Confidence In Dance
Confidence is essential for any dancer, but it doesn’t have to be genuine! Even if you’re shaking in your dancing shoes, LOOK confident and your audience will be impressed.
Dancers often forget the audience wasn’t at rehearsal. They don’t know what the steps of a routine were supposed to be, so they’re not going to spot a mistake unless you makes it obvious by frowning or pulling a funny face – or worse, by stopping!
If you keep your head up, torso erect, smiling brightly no matter what’s happening lower down, the audience will probably never notice you goofed.
It’s natural to feel nerves before the show, and there’s not much you can do to avoid that. Practice looking confident every time you dance – even in dance class – and it will become second nature. It’s annoying that dancers who try to look confident in class can be seen as ‘show-offs’ by other students. Those students would prefer you to pull faces, giggle when you make a mistake and sketch your final pose instead of ‘hitting’ it.
I know it’s tough to withstand those jibes, but ask yourself what’s more important – fitting in, or your dance career. Serious dancers will always try to perform in class exactly as they would on stage (the only exception is if they’re conserving their energy for a later performance by ‘marking’ the steps).
My ballet teacher expected us to take every step in class, as if we were on stage. I found that to be excellent advice – although it has got me into trouble! When I started performing flamenco, audience members often assumed I was the troupe leader instead of my teacher. I knew they were wrong – my teacher was light years ahead of me. But the difference was, I had learned to dance confidently no matter what, whereas she was shy and danced with her eyes downcast. So when we danced together, it was me who grabbed the audience’s attention. They never noticed my feet were not as precise or my hand movements less graceful – all they could see were my smile, my posture, and my ‘attack’ and enthusiasm.
Naturally, you must also devote attention to rehearsals, so the steps become second nature. But that’s not the biggest contribution to your ‘confidence score’!