Dancing sick?


New member
I have a performance tomorrow! I have a solo to do, been looking forward to it, the only problem is I just caught this terrible cold! I feel awful, runny nose, yucky mucus,and now it's a cough, no fever though. I'm curious, has anyone danced sick before? I have my hair appointment today, and trying to do all the little things that I do before my show. I'm just worried about feeling this awful! Have you just sucked it up and danced under the weather? I would hate to cancel at the last minute, I'm already number 3 in the lineup of dancers, a lot of my friends will be there, I would just hate to not show up! What would you do?:(


Super Moderator
If I were very ill and had only a solo performance in a program of other dancers, I'd bail for everyone's sake, including my own. If I were coughing and sneezing I'd bail even if (maybe especially if) it was a gig in a restaurant or private party. I would only consider toughing it out if I could hide how I was feeling and then only when the venue allowed me to keep my distance from people.

I NEVER go to the hairdresser when I'm sick. The hairdresser works close to clients and he doesn't need to get sick, too.


Super Moderator
Sorry to hear you are unwell, it's shame when you are looking forward to performing, but as Shanazel said, maybe it is better to cancel, so the bugs aren't shared:) & for your own wellbeing as well.


"The Veiled Male"
Two stories:

1) The Wednesday before a DDF performance years back, I was in the Dr.'s office: "I'm sick, and have a performance on Saturday.". Friday morning I was back, and told the Doc "That didn't work, I have a solo performance tomorrow, DO SOMETHING.". He did, and I performed. To this day, I haven't a CLUE what I did, something involving a veil - I'm sure it wasn't very good...

2) One of my instructors performed very sick. She did half her choreography - at half speed. Thus was born her fantastic style of SLOW dancing.



AFK Moderator
yup and I have had friends who danced sick becuase there was no way for that we would get out of a professional gig last minute. Also one had been flown into another province for it and she was their guest performer. For the sniffles I would take some over the counter meds, some hot water with ginger and lemon, and blow my nose before going on and perform. However if I was dying of sickness then that is a whole other matter and it would have to be horribly bad for me to back out of a performance.

Most people under stand if you are so sick with the flu you are dying but many are not that happy if you back out for sniffles. They might say it is ok but they will remember. Seen that happen.


New member
I've never danced sick because my immune system is rather fragile and in general I try and avoid public contact when I might be infectious. Which is especially hard when you are a student or your have a customer service job. I think if you feel like you can do it with out infecting others go for it.

I do on the other hand agree with because if you can avoid doing something like getting your hair/nails done. A completely optional thing, going to school is also "optional" but different optional context, I would because it isn't worth infecting someone who most likely gets paid in accordance to customers they can take.


If you have a cold and your nose is running like a tap it would be hard to perform just due to practical reasons. If it's not too bad it might not be too much of a problem. I have danced ill so often, but never with a runny nose thankfully. I don't know if it's a paid gig or not but if it's non paid I wouldn't go, if it's paid you might have to if you can do it.

Greek Bonfire

Well-known member
I've danced sick and in fact, did better IMHO only because I wasn't "overthinking" some things except to stay upright. The idea of performing got me going and to keep me from getting depressed from being sick, if that makes sense. Once it was offer, then I did give in to it. Of course, it depends on the sickness.


New member
Try putting Vick's Vapour Rub on your chest,neck and under your nose the night before... If that gives you some relief you could try putting some under your nose just before you perform... that should clear your sinus's temporarily... don't put it on your chest and then put your costume on... you'd be looking for the thread about costume smells and ozone machines if you did... Good Luck


New member
I think this is calling for "Do as I say, not as I do"-advice :lol: (I have even tought classes with a broken toe :rolleyes:)

However, dancing while sick will put double pressure on your body. Although thanks to the "happiness hormones" that kick in when you dance/perform you might not even feel a thing when you're on stage. It is crucial to stay hydrated, be well warmed up before dancing, and it is really important to not let your body cool down too abruptly after the dancing.

As for what Greek Bonfire said - sometimes indeed dancing when not being your usual self can bring new qualities to dance. i realised that a few years back, when I had just landed from an intense workshop, had to drive for 3 hours and perform in a show. I was quite tired, but when I watched the video from my performance, I didn't see that. But what I did see was a very flowy and free.


New member
Thank you all for your thoughts, I really appreciated your advice. Just wanted to follow up to this thread, I actually went ahead and did perform, I was feeling much better after plenty of rest, and the day of the performance actually ended up being my best yet! The organizer of the show (hafla) even called me to thank me and said that she thought I was "amazing". So it was worth it! Thanks again! :D