5 Embarrassing Dance Comp Moments
Once you have danced in competitions for a few years, you are bound to have collected some cringe-worthy memories of things that have either gone wrong with your own performance, or mishaps that have occurred during the routines of others. Having danced in competitions for around 16 years and then had my own students compete since I started teaching, I have built up a collection of memories that while at the time may not have been funny, are actually hilarious to look back on now! Here is a snapshot of what I have seen over the years of what appear to be the five most embarrassing dance comp moments!
- You forgot your dance! Even though you knew that routine really well, you still managed to forget it! You then proceeded to make the entire thing up or run off the stage in embarrassment. While I never did the latter as a dance student, I certainly had many times I made up parts of my routines! The one I remember most clearly was when I was around 7 years old and I had invited my Grade 1 teacher to come and watch me perform my classical solo. I literally did the first 10 seconds of the dance and then forgot it. The rest of the routine consisted of gallop and hop for the entire remainder of the dance! Awkward.
- Your music played up! Even though you had used that CD time and again, on this particular day, it just did not want to play (and you had forgotten to bring your back up copy too). While in this day and age many competitions let you use electronic devices for music, which is far more reliable, some still request the use of CDs. As we all know, any mark on a CD can cause the music to jump or skip forward to a different section of the routine. Worst case scenario, it won’t play at all. I personally experienced a few times when my music jumped or skipped but probably the most memorable music situation for me was when the Senior Ballet Troupe I was dancing in had to perform without music because my teacher had accidentally left the music at home. It was such a unique experience as you could have heard a pin drop while we were performing on stage. I think it was one of the best performances we had done as a group as we had to rely so heavily on watching each other due to having no musical cues!
- You had a costume malfunction! Why did that headpiece stay on throughout your five rehearsals prior to performing but then decide to fall off the minute you stepped onto the stage? Costume malfunctions are always embarrassing but if it’s any consolation, it happens all the time at comps! In my time I have seen a petticoat fall down from under a dress and the poor child finish the dance with it around her ankles; a halter-neck tutu come undone where the child pulled it back up and finished the dance holding it up with her chin; pants split to reveal all different colours of underwear underneath and hairpieces galore fall out and litter the stage. While embarrassing at the time, generally these moments provide a laugh later down the track when you look back at them.
- Your props seemed to have a mind of their own! You practiced with your props many times in class but if it’s going to go wrong, it seems to always happen on stage! Many years ago I used a fan as part of a Cinderella demi-character solo. I practised with that fan during every single private lesson. It literally lived in my dance bag! Despite this, while dancing in a classical champ, I dropped my fan, managed to retrieve it by working it into the storyline of the dance (by now I was feeling pretty happy with myself!) but then managed to drop it again and accidentally kick it with my foot on the next step! Obviously, the dance would have looked a bit of a mess by then but the show goes on and I performed that routine many more times over the following few years with much less drama!
- You forgot your number during presentations! This is probably the most awkward of all competition blunders! At some eisteddfods all awards are presented on stage while at others, it is just the championship sections that follow this format. While it never happened to me (thank goodness!), there have been quite a few times over the years where I have seen someone happily curtsey when their supposed number has been called out but it turned out they were not actually that number and it was the person next to them! While it is not the end of the world, it can definitely be rather embarrassing!
Have you had an embarrassing moment at a comp? We would love to hear about it! Please comment below! After all, a good laugh can never hurt anybody!
Director – Dance Stream Victoria