The show must go on, but don't let audience see you sweat


You have probably heard the phrase "whatever can go wrong, will go wrong." Well, it's no different on the dance floor.

One must be very creative fixing most of these problems on the spot because the spotlight is on and the show must go on.

I thought you might enjoy some of the real-life mishaps or situations that have occurred with some of my dancers and how they recovered.

Sondra Ammeen and I were at a competition and in line to begin. The announcers stated the next dance was a mambo.

Sondra looked at me with panic on her face and said, "I've never done a Mambo!"

I have to say we faked it pretty well - she just followed and made it happen.

Judi Kestenbaum was getting ready to go out on the dance floor, but her dress would not stay up. We grabbed some of the crystal bead decorations hanging from poles nearby and pinned them to the dress.

There might have been fewer 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 heat), she just kept dancing and smiling as if nothing was happening.

Marcia Adair was competing and kept feeling pain in her heel. When she had a minute to come off the floor, she looked at her foot and her heel was bleeding.

Having to go right back on the floor, she grabbed napkins off the buffet table, stuffed them in her shoe and went back out on the floor - napkins sticking out and all!

Even when I performed in Broadway shows, it appeared to the audience that it was a perfect performance when, in fact, so many things went wrong. The right background set didn't come down, singers forgot the lyrics so cues were off, the band changed the timing, and numerous costumes came apart.

Because it is always live, one of the things we teach in dance performance is to be prepared for anything, and never let the audience see you sweat.

As all dancers and other performers know, there is much more going on behind the scenes than meets the eye.

Sandro Virag is a partner and instructor at Fred Astaire Dance Studios of Hilton Head, located in Bluffton at Seaquins Ballroom.

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