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STAGE FRIGHT: Any advice?
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Author:  C4dance [ Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:02 pm ]
Post subject:  STAGE FRIGHT: Any advice?

I recently got back into dancing after years without it (sadly). The few "recitals" I was in when I was 12/13 years old I had such severe stage fright that I forgot the choreography, was completely off the counts, etc...it was horrifying.

Next month my college is having its semester Dance Production (it's a three day production), and I'm in four of the dance pieces. Not only am I still struggling to remember the choreography (and trying to actually make it look good), but I'm scared the same thing will happen again during this performance. I feel a lot more pressure now because I don't want to make my fellow dancers or choreographers look bad or disappoint them- after all, you're only as strong as your weakest link (i.e., me).

Aside from mastering the choreography, does anyone have any advice for managing stage fright or methods to overcome it?
(I'm the same way with public speaking, I used to have to take anxiety medication before giving speeches in school because I'd be so nervous I'd start hyperventilating...so embarrassing).

Any help would be awesome!

Author:  Gina Ness [ Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: STAGE FRIGHT: Any advice?

Hello, C4dance... Even as a principal dancer with a major company, I still was nervous before my performances. It comes with the territory! What pulls you through is how well rehearsed you are, focusing on the music, and just allowing yourself to perform after all the preparation. Try not to doubt yourself. Create a routine before your performances... Something that makes you feel grounded and prepared... Eating a light meal, getting to the theater in plenty of time, warming up properly, and going over your performance in your mind... These are just some examples... Good luck!

Author:  C4dance [ Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: STAGE FRIGHT: Any advice?

Thank you! I will definitely try all of those suggestions.

Author:  djmuirhead [ Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: STAGE FRIGHT: Any advice?

Hey

visit this website on information on stage fright

http://www.public-speaking-anxiety-tips.com

The information there is mainly for public speaking fear but the principles can be applied to dance.

Thanks

Author:  Elida [ Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: STAGE FRIGHT: Any advice?

Hi C4Dance,

There have already been some great suggestions mentioned, so all I can really add are couple of suggestions that have previously helped both myself and students of mine:

• Ask for a copy of the music and listen to it at night as you go to sleep visualising your (successful!) execution of it – this practice aids memory of the choreography itself, and also is proven to decrease stage fright and improve confidence on the day.

• Practice the choreography until it becomes so second nature to you that you are no longer frightened of it, and it becomes impossible to imagine that you could ever forget it. [One additional tip for this is to record the piece to watch again and again at home, write down the steps and read them back, and practice on your own with either the video or the music].

• Learn to juggle or some similar physical brain-consuming activity, so that on the day, if you find you are panicking, you can do something that should entirely take your mind off it long enough to calm down and re-focus. [Sometimes this is more beneficial than trying to remember/practice the choreography just prior to a performance, for if you happen to have a ‘brain melt’ moment at that point due to nerves it is easy to become more convinced that it will go wrong on stage - almost adding an unnecessary negative self-fulfilling prophecy].

• Learn some calming breathing/meditation type techniques (I am sure there are numerous free online guides), as this can help both immediately prior to a performance, and also to execute when listening to the music/practicing the choreography at home to begin to associate a sense of calm with the dance itself.

Hope those are some help!

Kindest Wishes,
Elida

Author:  C4dance [ Sat May 12, 2012 7:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: STAGE FRIGHT: Any advice?

Thank you all SO much, this has all been so helpful. The performance is in 2 weeks, so I'm practicing like crazy and working on not allowing myself to dwell on negative thoughts & fears.

Author:  Gina Ness [ Thu May 17, 2012 9:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: STAGE FRIGHT: Any advice?

Wishing you "Merde" for your performance! Above all, enjoy!

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