How to calm dance recital nerves
As summer comes near, we are entering “recital season”. It’s a great time for students to get to showcase what they’ve been working on to their loved ones! While dance recitals are an exciting time, they can also make children very nervous. For many, this will be their first time on a stage with loads of eyes watching them. We’ve complied a list of how to help your child feel comfortable and confident leading up to their big performance.
It is very important for your child to feel prepared going into recital. Make sure your child attends every scheduled dance lesson in the weeks leading up to the performance. It is also very important to attend any rehearsals leading up to recital, as your child will get familiar with the stage he/she will be performing on.
2. Do your homework!
Helping your child practice their routine at home can also make a huge difference. Many students only get dance class once a week. Making time at home for them to practice can help them remember the routine, as well as get them more used to the idea of people watching them perform!
3. Breathing and stretching
If you notice your child is having performance anxiety, have them slow down and take deep breaths. This will activate the relaxation response and calm the nervous system. Stretching will also help to relieve nerves, and get your dancer warmed up for their performance.
4. Positive Affirmations
A lot of the time nerves can come from overthinking everything that can go wrong. “what if I forget the steps?” “What if I fall on stage?” “What if I look funny dancing?” As a parent, you can remind your child of all the reasons their performance will be great. Saying things like “You’re going to have so much fun dancing with your friends.” And “I’m so happy you’re going to share your dance with us!” will help your dancer focus on more positive emotions.
Pre-performance nerves are very common and actually healthy. Many older, more experienced dancers still get anxiety and actually use those nerves to help benefit their performance. As a parent, we of course want to help our child feel confident and at ease. Helping your dancer feel prepared, practicing calming techniques, and giving your child positive affirmations will all make a huge difference when your dancer hits the stage!