Self Confidence for Dancers
Dare to Dance
Gain Self Confidence and Dance!
While dance brings a lot of joy to participators, it can also make them feel very nervous and bring out a lack of self-confidence in both social and performance dance contexts. Every week I see new students who are very anxious about even setting foot into Bella Ballroom dance studio for the first time. I’ve had students tell me stories of how they waited outside the studio in their car a good half hour before walking in the door to ask about taking classes. Even students who have made it in through the door and taken classes can still get nervous. It can feel like a big leap for students to go from the comfort of dancing with their instructor in the studio to asking a stranger to dance on a social dance floor. As Bella Ballroom’s second anniversary party approaches, students preparing to dance in the student showcase are avidly practicing to help them feel more confident and at ease on show night. Our wedding couples getting ready to debut their first dance are experiencing similar feelings as their big day approaching. It’s safe to say that it’s common for new dancers to feel a little uneasy before jumping into new dance opportunities.
I’ve always believed that getting nervous isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Any dancer who cares about the outcome of their performance or how a new experience will go in a social dance context will feel some edginess from time to time. While getting nervous is natural, a good dose of healthy self-confidence can act as a helpful tool for dancers feeling unsure of themselves and their dance ability. If you believe you can’t do something, well, you can’t. If you believe you can do something, you’re setting yourself up for success!
New dancers who are looking to build self-confidence can use tools to help them believe they are more competent. These tools will encourage them to grow and to take future “dance risks” that will also help them achieve their dance goals as well as personal goals. The first step someone should take to build their self-confidence is to cultivate a good attitude. If you’re looking to eliminate failure, identify your negative thoughts and any pessimistic thoughts that may hold you back. Turn your negative thoughts into positive thoughts in a way that is believable for you. Positive affirmations throughout your day, before you ask someone to dance, or before you perform can give you that extra positive outlook before you tackle the dance moves that make you nervous. Even saying “I am going to try and do Viennese turns today” versus “I can’t do Viennese turns” can shift your mindset in a positive direction. With time try to make your positive thoughts take over any negative self-thinking.
Another way you boost your self-confidence is to surround yourself with people who know how awesome you are and believe in you. In addition to being your dance teacher, your Bella Ballroom instructor will be your dance coach and cheerleader. If you’re feeling unsure about a move or wondering if you’re ready or not to do something in dance, ask them. Not only are they there to support you, but they also know how far you’ve come since the first day you walked in the doors of the studio. They will remind you of all the progress you’ve already made and just how much farther you can go. Good friends and family will also help you maintain a positive support network. Surround yourself with uplifted people to help you keep your perspective lifted.
When feeling a lack of self-confidence with dance, remember to focus on your strengths and what you already do well. Taking pride in what you’re good at can help you boost your confidence as well as attack new dance moves you may be feeling less secure about. Write down what you’re great at and put the list somewhere you can see it. Add new accomplishments to the list every time you achieve a dance goal.
One of the best ways to gain self-confidence in dance is to get as much experience as you can. The more times you’ve performed a move or danced for an audience, the easier it becomes. If you’re delving into a dance experience for the first time, visualization can work as an effective tool. Our wedding couples getting ready for their first dance often have never performed before. I encourage them to visualize as much detail of the upcoming dance as they can before its debut. I tell them to visualize the venue, their guests, the lighting, themselves going through each step of the dance, and most importantly I tell them to picture their dance going successfully.
While it’s natural to get nervous before jumping into new dance experiences, nurturing a healthy self confidence can ease the edginess surrounding taking the leaps and bounds of fresh dance opportunities. Remember that cultivating positive thoughts, surrounding yourself with supportive people, focusing on your strengths, and gaining dance experience will all aide in a boost in self confidence on the dance floor. Stay focused and you’ll be shining on the dance floor in no time!
Article by Ziva