You have probably heard the phrase “Whatever can go wrong will go wrong.” Well, it’s no different on the dance floor! One has to be very creative fixing most of these problems on the spot, because the spotlight is on and the show must go on.
Here are some real life mishaps that have occurred with some of our dancers and how they recovered.
One of our male dancers during a showcase had back-to-back numbers. During the first number, his pants completely split down the middle during a lift. We had 15 seconds between numbers to fix it. The whole backstage crew was waiting with safety pins when he came off stage and – believe it or not – they were able to pin the pants so the audience never knew.
Judi Kestenbaum was getting ready to go out on the dance floor but her dress would not stay up. Solution? We quickly grabbed some of the crystal bead decorations hanging nearby and pinned them to the dress. There were a few less decorations at the event, but her dress stayed on!
Lori Price wasn’t so lucky. She was wearing a strapless bra that decided to relocate to her waist during the dance! Since she was dancing an all-around heat (four dances in a single segment), she just kept dancing and smiling as if nothing was happening!
Back when I was competing in Hungary, my partner accidentally punched my nose during a dance and it started bleeding heavily. Since we were in the lead, we could not stop.
The closest thing was the buffet table, so we grabbed a bunch of napkins and stuffed them in my nose. We continued to dance until the end of the competition with napkins sticking out of my nose – and we won!.
Even in Broadway shows, it appears to the audience that it is a perfect performance when, in fact, so many things are going wrong. The right backdrop doesn’t come down, singers forget the lyrics so cues are off, the band changes the timing and numerous costumes are coming apart. But the audience has no clue.
One of the things we teach in dance performance is to be prepared for anything and never let the audience see you sweat. Because dancers are so aware when they see other performances, they know there is much more going on behind scenes that meets the eye.
Sandro Virag is a partner and instructor at Hilton Head Ballroom Dance Studio of Hilton Head, located in Bluffton at Seaquins Ballroom. hiltonheadballroom.com