What I Learned From A Performance Fail

Failure is success if we learn from it.

~ Malcolm Forbes

I’ve made all kinds of mistakes during performances. Most are ones that only I’ve noticed.

A few have been mistakes that my fellow performers noticed.

And fortunately, I can think of only one or two that the audience may have noticed!

IMAGE The word FAIL in red. IMAGE

One particular performance “fail” that comes to mind occured while I was dancing in a small ensemble. We were well-rehearsed and the dance felt second-nature. However, repetitiveness was the nature of this particular piece of choreography and its accompaniment.

For whatever reason, one night during a performance, I lost my place in the dance. It was a brief lapse but enough to affect the interactions between performers. Fortunately, it didn’t take long to regain our footing and rescue the dance.

I was reminded how important communication, eye contact, trust, and support are during a performance. I’m quite sure that my fellow performers saw something in my eyes even before they felt the choreography start to derail. It was their immediate, all-for-one response that quickly led us back to a place we all recognized.

We continued, probably with no one or very few the wiser. I was shaken but recovered.

What I learned is that developing strong relationships in rehearsal can save the performance in its moment of weakness.

Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm.

 ~ Winston Churchill

Some other bloggers want to share what THEY learned from a performance fail:

Dancing Tales: Blunders

Sasha of Dancerology shares her experience on self-encouragement through challenges in dancing — from daily practice to auditions, she presents her latest “blunders” with candor and invites you to share your own.

Jade Belly Dance

Jade ponders performance failures and decides its not the dancing itself that has caused regret… her biggest fails have happened off stage! She shares two important lessons that you, too, can learn from, plus an inspirational video of famous folks that failed then suceeded.

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.

~ Henry Ford

What have you learned from YOUR performance fails?
Tell us in the comments.

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Nichelle (owner/editor)
Nichelle Suzanne is a writer specializing in dance and online content. She is also a dance instructor with over 20 years experience teaching in dance studios, community programs, and colleges. She began Dance Advantage in 2008, equipped with a passion for movement education and an intuitive sense that a blog could bring dancers together. As a Houston-based dance writer, Nichelle covers dance performance for Dance Source Houston, Arts+Culture Texas, and other publications. She is a leader in social media within the dance community and has presented on blogging for dance organizations, including Dance/USA. Nichelle provides web consulting and writing services for dancers, dance schools and studios, and those beyond the dance world.
Nichelle (owner/editor)
Nichelle (owner/editor)
Nichelle (owner/editor)


  1. This is a great reminder to all of us that it is often through failure that we grow – and that the relationships that we build are what can help us get through the difficult times. Failure and disappointment are not quite the same thing, but they are certainly related. My all-time favorite post about disappointment is still the one you wrote in 2010 – Helping Dancers Deal With Disappointment. It applies to everyone, not just dancers.

    By the way – Happy Blog Birthday!