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5 Steps to overcome stage fright in dancing

Elena Anashina Photography

10 minutes before getting on the dance floor to compete or do a show. Your muscles are tensing and you start shaking. Your stomach feels twisted and on top of that you can't remember your choreography. This is what every dancer goes through. The key is to learn how to deal with it. Here are 5 ways to help you overcome stage fright before your performance.

1. Warm up before getting on the floor

All athletes warm up before their competitions, so should you as a dancer. The idea of a warm up is to wake up your brain and body to get them into "performance mode". Walking around will definitely not help your locksteps or a frame. Get hot, get sweaty and then get ready for the competition.

2. Plan your whole day of competition

The more time you spend on planning, the less stressed you'll be on the day. Estimate how long everything will take you- from getting to the venue, warming up, finishing make-up and hair, having a coffee etc. Develop a routine and make sure that you're ready to "perform" 30 minutes before your show. If you're too early, you will lose focus, if you're too late, you will stress out.

3. The power of pep talk

You're about to go on stage and these thoughts go through your head:

- everyone is better than me

- people will judge me that i'm an awful dancer

- I can't remember my choreography

We're all so good at telling ourselves how rubbish we are. Well, STOP it and do it NOW!

Before I get to perform I say these to myself:

I'm the best dancer out there.

I look amazing and I dance even better.

I am going to show everyone how dancing is done.

Everyone will love me.

Remember, it takes time to start believing in yourself so practice it. Oh yeah, it's not about getting big headed, but simply building your self-esteem.

4. Practice how to handle mistakes

Everyone can make mistakes on a dance floor. The best performers know how to deal with them. For many dancers, messing up a piece in a choreography seems the end of the world and that's the problem. We don't realize the size of the mistake in the total picture. Most often, noone even notices that except you.

Instead of beating yourself up in your head for the rest of your choreography, say to yourself- It's ok, I'm great! Then simply get on with your dancing. If you don't focus on your mistakes, the audience won't either.

5. Keep doing it over and over again

Performing and dancing in front of others may be so nerve-racking. However, if you keep repeating what you fear the most, your brain will adapt to it. That's why doing the same bungee jump repeatedly will not be as exciting as it was the first time round. You will get more confident and start enjoying to perform.

Performance is exciting and enjoyable if you know how to approach it. Now, practice.



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