Performing can be a very scary and nerve racking experience. Especially in the dance world, with the blaring white lights, loud music, big stage, and the many staring faces. Performances are an unavoidable aspect of the dance world, and they are truly not worth the nerves or fear.
Although going on stage and showing your moves might seem terrifying at first, once you complete a few performances, you start to appreciate the art which is a live performance. There is an audience there to just watch you (which may seem like the worst possible thing imaginable) which leaves you with a large opportunity. This opportunity is to be able to show your passion to others and express yourself with dance. All the lights and expectant eyes are there to see you and only you for your time on the stage, and some people don’t ever get to experience that thrill. If you are competing on stage that is an even bigger opportunity. There are judges there to watch you and critique you. Professional feedback from someone that doesn’t watch you dance everyday ( like your parents or dance instructors) is often hard to come by, so soak up every minute of this feedback, use it to improve your art. Feedback is one of the best ways to improve, so appreciate the opportunity to have people willing to give you their time and offer you their opinion.
Although I’m claiming that performing is an opportunity, I’m sure that many of you are thinking no way it is definitely not at all, I just want to get through the performance. These thoughts are totally understandable. So, here are some tips to “get through the performance.”
The most important piece of advice that I can give is to remember that messing up is okay. Making a mistake will not be the end of the world, and many times, no one will notice. You just have to KEEP DANCING, because people will are going to notice if you stop moving, where often times mistakes go unseen (especially by your parents and friends if they are not dancers).
Facial expressions make all the difference. Although it seems like your dancing should be the focal point, often it is the face, and a blank one is not interesting to watch. Facial expressions add that extra spice and flare to really bring the piece together. Even if it’s a smile, that’s better than nothing.
Practice, practice, practice. I have no doubt that you’ve heard this advice before, but it really is the most important and most beneficial piece of advice I can give you. Practicing will make you feel more confident and comfortable with the piece and if things start going awry, hopefully you can fall back on the muscle memory and keep the show going.
Dance is supposed to be fun, and if you are not enjoying yourself maybe it’s time to stop and think about why you are dancing. If you are not having fun, you shouldn’t be putting yourself through it. So, on that note, have some FUN!!! The audience can tell when dance is someone’s passion and when it isn’t, and truly loving the sport makes all the difference in the performance.
Before the big day, remind yourself that it’s okay to mess up and life will go on. Leading up to the day practice your heart out, and on the day of the performance, enjoy yourself and show everyone how fun and beautiful this sport is.