Dancers who want to make a splash on stage (or in front of their teachers) will always arrive prepared, and ready for action. It’s this motivated and proactive spirit that serves as the groundwork for every great dancer, and should not be underestimated. Yet, as human beings, we are all susceptible to the trappings of complacency. All it takes is for us to relax our standards for a moment, and risk stumbling.
Some dancers may be unconsciously sabotaging their own performance, without even realizing it. Here’s a few things all dancers should keep in mind so that they don’t fall victim to a complacent attitude.
This one sits right at the top of the list, and for good reason. Without rigorous, consistent and precise practice, dancers can quickly fall behind. As the late Ms.Gladys Forester said, “Perfect practice, make perfect.” Foregoing these rudiments can be problematic for dancers. Maintaining your own personal standards means practicing in order to stay on top of your game, and any stumble can set you back, while preventing you from learning new lessons. It’s akin to garbage at the side of the curb that keeps piling up without someone to take it away. To keep yourself focused and on task, make sure that practice is at the top of your to-do list.
Dance is so much fun, but it requires individuals to let go of their fears and inhibitions so that they can express themselves fully, and learn new things. Second guessing is a trap that every human being falls into, at some point in their lives. When insecurity starts permeating your dancing lessons, it can be damaging. The key to boosting self-confidence is to set goals, meet them, and then pat yourself on the back afterwards. Your instructor plays a vital role in building your self-confidence, but the bulk of it starts with you, the individual. It doesn’t matter how much praise you get in life. If you don’t believe in yourself, it won’t go far enough. Always remember to celebrate your wins, and be on guard against things like imposter syndrome, which can lead to harm.
Pulling off a great performance means checking a few boxes during the lead up. Your body is your instrument. In order to perform at your best and enjoy a long, healthy career in dance, one needs to practice self-care, stay active, and eat healthy. Say no to sugar and empty calories before you train or perform. Choosing nutrient dense foods with a good balance of protein and whole grains is best. Don’t neglect sleep, either. Staying up late with friends on the night before a performance can be difficult on your body, and your mind. Concentration skills are drastically reduced, which can affect memory and reflexes. Good dancers should at all times be in peak condition in order to avoid pitfalls.
ATHLETICISM MEETS ARTISTRY
A dancer is a true athlete as well as an artist. She must train her body, technical skill and athleticism to adhere to high standards, but each dancer needs to bring their own distinct personality and artistry to the craft. Only then can they engage the audience and affect them deeply with emotional weight and beauty.
Energy and enthusiasm play a huge role in a successful performance. It could be argued that they affect every single item on this list. Stay happy, healthy, positive and confident, and your performances will impress your instructor, and your audience, each and every time.
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