Terrified of Being in the Spotlight!
Fear of stepping on the stage is as common as waking on the street. Regardless whether a beginner, experienced, child or adult, the majority of dancers experience signs of anxiety and stress minutes or even days before performing in front of an audience, commonly known as stage fright. Some lose their sleep over the thought of dancing in the spotlight, others break out in sweat and tremble in the knees, others try to focus and meditate so as to conquer their fear and others simply tumble and cannot move. Fear of performing is common for at least half of dance performers, in spite of their performance experience. This fear may emerge suddenly or be a constant problem dancers need to deal and face.
Fear of performing in front of an audience may surface for a variety of reasons. For instance, dancers usually experience stage fright due to an injury or after having recovered from one, a dreadful experience or stress of a significant performance. Nonetheless, stage fright may also surface without an important reason, leading to the dancer’s metal state. Dancers usually experience a lot of stress and anxiety before stepping on the stage. They think of all that can and may go wrong, for example missing a step, a jump, falling down, not being good enough and so much more.
The problem is simple. Anxiety can radically affect a dancer’s dance performance and love of dance. Stage fright needs to be faced and overcome accordingly, as not to influence the dancer’s performance, future and career. The symptoms dancers commonly experience include racing pulses, dry mouth, tight throats, shivering and sweaty hands and feet. If a dancer allows stage fright to overwhelm them, then their fear has the power to affect their future career, no matter how well a dancer they are.
Some experts suggest that stage fright can be controlled, as it is a result of brain triggers telling forcing the dancer to give up and not perform. Most experienced dancers tackle with their anxiety by focusing on specific warm ups and breathing techniques prior to the performance. These are said to have helped dancers focus and use the anxiety they experience to their benefit. Nonetheless, too much stress has known to destroy a dancer’s performance, or even cause him/her to literally leave the stage and never perform again.
It is vital dancers look after their bodies, since after all their bodies are their tools to use and source of livelihood. By taking care of their bodies, dancers have been known to battle or at least control their performance anxiety. For instance, dancers need to keep away from substances such as caffeine and alcohol, especially before stepping on to the stage. Their diet needs to include potassium-rich foods so as to control their blood pressure in a natural and healthy manner. If you happen to be backstage before a performance, you will witness many dancers taking deep breaths, trying to relax their bodies and most importantly their minds.
Another manner dancers attempt to tackle with stage fright is by making sure their attire is as comfortable and suitable as possible. When performing, dancers need to feel free, to move freely and easily, to move in grace, to feel as light as a feather. This is where expert dance wear designers are needed. The dancewear clothing designed by Elena Papanikolaou, a renowned dance wear designer in Greece, is an ideal example of how dancers should appear on stage. All the costumes are designed by hand, cut and fitted on each individual dancer. All the dance apparel is fabulous and glamorous, yet allows the dancer to move smoothly and in grace. Feeling comfortable on stage is as important as dancing beautifully.
Stage fright is a fear that may be overcome.