No matter what kind of dancer you are or where you plan to take your dance career, getting nervous about an upcoming performance is something we’ve all been through. You’ve been gearing up to a big performance for months, and now, you just feel like something could still go wrong once you’re in the spotlight. Feeling this way can make it hard to perform at your best, so finding a routine that helps you avoid stage fright is important.
It can be difficult, but one of the best things to do to prevent stage fright is to direct your focus away from the things that make you nervous. This could mean working on putting the audience out of your mind, forgetting about the spotlight, and more. It all depends on what contributes to your stage fright. The most important thing is to consciously direct your thoughts to positive things. Focus on your love for the choreography, your skill, and what it will feel like once you have successfully completed the performance.
You’re probably already practicing for your upcoming performance. Practicing is obviously important for learning the choreography, but what might not be so obvious is how practicing helps you combat stage fright. Over time, practicing helps you develop reflexes for performing the steps. Making the performance second nature like this is important because even if you are anxious, your performance reflexes will kick in and help you continue to move flawlessly through the choreography. So, practice, practice, practice until you could do the performance in your sleep (or on stage).
Stretching is part of your everyday routine and your warm-up, but it should also be part of your pre-performance routine to prevent performance anxiety. Why? Stretching is a relaxing activity that will help you get into the right mindset to perform. Stretch for a few minutes right before your performance, focusing on deep stretches like lunges to get you to peak performance readiness.
Breathing is important for calming down performance anxiety and preventing it. If you feel anxious, focus on deep, steady breaths until you feel centered and ready to perform. Even if you aren’t worried about taking the stage, going through some breathing exercises before it’s time to perform will help you go out there more focused and energized than you might if you just ran right on stage.