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  1. #1
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Sad I got those first solo blues....

    Is it just me?

    I just did my first ever solo in front of my class, after 2 years dancing. A few people had volunteered to do one and we are mostly at a similar level so I thought well if not now, when? I choreographed it all myself which I really enjoyed doing, and only had a couple of bits where I'd run out of time and had to improvise.

    Of course when it came to it most of the others had dropped out so there were only two of us . But I did it anyway (would have felt a total weedy failure if I hadn't!). I was nervous and the impro bits didn't help, but I didn't fall over or go seriously wrong, and they applauded at the end... only now I'm feeling sort of and about having done it, when I expected to feel pleased. I danced so much better in the privacy of my living room!

    Maybe it's just pre-Christmas over-tiredness... but please tell me IS THIS NORMAL? What was your first solo like? Please share

  2. #2
    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    Hi Aniseteph, My first solo(self-choreographed as well)was at a nursing home.
    I don't remember much about the actual performance, only the sense of being entertaining to the residents. I was nervous, but once the music played I felt at ease.
    At least you had your first experience out of the way the only way to go is up!
    Yasmine

  3. #3
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    Smile

    Aniseteph, I never feel any "blue" the first time I danced, I hear it happens when you don't feel quite ready, could be that you phussed yourself to hard to do it, one can't do things for the wrong motive because that is the feeling you all ways got if you do. put yourself together and keep learning and practicing, videotape yourself practicing your dance next time you decide to go " solo ". put it this way, if nobody throw tomatoes at you then your solo was good enough, Marie

  4. #4
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    *points*

    YOU! Are suffering from post-performance drop, my good woman. It's not uncommon at all, because we invariably build up a mass of nervous energy before performing (especially when it's new or the dance is one that is very special to us, like a first solo). Then, in my experience, one of two things happens. Either you get a tremendous rush from the act of performance, and come off flying, or you're thrown by something not working so well as you'd hoped, and the energy gets "stuck". In the latter case, you can actually end up feeling a bit queasy and generally blah. In the former, you go racing around on a high for an hour or so afterwards, and then suddenly blam! you're ready for bed, and possibly feeling quite miserable. An awareness of this, and an attempt to stave it off, is behind a lot of rock musicians' tradition of getting completely wasted after the show. It's also not unlike what is sometimes called "post coitum triste" - feeling strangely, irrationally blue after you've had sex.

    For what it's worth, I used to get that feeling a lot after performing, especially solo, but over time it seems to have evened out. It's helpful in that I generally get good feedback these days, which is *just* what any ego needs, and a LOT of applause is really good. (This is one of the reasons why I like to applaud people madly, especially baby performers, because it makes people feel so much better. I also think it's really important NOT to criticise someone's performance to their face immediately after they get off the stage.)

    I think getting something decent to eat after performing is helpful - not a big meal, because you won't want to eat it, but something a little starchy and "grounding" like a banana or a little sandwich. A good night's sleep and a nice walk the next day will help! By the sounds of it, this performance was just in class, though - is that right? In that case, the chances of all the thrill and feedback of a proper audience wouldn't be there and while it's also less stressful, in theory, to dance in front of your class, in practice I think it's actually harder in some ways. All that build up inside you and no real place to get rid of it!

    I can't actually remember very much about the performance of my first solo, but I do remember the unspeakable angst I had putting it together! First of all, I really stupidly chose an Om Kholsoum piece, which my teacher informed me straight up was pretty challenging, but I would not be swayed. I made it rather gut-wrenching and sad. I got myself terribly worked up about it and was a horror to be around. But, once done, it was a tremendous relief.

    For my next solo, I had exactly the experience you describe. It was veil - which I don't particularly like - and I got my veil caught on my head for a few seconds right at the start. It ruined the whole dance for me, and even though there was nothing really wrong with it, I felt very blah and hideous afterwards. Luckily some classmates came backstage during the interval and were complimentary, so that helped me feel better.

