Ever noticed how certain people seem to fill a room with energy, despite the fact that they might be the only people on the floor? Or you might have seen some taller people in stature, yet when they’re on the stage, they seem to have shrunk in size.
Or maybe you couldn’t take your eyes off that certain dancer in a room full of dancers. What is it that makes them catch and hold our attention?
I admit, when you’re the only person dancing in a room where all eyes are on you, there is an eyeball energy that can cause one to chicken out. This is because you’re aware that everybody is so focused on every move you’re doing, and possibly scrutinizing every little detail you make.
Yet, despite the potential stage fright that this can cause, the most important issue is to counteract the chickening and fill the room with your presence.
Acknowledge that there are others in the room.
If there is one thing that top performers can do well, it is by acknowledging that there are people everywhere, from the audience to their dance partners. The world is already watching you, and the least you could do is to smile at them boldly.
Once you acknowledge the people there, it means that you accept the fact that they are watching. Only by personally being mentally aware can we prepare ourselves for the time on the stage.
Every move you do is a planned determination, even if you trip or fall.
Assuming that you have thoroughly prepared your part for the performance, sometimes unforeseen circumstances do happen. You might slip on your dress or step on something that could send you skidding off the floor.
Your course of reaction is to continue as if nothing has happened and make that recovery. Sure, the audience may have noticed that you have slipped up, but what becomes more important is learn how to fully recover on the floor with full determination.
A brilliant example would be seeing how Anna Kuzminskaya recovered from stepping on her outfit during a competition final (0:46). Complete with her facial expression and instant reaction, she stayed cool and got her mojo back into the choreography without delay. What great recovery!
Stretch your body upwards and outwards right from the start to the finish.
The start does not begin when your dance routine starts. It’s actually much earlier than that: from the moment you appear and set your foot onto the stage.
When they say presentation counts, it does not only count when you’re dancing. The moment you enter the floor, you already have the power to set the mood of the audience. Once again, taking Andrey Zaystev and Anna Kuzminskaya as an example, they make it a point to make their presence known (and appearing to be taller than they really are) before their dancing begins.
From the moment they take the floor and did the underarm spin presentation, it allows the crowd to take notice and hold their breath for something exciting to happen.
Interesting point to note: Remember a previous mention of Anna remaining cool when mishaps happen? She plucked her fallen earring off her costume in 0:42 and threw it away, as though it were a natural occurrence.
Turn the nerves to excitement, because it’s a show of emotions.
The most common advice that people tell you is “stay calm” when you’re performing. Sadly, this has a tendency to backfire because there is so much happening around you before and during the performance time. Loud music, making sure you remember your routine, the crowd cheering…your pulse is bound to increase with adrenaline levels shooting higher up.
Instead, match your mood to the energy. Do those shoulder and limb shakes to move your muscles and get the blood flowing to those limbs. Once you’ve literally shaken and loosened up those limbs, use that same energy and turn nerves to excitement.
Yes, your heart is trembling and your feet suddenly have minds of their own, but make use of this and turn it into an explosive energy of excitement instead.
At the end of the day, your performance influences the mood of the room, and the crowd will remember how you made them feel when you share your joy and love of dance with them.
Has this article helped you in any way? Share it with someone who might want some tips on making that presence when performing!
Image Source: BdwayDiva1