How to Dance Like No One's Watching - Face the Fear
Many dancers "suffer", as one may say, about the aspect of stage-fright that comes on as a wave before and during a performance. Some say they feel weird and awkward and just plain wrong in front of the audience as they set out to perform. Some find it difficult to practice in front of their own teacher. Well, as painful as it may be having to come to terms with what I am about to say, it must be done. You have to dance like no one's watching.
In order to be a successful dancer, or performer of any kind for that matter, the fear must be faced, the comfort zone evaded. Let us look into some tips that may help you face this fear of performing in front of others' eyes.
1. Repeat, repeat, repeat. There is no better way to evolve in any aspect than to do one thing over and over again. If you keep performing in front of an audience, the fear of stage-fright will fade. Trust me, this I have tested personally. The more that you dance in front of people, the more comfortable you will begin feeling.
2. Use headphones. Block out the world with your favorite music and just tune into it. Focus on your partner, on the music, and on the dance, without focusing on anything or anyone around you
3. Focus. Before practicing, make a plan as to what you want to focus on during training. Whether this be foot timing, arm work, body action, connection, etc. a point of concentration should help you steer clear of any uncomfortable feelings of the environment. Your mind will be too busy concentrating on the task at hand to be wandering away, thinking about who is looking at you.
4. Channel the glares and the stares. If you are a competitor, you especially need to be able to accept the fact that onlookers will be LOOKING at YOU. You want them to be looking at you! If you really want to be successful, you need to be able to feed off of the fact that the audience, judges, and fellow competitors are glancing your way. This is where you gain an extra bit of power in yourself, a confidence that should help you carry through. Channel this into positive energy that will better help the presentation aspect of your performance.
Pressure is everywhere. People will always be watching. Therefore, it is up to you to prevail, focus, and learn to really tune in to what you are doing at the current moment, whether it is just practice, or a real competitive performance. Only time will really help you adjust and learn to be confident as a dancer. Learn from the mistakes, adjust, and keep on going. Most of all - BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. Soon, you will freely be able to dance like no one is watching.