    I was also really fortunate in that all solos in our school were, at that time, checked over, and in many cases heavily guided, by our teacher before they were performed. We still do that (though now it's me and the other senior teacher who do the checking!!), and I think it's a really useful thing for teachers to do. People still get nervous about solos, but they also know they will get support and input from more experienced dancers, and that they'll be reasonably confident when the time comes to do the dance.

    It's true, you might not have been quite as ready as you wanted to be - but you have now done it and every dance from here on in will be easier and better! Sometimes we just have to do it, even if the music is not perfect and the choreo is not perfect - but if we wait around for perfection, we'll never do it at all.

  5. #5
    Member Babylonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yasmine Bint Al Nubia View Post
    Hi Aniseteph, My first solo(self-choreographed as well)was at a nursing home.
    I don't remember much about the actual performance, only the sense of being entertaining to the residents. I was nervous, but once the music played I felt at ease.
    At least you had your first experience out of the way the only way to go is up!
    Yasmine
    My first performance was on Mother's Day at a nursing home. What a wonderful feeling! We even inspired some ofthe elderly women to stand up behind their walkers and join in. I was very nervous but afterwards I was flying high. I can't wait to do it again. BTW our peformance was improvised to music we knew well so it gave us a lot of freedom to move around the audience.

  6. #6
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Thank you ladies! Point taken about not being ready but I don't think that was it. I know what I'm like - if I wait till I reach my own unrealistic standards I never do anything. So if I don't have a little self-discipline to stick to my intentions I just end up kicking myself for wimping out while other people get on with it. And it did go OK, they did applaud, and no one threw tomatoes Mariesaffron! I didn't even go wrong (unlike in our group dance in the sudent show last year ).

    Zumarrad THANK YOU! You have described it exactly. The energy got all wrong and stuck (OMG my husband will disown me for talking "energies" ) because it was in class and at the end of a long day. And this bit...
    ... the chances of all the thrill and feedback of a proper audience wouldn't be there and while it's also less stressful, in theory, to dance in front of your class, in practice I think it's actually harder in some ways. All that build up inside you and no real place to get rid of it!
    ... I think that's what was missing. Yasmine and Babylonia also mentioned the sense of being entertaining to their audiences, which I just didn't get. It was exactly like doing the choreography we'd been working on to the other half of the class (only with added nerves of course!). Very aware that no one is going to be that impressed by the moves, and I don't as yet have the audience-rapport building skills to have them eating out of my hand in 3 minutes.

    But I'm glad I did it - it was the right thing to do. Not feeling awful about it, just wondering why I felt a bit Blah (what a perfect word) and you've helped me sort it out. Many thanks.

  7. #7
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    OMG exactly..... I don't even know if I like talking abt energies!... esp. the whole sex "connotation" that Zumarrad mentioned.... even though it is SOOO true... hope no non-dancers are reading this.... cause in no way (except creative) do I feel correlations between my dance & sex... but the words used to describe it can be similar..... so you could have had a case of what a good (dancer) friend of mine would say.... "not shooting your wad"!!!!!! so it IS like all that energy built up & no where to go!!!
    as you perform more & more you will have SO many feelings... some of that post coital stuff.... some of that pent up stuff... some "pleasant" memories... some awe inspiring, some mediocre.... & alot of time it is more about how YOU FELT about your performance, not about how it actually went!!!!.after you dance awhile.... it does sort of even out as someone said..
    so perform EVERY chance you get!!!

  8. #8
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    I got it too. SO it's not just you.

    I cheered myself up by thinking that I'm on my way to something or other...

  9. #9
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    The Blah has gone - feeling over it now and on the road to the next time!

  10. #10
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    I know how you felt. I did a dance for my parents and brother this Christmas (by request). I forgot all my choreography, and improved (is that a word?) badly. I've also been taking lessons for two years, and I feel that I should have pulled off a better performance.

    On the other hand, I've resolved to dance for an audience again soon, and do a better job. The next time I dance for my family, they won't think I'm just wasting my time and money on those dance lessons!

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