Managing Performance Nerves

Managing Performance Nerves

Managing Performance Nerves


Being nervous before a performance is only natural. It reflects that you are dedicated and want to do your very best. But when nerves begin to take over, we can often become forgetful, intimidated and feel out of control. So how do you just shake off those negative nerves and embrace that extra surge of energy?   




Practice makes perfect so they say. But practising routines allows you to get into what is called ‘flow state’. That feeling when there is no thought about what step comes next, the body just moves. Best feeling right? It takes a lot of practice to get to that point of being able to freely move. When you have time on your side, practice and preparation is possible. This can be physically and imaginatively. Using the time before heading to bed, sitting on the train or in the car, mentally running your routine can start to create this flow state. This can include listening to your music to understand the accents and timing, or getting your teacher to film your routine so you can watch it back.



Remember why you love performing in the first place. Find a connection with your purpose and create an intention for that performance. As an artist, you create movement with your body that tells a story. The purpose of art is to create emotion. This is not just with an audience, but also with our selves. It doesn’t matter if the performance is on stage, in class or in front of an audition panel. Find a connection with your emotions, the story and the steps. If you can dance with connection and purpose, nerves simply evaporate.



Have you ever notices where your breath comes from? Often with nerves, the breath tends to be trapped in the chest. Before you perform, allow yourself 2-5 minutes to sit quietly and just breathe. Place 1 hand over your heart and the other over your tummy. Close your eyes or listen to your music and with each breath, breathe in for 10 seconds and out for 10 seconds. With each breath, your body will become warmer, your blood becomes rich with oxygen and your mind becomes focused. Think of this time as your mental warm-up.


Every single person that watches you dance wants you to succeed. Find your flow state, dance with purpose and tell your story. Use your energy for positive creation and feel empowered with every single breath you take!



Leah Van Lambaart for Total Dance Australia




#lovetotaldance #total_dance_aus

Image Courtesy of En Pointe Productions

Dancer: Charlotte Bannell, Victorian State Ballet Pre Professional Programme


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