Show term is fast approaching and for some students this is the highlight of their dance year, for others the thought of stepping on stage can be terrifying! We often watch dancers give mind-blowing performances in the studio but when it comes to stepping on stage this doesn’t seem to translate, normally this is due to stage fright/performance anxiety. Below are our Top Tips for coping with Stage Fright.
What is Stage Fright?
Stage fright symptoms vary from person to person and also vary in intensity. Some people may experience sweaty palms while others may feel dizzy or faint. Generally, we experience these symptoms because our body is entering what science calls ‘fight or flight’ response. Charles Darwin identified this fight or flight reaction as a natural mechanism that has allowed humans to survive and evolve - by fleeing from danger or fighting to the death. Although your conscious mind knows that you won't actually die from dancing in front of others, your subconscious mind triggers a response as though you might. Why? Because as human beings we like to uphold our reputation and there is a risk of failing or embarrassing ourselves when performing on stage - crazy huh!
Tips for Dealing with Stage Fright
Practice! The better you know your routine the less nervous you will be about forgetting it on stage. Practice is also good for muscle memory, meaning your muscles will take over if your mind blanks.
Breathe! Focusing on deep slow breaths can help calm your nerves. Take note of your breathing patterns before performing and focus on breathing in for 5 counts and then releasing all tension when breathing out.
Stretch! Before stepping on the stage avoid watching the performances before continuously running over your routine in your head. Instead find a quiet corner to stretch and focus on your body and that breathing.
Accept It! Accepting your nerves is a great way to take control of them. Accept that you’re going to get nervous before performing and that it is actually quite normal and then think about all of the reasons why you love to perform instead. It’s amazing how effective a simple mindset change can be.
Want to join us for our end of year show? It’s not too late >> click here to send us a quick message and jump in a class for the start of Term 4.