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6 ways to overcome pre-show nerves

Stepup Academy, Four Seasons show 2015
You’re standing in the wings; costume sparkling, make-up perfected, hair sleeked, dance buddies giggling excitedly – you’re ready to go!
Then the nerves hit.. sweaty palms, wobbly knees, you turn to your friend -“how does this dance start again??!”
Don’t panic!
Stage nerves are perfectly normal, in fact top professional performers still admit to getting cases of the pre-stage jitters. It’s how you deal with them that counts. Here’s 6 of our top tips to help calm your stage nerves so that you can give your best performance.

1- Rehearse. Ok, so if it’s show day it may be too late, but the more time you can put into practicing your routine before the performance the more confident you will be. (See our top tips for remembering dance choreography here

2- Breathe. Slowly. Deep, slow breaths in, and deep slow breaths out. This will help slow your heart rate which will likely be racing, calm your nerves and help you focus on the performance ahead.

3- Think positively about you putting on your best performance. You’ve been practicing hard, you are ready! Try not to worry about what could go wrong and instead imagine yourself performing the steps perfectly and enjoying the experience on stage.

4- Focus. The nerves you are feeling right now are a perfectly natural ‘fight or flight’ reflex the human body feels when it feels threatened – dating back to our caveman years when it was a natural survival instinct in the wild. Try to focus that extra, nervous, adrenaline-pumping energy into something positive – additional energy to put on your best performance!

5- Fake it. Not advice you will normally hear from your dance teacher, however in the case of performance confidence ‘fake it til you make it’ may be applied. In the grips of a case of pre-stage jitters a beaming stage smile may be far from your current expression, however, you’re a dancer – put on your best performance face and get ready to go out and wow the crowd. I guarantee once you are out on the stage, focusing that energy on giving your best performance for your audience that expression will become a real one.

6. Keep going. What if you forget a step? Always keep going. Try not to panic, keep breathing and keep moving until you can catch up with where the other dancers are. The audience is unlikely to notice your missed step if you keep smiling and keep going!

Break a leg everyone! 

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