When You're doing the Jitters Instead of the Jitterbug
Performance Anxiety & Stage Fright
Whether you dance for fun, a serious hobby, or professionally, performance anxiety, aka stage fright, is something that may be affecting you. If so, you are not alone. Even experienced professionals who have been performing for years can get a case of the "nerves", sometimes it can be severe and shake you right down to your dancing shoes.
Letting this anxiety get the better of you can not only detrimentally affect your execution of your numbers, but it can zap your personal enjoyment right out of the routine.
There are ways to combat these pre-performance nerves. Most of these are very simple methods and can help not only with performance anxiety, but any anxiety.
Being prepared can go a long way in boosting your confidence and create a sense of calmness in the performer. Practice routines over and over. Make sure to not only practice in private, but in front of an audience, even if it's only family and friends. Practice until you no longer have to think about what your next move is, just let your dancing shoes and muscle memory guide you. Once you realize that you have your number down pat, you will feel much more secure when it comes time to perform at a competition.
Your physical health plays an important part in your mental outlook. When you feel good, your mental health improves tenfold. Don't let a case of the nerves get the better of you and cause you to forget to eat and stay hydrated. All your worst fears could come true if you pass out from skipping meals or get dizzy during your routine and lose your concentration.
When the negative voices in your head start chiming in with their opinions, drown them out with your own personal internal cheerleader. Tell yourself how great you are doing and how talented you are - keep it up until you can't hear the negative thoughts any longer.
Breathing techniques are very useful for slowing down your heart rate and creating an overall sense of calm. Immediately prior to a performance practice breathing techniques to allay your fears and anxieties.
Visualization is also a powerful tool. You picture yourself performing your routine flawlessly over and over again up until the time of your number.
Engage those around you through, eye contact, smiles and small talk. The socialization will take your mind of your anxieties and will keep you from sitting in the corner wringing your hands. Time will fly by and before you know it, it's time to put on your dancing shoes.