Professions
Dance Disasters
The dance mishaps you don’t want to face
Last updated 24 Mar 2021

Whether you’re a professional dancer or a dance teacher, nothing compares to the excitement and adrenaline you get right before a performance or recital. Yet, even performers on international reality shows are not immune to bloopers and mishaps, as we were reminded a few months ago. If you’ve been lucky enough to avoid accidents or injuries yourself, chances are, you’ve probably at least witnessed one. Let’s take a look at some the things that can lead to an accident during a dance performance or lesson, and where insurance can step in and help provide some protection.

The overly-slippery floor

A floor that is too slippery is the first ingredient for disaster, unless your routines only consist of slides and spins. No matter how perfect your techniques and form are, a dangerously slippery floor can cause injury to even the most skilful dancer, so it should be one of the first things checked before booking a venue. If you fail to check this beforehand, and arrive at a venue where the floor is dangerously slippery, you might be tempted to try some quick fixes to make the floor less slippery.

But remember that quick fixes are not guaranteed to work for every type of dance or shoes, so attempt at your own risk. If you fail to take due care in assessing the surrounding environment before teaching a lesson, a student of yours could hold you liable if they suffer an injury, leading to an expensive claim for compensation.

Dropping a partner mid-lift

There’s a particular lift in an iconic dance movie that has probably been re-enacted by most dancers … yet imagine the consequences if this move went horribly wrong? No matter how graceful your dancers are or how strong those muscles are, any type of dance where there is contact has a possibility of injury to a partner.

And even if you and your students take all due care, accidents can still happen. If you teach dance and one student injures another, it is possible that there is a claim made, leading to costly litigation for the student responsible.

The dreaded costume mishap

Wardrobe malfunctions – they might be slightly entertaining when printed in magazines, but at a dance performance, they can cause enough distraction to throw the entire performance off. Few dancers can continue their dance if they sense their clothing is not in place.

If the dancer is not quick enough to subtly make their way off stage without causing a ruckus, a loose strip of net or lace can be hazardous to the rest of the performers while they’re performing as they could be easy to slip on. Again, if such an incident does occur, a student of yours could also claim this was due to your negligence and hold you liable for an injury they suffer.

 

 

A shoe goes flying into the audience

Similar to the wardrobe malfunction issue – these things may be amusing when they happen in movies and cartoons, but when they happen in real life, they’re not as laughable. Not only will the distraction of the dancer’s shoe cause issues of its own, but if an audience member is injured, you could end up with an expensive lawsuit on your hands.

If you’re in ballet, this might be less of an issue, but for dance types with heavier shoes, imagine the speed at which a shoe would travel if it was accidentally flung into the air - and imagine how painful the consequences could be. The most obvious way of ensuring this doesn’t happen is, of course, to make sure all the shoes are properly fitted. It’s not a wise idea to let a dancer perform if their shoes are not properly fitted – additions such as gel inserts and soles are intended to help protect the feet from pain, and should not be used as a fix for loose shoes. 

Insurance for Dance Teachers & Dancers

As you can see, a lot can go wrong when you’re teaching a dance lesson, or a holding a performance. And while consequences of such incidents can vary, some events can end up in expensive lawsuits against you and your business. There are many steps you can take to ensure your own safety and the safety of your students and audience, but sometimes, taking all the right steps isn’t enough, and accidents can still happen. This is why insurance is an important consideration for dancers and dance teachers.

Public Liability Insurance is designed to help protect you in the event you or your business are held liable for injury to someone or damage their property. It may cover reasonable defence costs as well as compensation you’re required to pay in this event. The Dance insurance arranged by Aon also includes student-to- student cover which provides protection in situations where one student is held liable for an injury suffered by another student.

 

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*Note: The purpose of this article is to outline some mishaps of virtual events. Not all mishaps stated above are covered by insurance. To find out more, contact the Entertainment Team.
 
© 2020 Aon Risk Services Australia Limited ABN 17 000 434 720 AFSL no. 241141 (Aon)
 
Event Protect Insurance is arranged by Aon Risk Services Australia Limited ABN 17 000 434 720 AFSL 241141 as agent for the insurer, XL Insurance Company SE, Australia Branch, ABN 36 083 570 441. If