Performance Anxiety


New member
Well it's almost time to come out of the woodwork for my yearly performance.
I spend most of the year practicing and learning on my own but am fortunate enough to be invited to dance in a show put on by one of the local teachers.
It's great to have something to work towards and I feel it is one of the best ways to improve as a dancer. However with a couple of weeks to go I'd started to feel a bit of anxiety creeping in. As I thought about this I came up with a thought process which I think will really help.

I compared bellydancing with swimming. I know it sounds kinda stupid but bear with me for awhile.

When you first learn to swim you are in the shallow end of the pool, the instructor is right there, you practice and drill the basic movements and learn to just keep your head above the water. As you improve you start to swim lengths, you go out to the deep end and back but you still have the life guard watching you.... maybe you do some synchronized swimming with others... you improve... just like dancing

But here is where the light bulb went off.

Doing a solo is like heading out to swim in a river.It can be narrow and fast moving or it can widen out and be calm and peaceful... it can have rocks and whirlpools and eddies and undertows.

The mistake I'd been making was to try and swim upstream against the current.... head down expending great effort and not being able to see where I was going... being happy to just make it back to the beach.

Now I'm trying to swim in the other direction. I'm trying to swim with the current... not against it. It's amazing the change that happens. You realize you have many different options when the water gets rough or choppy or the river widens and you can swim relaxed... you can see what's coming at you and get ready for it....

In case you haven't guessed already the music is the river...

It's a long story but what I guess I'm really trying to say is GO WITH ThE FLOW NOT AGAINST IT.... it will knock your anxiety level way back... Jim


Super Moderator
You are so right:D I have always tended to do too much thinking and analysing, and always had teachers telling me to get out of my head:D Once I began to really go with the flow, I felt at peace with my dancing. I still on occasion get back inside my head and have to give myself a pep talk. At those times I literally just listen over and over again to my music without dancing, until I hear every note in my head and then my body can respond without me overthinking things and stuffing up:lol: