How to survive your first performanceSep 02, 2021
In this post I don't want to talk to you about how to prepare for a competition or all the work involved in preparing for a performance because I can sum it all up in one sentence:
RELY ON A GOOD PROFESSIONAL
That is, someone who can help you with training, choreography, music management and stage space. If you want to create something on your own, this post will help.
My intention actually is to help you deal with the agitation that you can fall victim to in your first performance(s), especially if you are not very familiar with the stage.
For most students, at some point, there comes a desire to perform in a show, not only to convey emotion with their dance but also to challenge themselves and they want to take to the stage and be able to show what they've worked so hard at learning.
Doing a small show is a great way to start your stage experience in a protected environment.
So, let's see... what are the main elements that will lead you to enjoy this?
Enjoy (precisely) your moment on stage.
There are things that will help you achieve this, like choosing music that inspires you, a choreo that includes tricks you're comfortable with, and an outfit that speaks about you, about what you want to communicate.
The more you're in the flow of your performance, the more engaged the audience will be and you'll create connection with each other.
Be patient with yourself
Great performers didn't become great overnight, so during the period in which you'll be rehearsing and rehearsing your choreo until it's tattooed in your cells, consider that not every day will have the same energy level (especially since you'll be carrying on all the other commitments in your life), so don't demand too much of yourself. Try to get good rest and have very healthy habits during that time.
Surround yourself with supportive people.
Talk to people who support you and give you positivity. A good idea may be to have some of them participate in one of the rehearsals in the last days.
Relax the day before.
Plan a relaxing day. By now all the hard work is done. Feel proud of yourself and visualize yourself on stage calm and happy. Think a little nerves are good for you, giving you the right adrenaline to perform at your best!
In case you suffer from excessive sweating due to nerves, try days before to see how it goes, cooling your hands just before the performance and try it all in a row with just the first application of plaster or dry hands or whatever you use.
Put first the figures in which the grip is fundamental and after those in which it is less so (for example the sittings or the leg holds).
More about slipping here
If you slip improvise! No one knows what you were planning to do anyway. Just move with ease and naturalness.
The moment you step on stage, take a deep breath and think about enjoying the experience. You are most likely your own worst critic. As you do more performances, the nerves will leave more room for fun.
And don't forget a nice video to remember that moment and help you get better and better!
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