Dancers Can Overcome Stage Fright And Perform To The Top Of Their
This article explains three important ways for dancers to focus
their minds with a mental readiness system to keep performer's anxiety
at bay and perform at the best of their abilities.
How Dancers Can Overcome Stage Fright
And Perform To The Top Of Their Abilities
Bill Cole, MS, MA
Founder and CEO
William B. Cole Consultants
Silicon Valley, California
I have been mental game coach to national level
and world-class dancers, and have been able to help them get past
stage fright and other performance issues to achieve excellence
in auditions and competitions. Here are three mental approaches
to performance enhancement you might find helpful in your own dance
Use Process Goals To Help You Focus: In an audition, competition
or performance, it is true that you either win or not, but there
is actually more than that going on. If you go into the event thinking
you only will win or lose, that is too much pressure. You want to
set internal goals, called process or performance goals, that buffer
the pressure from performing to win. Examples: Strive always to
have a good time as you perform. If not, why do you do it? Learn
at least one new thing about yourself via this performance. Use
the performance as an opportunity to learn how to handle pressure
better and to perform better when the stakes are high. Now, even
if you lose, you win. Losing the audition or competition does not
mean you wasted your time if you learned something, improved, gave
a good effort, or used performance goals to do better next time.
Reinterpret Your Stage Fright: Some stress symptoms are not
specific indicators that anxiety is present in a performance. Instead,
they may show up as activation (also known as arousal or an adrenalin
dump). If you unfortunately focus on and worry about these symptoms,
and begin catastrophizing about a negative outcome to your performance,
then we call it stage fright. Consider renaming the nerves you feel
as excitement, passion, activation to perform, energy, adrenalin,
and tell yourself that they are indeed helping you get ready.
Recall Your Past To Ignite Your Present: You are a very successful
dancer already, with many excellent rehearsals, auditions, competitions
and performances under your belt. You can use your memories from
these superb performances to prime your present performance. Before
any performance, close your eyes, relax and drift back to one of
your best performances. Recall it in as much detail as possible.
Get into that scene. Can you feel and hear what it was like? That
is the zone. You want to enjoy it and realize how GOOD you are,
and that you can do this again. The zone is a place of confidence.
Use that burst of confidence before every performance.
So now you know three important ways to focus your mind with a mental
readiness system so you can keep performer's anxiety at bay. Everyone
gets nervous before performing, but it does not have to be debilitating.
I want you to enjoy yourself, perform better, and use each successful
performance to launch yourself to the next level in your career.
Bill Cole, MS, MA. All rights reserved.
Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority
on peak performance, mental toughness and coaching, is founder and
CEO of William B. Cole Consultants, a consulting firm that helps
organizations and professionals achieve more success in business,
life and sports. He is also the Founder and President of the International
Mental Game Coaching Association (www.mentalgamecoaching.com),
an organization dedicated to advancing the research, development,
professionalism and growth of mental game coaching worldwide. He
is a multiple Hall-Of-Fame honoree as an athlete, coach and school
alumnus, an award-winning scholar-athlete, published book author
and articles author, and has coached at the highest levels of major-league
pro sports, big-time college athletics and corporate America. For
a free, extensive article archive, or for questions and comments
visit him at www.MentalGameCoach.com.
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