Forums Discussions stage fright ?

  • stage fright ?

    Posted by stilett05 on December 19, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    At the end of each class at the studio I go to, we takes turns dancing for each other. We can do either freestyle or either of the routines we’ve learned…pretty much whatever. I’m totally fine when we mix it up and there’s 3 of us dancing & 3 of us watching. But when I’m dancing and there’s a group watching, i get a little nervous (which i guess is pretty normal) but sometimes I get stuck in my head. Not sure how else to describe it! I was enjoying the song i was dancing to last week, just freestyling along, and then i kinda botched my rockstar spin. instead of laughing like i usually do, my brain started going ‘crap! you know that one! oh no what do it do next?’ . So I started doing some pirouettes and basic stuff but i couldn’t get back to the music and i was all stuck in my head.

    Any tips regarding stage fright, freestyling on stage, and turning off the brain would be appreciated! Thanks everyone!

    stilett05 replied 14 years, 4 months ago 7 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • Stacia

    December 20, 2009 at 4:25 am

    I can totally relate to what you’re saying! When I’m dancing by myself I suddenly forget everything I wanted to do! I feel clumsy and super nervous. I hate it. I’d love to perform more and maybe compete someday so I REALLY need to get over it. I hope we can overcome this soon!

  • Danielle Tillie

    December 20, 2009 at 6:05 am

    I’ve been a musician since I was 3 years old and had to learn how to overcome this fear for quite a long time. This would be my suggestion, and a common recommendation for performers of all types. It is very important to turn that sensation of "being stuck in your head" into a sort of reality. You literally want to focus on just the music and motions in your head. Yes the music is playing loudly, and yes there are people watching, but literally all of your focus needs to be on the music and your natural movements.

    An instrumental example: occasionally my French horn studio has a class called "distraction class". During this time students are selected at random to perform a short piece or etude. The other students in the room can do whatever they want to try to distract you from your performance. This includes everything from yelling, jumping, dancing… anything that doesn’t include touching the person or their instrument. The challenge is for the performer to try to still put on their best performance, despite all external input they may be receiving. Surprisingly enough, the majority of our horn players do learn how to overcome this and perform very well! And these classes are actually very fun for everyone involved.

    This relates to pole dancing in that you need to focus solely on the freestyle, the rhythms in the music, the muscles of your body, how fun pole dancing is, and completely block out all other external input, such as an audience. Everyone watching is rooting for your success! Remember to breathe calmly!

  • minicoopergrl

    December 20, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Ive been a performer my whole life. Ive been dancing, cheerleading and gymnastics for a very long time. I will tell you – I STILL GET NERVOUS! I get the butterflies and the nervousness right before my song starts. Then once that first note comes on, BAM! its on!

    What gets me going is the audience, I feed off that energy. Once I hear them shouting it boosts my confidence even more.

  • PoleSkivvies

    December 21, 2009 at 3:33 am

    I always have to run to the bathroom before performing – usually several times! Then, once on stage, I’m fine.

    My only qualm about learning to dance despite distractions in the room is that a good dancer needs to dance to the audience. If you get too in your head, you can’t connect in the same way. Of course, if you’re in a room where you can’t see the audience for the lighting, you have to project it all from within, anyway.

  • Bellz

    December 21, 2009 at 5:44 am

    ::Horror Story::
    I don’t know a way to get over it- but maybe hearing my story will help you understand that life goes on.
    So I was in an actual performance. Like- 200+ people. And I landed wrong on my FIRST spin, and the entire choreography blanked. I forgot everything. Had no idea what was going on. What are ya gonna do?? I just started moving. I thought of any pole trick I had every learned and I did it. I went into an ankle hang- and had so much dry grip on I actually couldn’t slide down- was stuck upside down, and in the attempt to try to slide down- my shoe came off. Since gravity was in play here- that meant the shoe fell down- to my face. 200+ people. It was……great. (sarcasm) There were people I admired in the audience, professional dancers in the audience, friends and family….you get the picture. I took my other shoe off- finished the routine barefoot. When it was over I cried. I took a month off from pole class. A month and a half later- I spent a week in Jamaica poleing with some incredible dancers. I don’t know how to keep it from happening- but even when you are embarrassed in front know..everyone- life goes on. People who love me still love me. lol. I am in complete denial and for the most part pretend I was never in the show. lol. But dancers know it happens, and people who don’t dance probably wont know you’re "stuck." (unless your shoe hit u in the face- people usually know that isn’t planned!!) Good luck.

  • PoleSkivvies

    December 21, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Okay, shameless plug here, but I actually wrote a workbook on dealing with stage fright for pole dancers – you can find it here:

    It goes into how to figure out what the underlying fear is and how to address it, plus how to get used to different sized groups, and a lot more. There’s also a (free) article on my site on dealing with audiences, which can be a big component of stage fright:

  • PoleSkivvies

    December 21, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    And, Bellz, good on you for keeping dancing. Everybody deals with stage fright, and we learn from it each time – glad you didn’t hide yourself away and deny the world the pleasure of watching you dance!

  • Mary Ellyn

    December 21, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Bellz has to realize I’m going to step in here and say something –

    I saw the performance she is was in and the audience LOVED the fact that when her shoe came off she just flipped off the other one and kept right on performing! Lots of times you can’t hear most of the cheering in the audience if you’re on a big stage with a professional sound system so she didn’t hear how everyone roared when she kicked off the second shoe!

    Audiences love it when they see a professional make a mistake and then make something out of it!! That can be just as good as a flawless performance!

    She did great in Jamaica as well!!!

  • stilett05

    December 31, 2009 at 6:19 am

    wow- so many great suggestions everyone! thank you all. and Bellz, thanks for sharing your horror story. my mouth dropped open reading that. you are a seriously strong, confident, & courageous woman to throw off that other show & keep going. that is awesome. (i probably would have been thinking of how i could sneak off stage!)

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