Right now I am eating, sleeping and breathing that pas de deux. Whenever I think about it I get this knot in my stomach not because I'm unsure of my capability, but because the idea of the artistic director watching me perform the sugar plum pas on stage is so nerve racking! Very little choreography has been changed and I have had very little partnering experience. (Comparatively to this kind of stuff anyway) I feel like I've just been pushed into the deep end of the pool and now I have a choice: sink or swim. As far as I'm concerned I think I'm treading water... Hopefully anyway. ;)
Calming yourself before a performance can be a difficult job. Your nerves are flying off the walls and it seems as though nothing can harness them in. Here are a few tips for some quick ways to ease those butterflies in your stomach.
1: You need to visualize yourself doing well. Picturing yourself falling or slipping during a pique turn is not going to help you. Instead think of yourself doing that triple/quadruple pirouette, or imagine your grand jete as high and wide as it can be. This will give you a confidence boost and reminds you that you know you can do it.
2: For eight counts, breathe in, and then for eight counts breathe out. Repeat this three times. I’m not sure why but I have found that it always manages to calm me down and relax my body.
3: For many people, it helps to have a good luck charm with you. Although most of us have learned the lesson that the charm is not really what is helping us and it is simply giving us psychological confidence, it is still a nice way of reassuring yourself that you can do well. Some good charms may be: A favorite stuffed animal, a necklace, bracelet, ring, elastic or even a person. Maybe your mom or best friend is your good luck charm. It could be anything!
4: If you enjoy yoga or meditation that can also help a great deal. Calming your mind and slowing your heart rate is the secret behind any calming technique.
5: Sometimes, listening to music can calm your nerves and take you away for a moment. (Just make sure you come back in time!)
If you have your own techniques for calming your nerves post a comment about it below!
Thanks for reading everybody! :)