You may already be deep into your holiday shopping here on Covet Dance and wondering what these new lip balms are all about. After all, the French word "Merde" literally translates to "poop!" Keep reading to find out why this word is important in the dance world and how these lip balms make the perfect gifts for your ballet besties.
There are two origin stories behind the meaning of this funny French word for dancers. In 19th century Paris, patrons of the Paris Opera Ballet would arrive in horse drawn carriages. When the horses "did their business" in front of the Opera House, it created a mess, but that was a great sign of a full house! More poop = more patrons = more pressure for dancers = more reason to wish them well. And since it is bad luck to wish any performer, good luck, Merde seemed to be the next best thing.
Another origin of Merde comes from the use of live animals during ballet performances. Sometimes they would poop on stage, dancers would warn each other about the stinky piles so as not to step in them. Not stepping in one was also a sign of a successful show, hence, "merde" became related to "luck."
Superstitions run high for performers, and most of them avoid saying "good luck" because something bad could happen. Actors are known for saying "break a leg", but this is obviously something NOT to say to dancers. In the dance world, "Merde" is considered an appropriate word to tell someone right before they take the stage. And fun fact... the proper response should be "oui" instead of "thank you!"
Covet Dance created a product that ties this clever history together. They're the perfect gift for your castmates during Nutcracker season. Plus, they're a brown color to poke fun at the word's original meaning. But don't worry, they don't smell or taste like merde. They are a wonderfully comforting hot chocolate marshmallow flavor.