Just Keep Dancing!

Recital time is hectic enough when everything goes right, but what about when something goes wrong? We asked you to share your funniest recital mishaps, and you delivered! Here are five of our favorites.


The Domino Effect

My 5-year-old daughter Leah is a spitfire with natural tap abilities—or so I thought. When she had her first tap recital, which I choreographed, I was smitten. She did so well in rehearsals and even practiced at home. At showtime, I was watching from the wings when Leah came out leading the conga line. But her shoelace came untied, and one by one the tappers behind her stepped on her shoelace and bumped into each other, falling like dominoes one at a time! Of course, Leah remained standing the whole time. —Brenda Thomas, Washington, DC


Kitty’s Cameo

During our Nutcracker snow scene, one of the theater’s cats, Pippin, decided to join the snowflakes onstage and curl up on the edge by the audience. Our director asked Clara to calmly walk out with the Snow Queen, scoop Pippin up and carry him offstage. Unfortunately, Pippin hates being touched—as soon as Clara bent down, he bolted, jumping straight toward an audience member! It was a performance the cast (and the audience) will never forget. —Ivy Elizabeth Lonnen, Ocala, FL


A Holey Day

I had been standing all day long while working backstage, and I needed to take some stress off my legs, so I decided to squat while watching the show. As I bent my knees, I caught my white linen pants on the corner of an electrical outlet sticking out of the wall behind me. My pants ripped, along with the skin underneath. I rushed around doing my best MacGyver impersonation, fixing the hole in my pants with a Barbie Band-Aid and safety pins. I carried my clipboard behind me and stayed standing for the rest of the show. —Alisa McCool, Birmingham, AL


Gulch’s Glitch

My studio’s recital theme was “The Wizard of Oz.” And when they needed a teacher to play Miss Gulch, I was the obvious choice due to my ability to ham it up. On recital day, I rode an old bicycle onstage, cackling and yelling, “I’ll get you and your little dog, too!” The audience loved it. I rode around the stage one time...two times...and then I went for a third—a lap I hadn’t practiced in rehearsal—but the crowd (and hubris) got the better of me. I felt the bicycle wheels slip out from under me, and I went sailing over the handlebars. And there I was, limbs splayed in the middle of the stage with 3,000 eyes on me. I bounced up and proclaimed (in character), “Well, that shut me up!” As the crowd laughed and clapped, I dragged myself and the bike offstage. Thankfully, nothing was broken (except my delicate pride), and I went on to ride two more times during intermission. —Mandy Brame Marxen, North Wikesboro, NC


Skirting Disaster

I was backstage at a recital, running music, calling cues and getting ready to go onstage myself. I ran onstage during the blackout. When the lights came up, I kick ball-change turned and...my skirt fell to my knees! I grabbed that skirt with my right hand and, smiling all the way, finished dancing with only my left arm moving. At the end of the show, I told all the students, “I’ve said it a thousand times: ‘What do you do when something goes wrong? Keep dancing and smiling!’” —Theresa L Baker, Bay City, MI


Illustration of "Kitty's Cameo" by Emily Giacalone

Allie Burke, courtesy Lo Cascio

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