack is just beyond me.

7. Have you tried out for “So You Think You Can Dance”?

dance

What you can say:

Oh no! Maybe some day!

What you want to say:

No because I do not think I can dance — I KNOW I can dance. Boom. You’re done.

8. Is your crew on ABDC?

dance

What you can say:

No, but the community has a lot of teams like the ones you see on TV, and a lot of the dancers on the show are in the community as well.

What you want to say:

You don’t even know what I mean by “community” sigh.

9. Do you know the Jabbawockeez?

dance

What you can say:

Oh yeah they are great dancers!

What you want to say:

I’d love to jab you right in the wockeez thanks.

10. Did you see that viral video on YouTube of that dance troupe being the most in sync performers IN THE WORLD?!

dance

What you can say:

Yeah I’ve competed with them/seen them at competitions before! The whole dance community is like that, it’s amazing!

What you what to say:

:upside down smiley face:

11. Can you have a dance battle right now with *insert the only other person in the room that is a known dancer*?

dance

What you can say:

Oh that’d be weird haha, there isn’t even any music playing!

What you want to say:

What no. I hate freestyling. And that’s seriously so awkward in this setting. We’re at a restaurant.

Unless he/she’s down. Then I guess I’ll have to throw it down and defend my family honor.

12. So do you want to be a dancer when you grow up?

dance

What you can say:

Maybe! It’s kind of a difficult career path, but I love it for now, so we’ll see!

What you want to say:

Are you hiring? Cause if not, you are irrelevant bye.

13. Have you seen “Step Up”?

What you can say:

Yes I’ve seen the movies, there’s some great dancing!

What you want to say:

Have you seen “Stop Asking Me These Questions Please”? It was an Indie film but I’m pretty sure it’s available on Netflix if you’re interested.

14. Do you know that little girl in Sia’s music videos?

dance

What you can say:

Oh she’s amazing!

What you want to say:

Yes, Maddie and I are besties clearly, how could I have forgotten to tell you? Brb, going to go swing on a chandelier while talking to my other new BFFL Shia.

15. Does Ellen know about you?

dance

What you can say:

Haha I wish!

What you want to say:

Yeah! She actually called me and (De)generesly asked me to drop some knowledge on you about the dance world and educate you on the community. Go read something STEEZY.

JUST KIDDING HA HA!!!!

Of course, anyone asking a question about the dance world is just another opportunity to educate them on our love and passion in the community!

Take any situation where non-dancers are curious about our world and use it to let them know what they’re missing out on!

Or just give them one of my generic and polite answers and then pretend you’re getting an urgent text message. Either/or is good.

This post was originally published on January 21, 2015.