Struggling With Stage Fright? Use These 3 Tricks to Conquer Your Fears


You’re standing backstage, getting ready to carry out the solo you’ve spent months perfecting—when, immediately, your thoughts blanks. You possibly can’t appear to conjure a single step, and you’re feeling a way of doom overtaking your thoughts and physique. That sensation, says Josh Spell, LICSW, consulting therapist with Pacific Northwest Ballet College, is stage fright, also referred to as efficiency nervousness.

Stage fright is a “state of overwhelm in our physique,” Spell says. “Our sympathetic nervous system is in a spot of chaos.” He likens the expertise to when the processor of a pc has “reached the purpose of capability with what it will possibly retailer. It will get actually scorching, and it slows down,” he says. Within the midst of that feeling of panic, it’s straightforward to overlook that you’ve company in the way you reply. Listed here are a number of strategies to make use of—earlier than and through an expertise of stage fright—to assist reduce the signs and get again to dancing.

Use Your Breath

A wholesome degree of tension round performing will be energizing. “It tells you that you just care about what’s about to occur and that you just’re actually invested within the efficiency,” Spell says. However if you’re experiencing a lot pre-performance doubt that your mind shuts off, he recommends doing deep respiration: taking a sluggish inhale adopted by a good slower exhale, repeatedly.

“I think about numerous performers haven’t checked in with their respiration as a result of they’re so consumed with no matter is about to occur,” he says, “and that takes us out of our our bodies.” Since it’s troublesome to speak, with ourselves or others, once we’re anxious and guarded (assume fight-or-flight response), taking intentional breaths will help calm your thoughts and physique, and prepared you for the subsequent steps.

Acknowledge Your Emotions

When you’ve began to manage your respiration, take into account opening a dialogue with your self. “That can assist you to come again into your individual expertise. We are able to use feelings as a type of communication machine,” says Spell. Anchoring your self within the current second, reasonably than permitting your ideas and feelings to find out or choose your expertise, will preserve stage fright from taking up.

Efficiency nervousness manifests somatically, not simply emotionally, so take a second to floor your self in what is occurring to your physique. “Possibly you discover you will have sweaty palms, perhaps you will have the butterfly sensation, or perhaps you’re feeling like there’s a herd of cattle in your chest and you may’t breathe,” he says. Naming how your physique is reacting brings you again right into a dialogue with your self. This fashion, Spell says, you’re not simply on the mercy of your anxieties. You possibly can advocate for your self within the second.

Have interaction Your Senses

Tapping into your senses—sight, sound, odor, style, contact—will help you change into extra linked to your emotional and bodily state. Spell recommends squeezing a stress ball, doing intense bodily actions like leaping jacks or working in place, or resetting your system with a robust bodily sensation, corresponding to placing ice in opposition to your pores and skin. You possibly can even use frozen fruit: Merely holding a frozen orange in your hand, or putting it in opposition to your temples, can middle you within the right here and now, Spell says. “You’re not truly current if you’re on this mode of excessive nervousness. Generally, you’re not in a position to even see what’s occurring round you. What you’re actually making an attempt to do is come again to the current.”


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