With the big Holiday recital quickly approaching, I want to take this time to focus on some issues I commonly see while teaching young dancers. Stage Fright…EKKK! Anyone can get stage fright; it happens to the best of us, from a tiny tot ballerina’s first dance show to professionals of all ages, we all have to deal with stage fright. Here are my top 4 tips for avoiding stage fright!
- Practice your dance steps to music and say your steps out loud: It is so important to start to work on memorizing the order of the dance moves in your dance, and how they should look, both in front of the mirror and without the mirror. Try your costume and practice your dance daily, repetition helps memory. The adrenaline of performance will kick in on the actual show day, but it is important for young dancers to know the routine so they can pick up on the cues from their teacher. Dancers should be prepared to go onstage by themselves, gaining confidence and poise every time they do. Also, think about how much better you will feel after you dance! Keep dancers thinking about the memories, pictures and applause they will receive and feel when they have completed their performance.
- Perform for your stuffed animals, or anyone who will watch! The best idea is to practice performing for an audience that is easy to please! Not to mention, they cannot talk back or give negative feedback! Have dancers perform for their favorite stuffed animals at home to practice looking at them while they dance, and pretend it is an audience full of people! This way dancers will feel comfortable with their beloved toys and stuffed animals and enjoy the performance aspect of dancing.
- Be prepared! Start getting ready a week ahead of time by packing your bag, planning for snacks and water and prepping your performance tights, shoes and warm-ups. Have a checklist for packing the items in your dance bag and label all of your items that you want to keep. Remember everyone will have the same gear, maybe every pack a few backups or emergency type items.
Don’t forget on your checklist:
- Snacks and water bottle
- Warm up clothing
- Hair and makeup supplies
- Post-show dress up outfit
- Clear nail polish to stop tights from running
- Dance shoes
- Good luck charm
- Plan for the worst and hope for the best: While practicing and thinking about the actual day of performance plan for the worst case scenario and plan solutions for it. What if your costume rips, you start the dance on the wrong count or your hairpiece falls out?? Whatever you do, remember to keep going no matter what! The more professional you act, the more the audience will not even notice your mistakes! Plus, its all about learning anyways!