Embarrassing things happen. They always have and they always will.
There is no “Embarrassment Spray Guard”, so we’d best learn to expect it and be ready to deal with it in the best possible way.
What would you do if:
- You pass gas loudly while doing a Paso Doble leap in your lesson with a famous dance coach?
- You notice your sweater is inside out, with its large tag sticking out, while teaching a class?
- You notice your fly is unzipped in the middle of taking your DVIDA® professional certification exam?
- Your dress strap slips or breaks at a dance competition revealing your breast?
- You are gossiping about someone at a dance party when you realize that person is standing right behind you and heard what you said?
I remember walking down the street with a “friend” when I tripped on an uneven part of the sidewalk. As I stumbled clumsily to catch my balance, he laughed and remarked, “You’re not very graceful for a dancer.” I would have preferred he simply said, “Are you all right?”
What reaction would you like from yourself and others when you do something embarrassing? Certainly we do not want to feel shamed or mortified.
Here are suggestions on how to handle embarrassing moments…
…as both the person who is embarrassed and as the person who witnesses the embarrassment.
Passing Gas (sorry to keep harping on it!)
- Person Who Did It: Say, “Excuse me.”
- Witness: Say, “It happens!”
Clothing Inside Out, etc.
- Person Who Did It: Say, “Guess I must have been a bit sleepy when I got dressed this morning!”
- Witness: Say, “Yes, I’ve done that too!”
- Person Who Did It: Zip it up and say nothing ~OR~ Say, “Sorry about that.”
- Witness: Say nothing ~OR~ Say, “No big deal—it happens to everyone at some point.”
Dress Breaks, Pants Fall Down, etc.
- Person Who Did It: Say, “Wow, that wasn’t part of the act!”
- Witness: Say (jokingly), “We didn’t mind.”
Someone Hears You Gossiping About Them
- Person Who Did It: Say, “I’m so sorry. I feel terrible saying that about you and I’ve learned my lesson.”
- Witness: Say (jokingly), “No problem—you’ll receive a letter from my lawyer tomorrow.” ~OR~ If it seems the person is genuinely sorry, just say, “Okay.” (Ultimately we do best if we can just forgive and forget.)
The best solution to all of this might be to recast what we mean by embarrassing in the first place. If embarrassing moments happen on a regular basis, then it would be wise to hold them as things that happen in life, without putting any judgment on them.
Wouldn’t that make the dance world and the entire world a better place to live?
Share your embarrassing dance moment in the comments below!
What embarrassing thing did you do or witness, and how did you/other people react?