How to deal with nerves before a performance

How to deal with nerves before a performance

Leading up to a performance is a stressful time and most people will get a bit nervous, it is normal and almost healthy to have a bit of adrenaline running through your veins.  But for some people their nerves get the better of them to the point that they are a quivering wreck, their minds get scrambled like a crazy pop art painting and then comes that sick feeling!  If you are a long term sufferer of performance nerves then we have put together a few pointers that can help you with those pesky butterflies…..

Quick and easy Steps to help deal with pre performance nerves

Step 1 – Be Prepared!

Before any performance being prepared is the most important factor.  Rehearsing and knowing exactly what you are doing will give you piece of mind and you will automatically relax.  If you are unprepared there is a possibility that you may freeze in front of the audience, which will increase your anxiety levels.  You can never have enough practise, because remember……practise makes perfect!

Step 2 – Look after yourself!

Keeping healthy, eating properly and getting enough sleep are all areas that slip a little when you have a big performance on its way from rehearsing so much.  It is so important to keep these things in check, as all these factors will keep your stress hormones low.  The last thing you need is to become ill during your performance as this will stress you out even more!  By drinking lots of fluids, eating healthily and making sure you don’t have too many late nights, you will keep yourself in top condition ready for that performance!  Also exercising will keep you feeling fit and healthy, why not try out some different dance styles, find out some ideas here in our previous blog: Take up Dancing.  Also check out the great range of dancewear and gym wear we have at Dancemania!

Step 3 – Get into the zone!

Psych yourself up for your performance!  If you get into the zone, your focus and concentration will be the perfect distraction from your nerves.  If you commit yourself 100%, you can block out any thoughts of worry or anxiety.  You will find a sense of confidence which is always a good way to feel, when tackling any challenge.  Having a quiet moment to yourself and running through the performance in your head will get you in the right head space.  Everyone will focus in different ways, best to try a few techniques and find out the correct one for you.

Step 4 – Find ways to Relax!

Learning how you as a person likes to relax is such an important thing to know, as relaxation will keep you feeling good and stress free.  Many people have individual preferences of how they relax and it is about learning what works best for you.  Suggestions include; meditation, listening to music, breathing techniques, playing sports, reading a book, exercise etc.  These are only a few examples and there is never a right or wrong way to relax.

Leading up to a performance, breathing exercises are the usual relaxation technique to be adopted.  Filling your diaphragm will increase your air supply, which in turn gets more oxygen to your brain. The more oxygen you take in, the clearer you will think and the less nervous you will be.  Here are a few ideas below……

For exercise 1 & 2  you must be standing tall, stomach pulled in, with your shoulders back and down!

Exercise 1

a) Standing tall – exhale.

b) Inhale and at the same time, relax the stomach muscles.  Feel as though the belly is filling with air.

c) After filling the stomach, keep inhaling.  Fill up the middle of your chest.  Feel your chest and rib cage expand.

d) As you begin to slowly exhale, make a ‘Hum’ sound.  Keep making the humming sound as long as possible.  Pull your stomach muscles in, squeezing out a few more seconds of humming.  Then relax.

e) Practise for 2 -3 minutes.

Exercise 2

a) Standing tall – exhale.

b) Breathe in for a count of three.

c) Hold for a count of three, and breathe out for a count of six.

d) Repeat this as many times as you need.

Exercise 3

a) Lying on the floor in a straight position with your arms by your sides.

b)  Starting with your feet, tense and hold for 6 seconds, then release.

c)  Now tense the feet and legs, hold 6 seconds and release.

d)  Repeat this action, each time adding one more body part into the tensing, until you finish with the face.

e)  Now relax and feel your body completely tension free.

And finally….

Remember to enjoy yourself!  Performing should be a fun and exhilarating experience.  As you long as you are completely rehearsed and feeling confident, then the audience will love you!  If you are happy and at ease, then the audience will feel the same.  What is the worst that can happen?  If things do go wrong remember that the audience will never know as long as you dont show it, just carry on as if nothing has happened.

Believe me, take these steps and you will have the audience eating out of the palm of your hand…..

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One thought on “How to deal with nerves before a performance

  1. Pingback: Prepare for Performance | The Beauty of Ballet

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