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Ballet Talk for Dancers


Guest haylee

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we had a dress rehersal the other day i stuffed up. My nerves got the better of me and my legs went into jelly mode plus one part I raced 2 coutns ahead of everyone else. I'm so scared to see my teacher. How do I cope?:confused:

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Do you have another rehearsal before the performance? If so, use that to become more secure in what you are doing. If not, ask for a run thru with your teacher and the music so that you will feel more secure. Nerves that bad are a form of insecurity and the only answer is more rehearsal until you are confident. If you are confident in what you are doing you may still have some butterflies just before going on, but once on stage they should go away :)

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the thing is I know everything back to front but because we were in the actuall theater I got so nervous. When in the class room I'm so confident but when there I feel apart. We do habe some reheasals but thats only in our classroom.

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Haylee, what is there to be scared of? Performances are the reward for all the work you have done to get there, and should be the most joyous time. If you love to dance, then performing is what it is all about, so just enjoy your time out there. Get to the theatre as early as they open the doors, and spend some time on the stage yourself, to feel more comfortable there. Walk through your parts. Also try to realize that this is a student performance and that everyone who comes is there to root for you and enjoy your performance, not to criticize you! They are on YOUR side :)

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And I'll take the other side of that coin, and add that if you are afraid of the great cavernous dark out in front of you, don't worry, that dark is full of lovely, friendly people. Some people, believe it or not, are afraid of the edge of the stage, that they'll fall into the orchestra pit or something!:eek: Don't worry, that never happens except to me! Now you have nothing to worry about!;)

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Performance anxiety is very common among both people who compete in contests and perform in front of audiences. My totally unscientific observation is that males seem to have less of it than do females, or that they hide it much better, I don’t know which.


I think there are two important points. First, in order to perform well, you do need some performance anxiety. If you are an uncaring blob, you performance is likely to come off that way. And that is true for dancers, actors, or just someone giving a talk to a group. But you can also have too much anxiety, which takes away your concentration from the task at hand. Essentially, then you are worrying about worrying more than about performing.


Second, your overall level of anxiety tends to decrease with experience. The more time you spend in front of people, the less you worry about screwing up. If you perform enough, you will screw up and will surprise yourself that no one other than yourself even noticed.

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And if all else fails, do what US President Eisenhower used to do. Pretend that your audience is sitting there, all of them, stark naked!;)

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