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Thread: Stage fright

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    Default Stage fright

    Heyas,

    I've just been to this Hafla thing, and moment I got in there, even though every one else was dressed up, I felt really self concious. I slipped on my cossie, but before my family arrived I thought I'd give mysen some 'dutch courage'.

    Thing is, I have no self confidence what so ever. Everyone was like, "but you have to dance, you're the best here" and " Aww, don't you look lovely".

    I felt well bad, then my family arrived and my great gram whose in a wheel chair made all the effort to come and see me, and I was scared off my head.

    I spent half hour in Loo's drinking vodka and mull wine. (which wasn't a good thing...)

    So, I went out and started my little dance, but it was alright with other people dancing too, but when they left I felt like a reyt lemon in the middle alone.

    Well anyways, I did Isis wings, and a bit of a solo, but I really felt I'd let everyone down espec my great gram, bless. I know the dances and music and can imrpovise alright, but when it comes to being infront of other people I flake out.

    Do you have any tips on how to kind of... get out there and stuff? I'm loud enough everywhere else.

    Cheers
    Sara

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    Moderator Zorba's Avatar
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    We have an affirmation written on the dressing room wall by the stage door about "You are beautiful. You are a beautiful dancer. You are perfect just the way you are."

    Things like this CAN help - but at the end of the day the only surefire cure for stage fright is to go out there anyway and do your best. And screw 'em if they can't take a joke!

    I was in a lineup once that was making its way out of the dressing room onto the stage. The gal behind me, when she caught sight of the stage moaned "Oh GOD, I can't do this". "Too Late" said the gal behind her in turn - as she gave "Miss terrified" a gentle push forward. "Miss Terrified" has since become a very good dancer and a frequent performer.

    Even though I've been a performer all my life - I was literally babbling at my first little performance with the troupe! You can read about it on my WebSite if you're curious...

    Hope this helps - hang in there!

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    V.I.P. Kharmine's Avatar
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    Hey, that's the start of some great family tales there, kiddo!

    "Why, I remember when our little Sara could hardly bring herself to dance in public and now look at her!"

    Unfortunately, it takes practice to get past the butterflies in the tummy and you ain't gonna get practice unless you keep trying. It does get easier each time, but if you are really stressed there are at least a couple of options to deal with stage terror -- taking a mild sedative like Valium is possible, but you'd have to try it first to get some idea of how well it works for you. (I've got a friend for whom it does absolutely nuthin'.)

    And if you're on any other kind of meds, that may not be a good idea (a doctor would have to give you a prescription anyway).

    You can also try hypnotherapy. Hypnosis has worked very well for me when I needed periodontal treatment and couldn't get nitrogen to alleviate my jitters. Ask a doctor or a dentist if they know of a reputable one. A good hypnotherapist will not only put some powerful suggestons in your brain to counter the fear but show you how you can hypnotize yourself when you need it. Some will even charge on a sliding scale, if cost is an issue.

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    One of the best ideas I ever heard was to think, not "I'm so scared" but "I'm so excited". They're exactly the same feeling after all! We just interpret them differently.

    Getting pissed beforehand is not a very good idea, since you're more likely to stumble or make a bad error (though you might not mind so much). I drink before performances, but try to keep it at the slight buzz level. Minimal booze before is best, really. I'm buying piccolos from now on, so I can only have two!

    When you dance in front of your friends and family, they're just going to think you're lovely anyway. So don't be scared! If you know your music and you know what you're going to do, you really can't fail.

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    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    I will be dancing for my family this Christmas (at home), and I am super nervous too! I don't blame you at all.

    Also my brother's old friend is a bellydance teacher. I have this nightmare that she shows up, and I'm forced to dance in front of her.

    I haven't even got a choreography or a proper costume. My plan is to just do the choreographies we're working on in class, and wear a hip scarf over a black skirt and top. I still need to practice, and "fill in" the incomplete choreography. I hope this works.

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    Moderator Zorba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by da Sage View Post
    I haven't even got a choreography or a proper costume. My plan is to just do the choreographies we're working on in class, and wear a hip scarf over a black skirt and top. I still need to practice, and "fill in" the incomplete choreography. I hope this works.
    One of my instructors has a saying that is appropos to this kind of situation: "Fake it until you make it!". In other words, don't take it too seriously and have some fun with it!

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    Member Recnadocir's Avatar
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    Try this affirmation Sara:
    "I am an Olympian God(dess), and you (the audience) are privileged to come and worship me as I dance."

    Once I figured this one out, years ago, I've never had stage fright since.

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    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Recnadocir View Post
    Try this affirmation Sara:
    "I am an Olympian God(dess), and you (the audience) are privileged to come and worship me as I dance."

    Once I figured this one out, years ago, I've never had stage fright since.
    Ooh, that is BRILLIANT!!! Thank you

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    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Dear Sara, there is a train of thought that if you aren't nervous before a performance you simply don't comprehend the situation .

    I don't worry too much about making mistakes if I am a soloist because no one but me knows what I have planned- lots of artistic freedom available and no one the wiser. I have even smiled my way out of a spectacular fall or two without anyone chucking rotten tomatoes at me.

    I am not a proponent of chemical courage- it masks the problem instead of forcing you to work your way through it. We had student night at the rec center last night, and at the rehearsal, my dancers were joking about having a glass or two or four of wine before the performance. We decided against it because we feared the possible headlines in the next morning's paper:

    Boozing Belly Babes Busted in Backstage Brawl.

    Don't frash yourself about performing- you are there because you love to dance and your family and other audience members are there because they love to watch. It's a match made in heaven, and as for any naesayers who may be present- the hell with 'em. What do they know anyway?
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  10. #10
    Senior Member taheya's Avatar
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    Hi sara, maybe try not to drink more than one before a performance, it may make you more likely to make mistakes (more important if you are in a group choreo). It also can make you very dry, i get a very dry throat before performing and i think alcohol would make it worse.
    You know sometimes you have got to feel the fear and do it anyway! It will get easier and you will probably end up loving it! It is addictive!
    Oh final tip, enjoy yourself...if you look like you are having fun your audience can feel that and enjoy your dance too.

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