Hello all !!
I need your help with stage fright - basically I get really, really, really nervous when I get up to dance at feiseanna, it makes me tighten up my muscles & my performance just tanks! It makes me look like I don't know what I'm doing & makes me give a poor performance. I can dance a blinder at class but seem unable to replicate the performance at a feis - please help!
This is a common issue with most dancers whether Irish or not. My advise would be to build your confidence up, get involved in some sorts of other group activites, do some public speaking, anything that will help you to stay calm when in the centre stage light.
I use to get really really nervous, but the more you do the happier you are therefore the more confident you become.
Dancers tend to get more nervous when they don't know what their doing or are scared of forgetting steps, this one is a easy one to fix and requires you to practise, as long as you know your steps in side and out it will make you feel more stronger when on that stage.
So sort out your steps until you are happy with them and do not change them, then once your happy drill them home until you can dance them with your eyes closed lol.
Once you've done that and you've gotten the Feis out of the way your be happy and more confident once the next championship comes around.
Thanks for replying & to all the people who replied - I will try to take up your suggestions! My problem isn't that I don't know my steps & feel stage fright as a result, but more due to the issue of getting up in front of an audience/an adjudicator & dancing when it really matters. By that I mean that I guess in class there's no pressure to perfom, so I can - but when I get to a feis & I know that mistakes cost me, I get so stressed & nervous I tighten up. I think Claire, your suggestion of joining another group activity is a good one, perhaps I'll try Zumba ! I did try public speaking when I lived in the USA & despite hating every second of it, I won my way to the Maryland State Fair in a public speaking contest. Didin't do much for my dislike of public speaking, I still hate it!
Your problem is very common just so you don't feel bad about it! I've been dancing since I was 4 years old + I still get a mixed feeling of nerves + adrenaline when I have an important performance, it wouldn't be normal I think if we all didn't get that though- I think anyway. You would be wise to use it to your advantage and come to realise your nerves are are also a sign of your passion towards what you are doing. When it comes down to it though, you can repeat your bliner on the stage with a big audience when you don't worry about what anyone else is thinking because at the end of the day you know you can do it! Maybe facing your fears + doing some sneaky stepping in a public place is the answer haha ;) Hope this helps. Chris
I've never really had this problem - whenever I'm on the stage and start dancing, the music just enchants me and all I can think of is how much I love to dance, and I end up having this huge grin on my face. It sounds kind of weird, but that just happens to me.
My advice to you is to look at the judge as if he's your dance teacher. Focus on your steps, and don't let yourself think about what others think of you, and don't think about things you could be doing wrong. Also, whenever I'm nervous, I remember why I'm on that stage in the first place - I love Irish dance. That makes me happier and makes me want to dance my best, and it helps a lot.
I hope I helped!
Somebody told to a great french comedian : " Me ?, I never have stage fright ! "
And the comedian reply : " you will have it when you will have talent !
( sorry for my english )
Gasc, Dorottya - thanks for the replies, that is good advice!