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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Shy DD


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Hi everybody,

My 12 y.o. DD is shy. She is very comfortable in classes and performing as a part of a group, but gets scared of being a center of attention. She is doing very well technically in class for the level she is at. But when she needs to do some acting or there is a possibility of her being picked for "solo" role (usually at some auditions), some switch goes off - she gets scared and performs way below her level. Then she gets very upset with the way she handled it, she realizes that she missed a good opportunity.


I would like to get some advice on what I can do to help her. I think I handle OK getting her out of self-blame and bad mood after, but it would be great if she could overcome her shyness, it really holds her back.


Thank you very much in advance!

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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, Fan!!


I am too tired to answer completely tonight, as I just got through with 6.5 hours of Nutcracker auditions, but please let me reassure you that you are not alone in this... if I had a dollar for every child who does well in class, but cannot perform during auditions...oy! I'd be rich!


Perhaps others will chime in before I get back around to you.

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I completely understand your situation. My DD is now 14. She is a far cry from shy, however had the same issues. I sure don't have all the answers, but perhaps a few observations may help. DD was great in class and very comfortable in group numbers. Durig auditions and solos, no so much. I found she was putting too much pressure on herself to be perfect when singled out and not just dancing from her heart. We took a year and worked on harnessing emotion when dancing instead of being " in her head" too much. She has come a long way, still gets nerveous when in auditions or placement classes, but along with a little maturtity, is doing much better.

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I think experience has a lot to do with it. My daughter comes from a musical theatre background, and she's pretty comfortable in audition situations because she's done a ton of them. Just a thought -- why not ask your daughter if she'd be interested in doing some SI auditions next year for programs she likely wouldn't go to, using them as practice? Her sole goal going into the auditions could be to stay relaxed and keep the nerves at bay. ~boxwoodgirl

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