Tips for overcoming performance anxiety...Apr 14, 2022
The World Championships is less than a month away?! How did that come around so quickly?
After two years of cancelled major championships across the globe and multiple organisations, competitions are slowly but surely heading back to some form of normal. For many dancers this is massively exciting - they cannot wait to see their friends and get back on to a major stage. For others, they feel immense pressure - as if they have to prove something to themselves and their teachers and ‘make up’ for the two years worth of competitions that they have lost. Some dancers feel a mixture of both excitement and fear.
We get it! We really do.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, scared or filled with a sense of pressure or dread when you think about dancing at the World Championships (or your next major competition), then here are a few tips and tricks that may help you with your performance anxiety.
Firstly be prepared! This means putting the work in during class time and outside of class time on your dancing and physical fitness, but it also means having your clothes prepared, your dancing bag organised - so that if you need anything it is easy to find. The last thing anyone needs before they head on stage is to realise they’ve forgotten something or find that they cannot locate their black tape, or buckles, or sock glue.
Years ago people used to suggest you imagined the audience in their underwear - we’d suggest you imagine them cheering you on. Think of your dance as a performance for your parents, teachers and friends rather than as a dance to be judged or harshly critiqued. Take a moment to think, write down or tell a trusted friend all about why you dance, what you love about Irish dancing and why you have worked so hard for the last two years. You wouldn’t have worked so hard if you didn’t want to give yourself the best chance of dancing well - and on the day, you give yourself that best chance by being relaxed, focused and enjoying the moment.
Breathing like you have run a marathon? Take a deep breath….maybe take five. When we feel anxious our breathing quickens and so do our thoughts. This is often when dancers find themselves losing control of their emotions during the morning of the competition. Take a few deep breaths and focus your thoughts on the positives of the day. This is something that you can practice everyday so that you get into the habit of it, and have the skill ready for when you need it. Every morning or evening take five deep breaths, close your eyes and think about the positives of the day ahead, or list five things you are grateful for, or repeat your favourite five affirmations.
Finally, speak to someone you trust about how you are feeling, or get yourself a notebook to write it all down.Our new MWM Mindset Coach, Annabelle, always had a notebook with her at competitions. This was to write down her feelings, emotions and worries before she danced and in between rounds. Writing it down and getting it out of her head helped her to see the worries and fears in a more rational state of mind. A problem shared is a problem halved!
Best of luck to everyone preparing for the World Championships over the next few weeks. If you are looking for a boost in your motivation or need some personalised help to overcome your nerves and feelings of overwhelm so you can shine bright on stage then contact us here (link) about our new 1:1 mindset sessions. Places are very limited and they are filling up quickly.
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