Earlier this week, my research group (~6 students) was having a catered, buffet-style dinner with our faculty leader, who I'm close with (we'll call him Professor Bob), and a professor from a nearby college (Professor Alice), who is a well-known in the field of research. The latter professor had just given a talk at our college, and this was a combination of a question-and-answer session and a social event.
We were having dinner in a seminar room, at a rectangular table. I was the second student to arrive, and I put my coat on a chair on one side of the table, opposite another student. As I was going to get food, Professor Alice sat down in the chair next to mine. Other people filtered in, and eventually Professor Bob sat on the other side of me. The final arrangement had the three of us on one side, and three students on the other.
It was a little awkward for me. Partly, this was because Alice and Bob did most of the talking for the first half of the dinner (with students joining in for the second half), and so I was directly in between. Additionally, I felt singled out from my peers. I'm planning to do a project with both professors next semester, so I do want to get to know Professor Alice, but this was a bit awkward.
I wanted to switch seats; there was an open one on the side I could have taken. However, I thought that would be a combination of impolite and awkward.
Is there a way I could have changed my seat without offending anyone involved? What could I have said to get out of the situation?