If I said that I was never nervous about performing, then I would be lying. Being someone who explores the world of dance, drama and has dipped a toe into the world of singing, I’ve come to the realisation that stage fright is something completely normal- In fact, I consider it a good thing. Throughout my years as a performer I’ve developed some “anti-anxiety” methods that help me find my bearings before I take the stage…
It sounds obvious, I know, but believe it or not a lot of pre-performance jitters tend to come from self-doubt because you don’t feel prepared. If you need practice- practice. If you have injuries or illnesses then be prepared- have everything you could possibly need packed and ready to go (that doesn’t mean frantically running around the night before the big day trying to scramble up everything because I assure you, you will forget something. Pack in advanced and have a checklist!). Overall, you’ll feel more confident because you subconsciously feel ready.
Find a Friend.
Whether that means finding a buddy to chill with backstage at your concert or bringing someone you trust backstage for your first comp. Even just knowing that you have loved ones in the audience who believe in you and can’t wait to see you perform can help calm your nerves. I remember my first dance concert as a junior was a scary one for me because we didn’t have as many chaperones backstage as we did when we were bubs. I remember that me and my friend made a pact! That we always stayed together no matter what. With the help of my bestie, a Nintendo and mums big fluffy jumper… I got through it with no problem at all. As long as you remember that dance is meant to be fun, you’ll do great.
If all else fails!
5-4-3-2-1. If you’re still struggling to shake that stage fright, then try this method. Close your eyes and take a nice deep breath. Now open them for me. Look around you and find 5 things that make you happy that you can see. It might be flowers, or it might be another dancers costume. Anything that puts a smile on your face. Now I want you to find 4 things that you can feel. Curtains, water bottles, bobby pins. Go around and grab 4 things that make you happy. Now 3 things that you can hear… Focus on each one individually. 2 things you can smell and finally one thing that you can taste. This works for me every single time and it’s fun to see what different things draw my attention from performance to performance.
Now go strut that stage with confidence. Remember, being nervous is good for you. If you’re doing something in life that makes you feel nervous, then it means you’re not playing it safe and you’re putting yourself on the path to new experiences. New experiences equal new knowledge and lead to new passions. You got this!
Miss Maddie x