On Halloween afternoon, October 31, 1991, my student and I were practicing our student/teacher showcase routine. My student (I’ll call him Keil*), had been taking lessons with me for many years.
Keil came up with an idea for a humorous routine called “Dance Student’s Revenge”. It was about a student getting back at his teacher for being constantly corrected and pushed so hard.
I must preface this with I really don’t think that what happened next was on purpose. It was just one of those things that can happen in partner dancing, especially on Halloween.
As we were practicing, there was a moment where I felt something was going to happen. Keil suddenly switched the direction of an underarm turn that was supposed to be to the right, and…Boom! His elbow swung across my face like a bat, striking the bridge of my nose.
Everyone in the ballroom heard the sound. I stumbled a few feet. Mascara was pouring down my face and blood was dripping on my costume. The skeleton pin I’d fastened to my dress was festively blinking away as I sat in shock.
The next thing I remember was lying in the staff lounge and opening my eyes to see eight faces looking at me like this:
My nose was broken and I looked like a veteran boxer. My staff called my husband, who came and whisked me away to the emergency room (ER).
At the ER, they took my husband away to be interrogated. The hospital staff wasn’t buying the story that “My student broke my nose while dancing Tango.” Fortunately, that got cleared up, but not my nose. It was too late to set it, so I had to wait 2 weeks before getting a righteous nose job.
As luck would have it, my student had “freak accident insurance”. It covered my time off from work and the surgery.
You’re probably wondering, “Did Keil continue to take lessons from you? Were you angry? How did your nose come out?”
I wasn’t mad at Keil. However, he was freaked out and chose to stop taking lessons with me. And I do like my nose—definitely an improvement from the original. So a happy Halloween ending after all!
Is there a moral to this story? If you have an accident, make sure your spouse/partner/significant other has a good alibi!
* Keil: A nickname for someone who’s clumsy or awkward.