Do You Have Stage Fright?

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Butterflies in your stomach while your stomach is turning in knots. Sweaty palms. Chills. These are classic signs of the onset of stage fright. But have no fear! Below are five amazing tips to overcome stage fright and have your best performance yet!

1. Breathe/Relax

Breathing is essential for just about any and everything in life. Performing is no different. When you are taking deep breaths, you are allowing oxygen to circulate and reach your muscles as well as your brain. As a result, you are able to think clearly and move with ease. Tensing up only restricts your movement and ability to remember choreography.  Centering yourself makes all the difference when you are nervous in the moment.  

Try This: Inhale deeply filling your stomach with air as you count to ten. Slowly exhale as you count to ten breathing air out of your mouth. Repeat this 3-5 times until you feel calm.

2. Visualize

Visualizing your routine before you perform is a great way to relax and prepare yourself for the stage. Not only is visualizing calming, but the act is actually metaphysically creating the successful outcome you desire! If you see yourself in your mind’s eye performing well, you are more likely to live this out in reality. Think as if and it shall be!

Try This: Lay down and close your eyes while listening to your routine music. Next, visualize yourself performing and feel yourself executing all your moves with ease and confidence. Visualize yourself ending as the crowd cheers you on! Repeat this again, but this time stand up and actually mark your movements so you are physically grounded and aware of your body.

3. Stay Present

One of the best ways to overcome nerves is to stay present in the moment! On numerous occasions I have done an entire dance and had no recollection of what I did after I finished. Even worse, is when you are thinking about what the audience is thinking! When you perform you need to be focused on giving the best performance of your life! As artists and athletes, our goal is to entertain and give our audience the best experience possible. You can’t do this if your mind is elsewhere. To stay present, mindfully think about each move as you do it. Some performers create stories for their movements. Others sing along with the routine music. Whatever you do, just make sure you live in the moment. If you let your mind drift there is a definite possibility that you will lose focus, blank out and forget your next move. So stay focused and present!

4. Keep Going

There are those times when we have a moment where we lose ourselves and lose focus. Missing a step or not executing a move is shocking but it does happen. The best thing to do in this situation is to keep going! The audience does not know your routine, thus they have no idea you messed up unless you tell them (with your face or body language). Most often when you feel like you messed up, you actually didn’t do as bad as you think. Looking back at video footage you might find that you can’t even see your error! So the moral of the story is to keep going and act as if the mess up never happened! Have an attitude of style, grace, determination, and confidence as you finish your routine strong and unfazed by any obstacles that were in your way!

5. Have Fun

Of course performing is stressful at times but the whole point is to have fun and let your hard work speak for itself. Trust in the fact that you are an expert at what you do and you are well prepared.  Remember why you are performing and also how blessed you are to do what you love!

Even the most seasoned professional experience nerves and stage fright. No one is exempted. The fact that the nerves are present show how strongly you feel about having a great performance. Incorporating these tips will guarantee your performance is a showstopper. The next time you feel butterflies, smile and breathe with all the confidence in the world. You got this!

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Kristin Dungee

Kristin Dungee is a professional dancer, coach, and choreographer with over 20 years of professional dance, cheerleading, and entertainment industry experience. Kristin is a highly sought after director and choreographer specializing in talent development and training. In addition, she has a BS in Marketing from Florida State University and is currently a NFL Cheerleader as well as a Cheer/Dance Consultant for Game Day Cute.

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