Getting on stage and showing the audience the results of weeks and months of hard work learning a new dance or routine is great for ballet student’s confidence and progression.
Dance performances or dance exams bring together everything ballet students have learned and can help build confidence and stage skills. It is also an opportunity to have a new experience with their family and friends.
Whether it is a dance show or an exam, putting yourself on show can be a little nerve wracking so here are some great tips to give the best performance you can.
Practice, Practice, Practice
In the leadup to a performance, class showing or exam, it is essential to attend as many classes as possible. As the saying goes ‘proper preparation improves performance’ (and builds confidence). Going over the dance movements or routines repeatedly will improve technique and creates ‘muscle memory’, which allows your body to remember the next move on autopilot, allowing you to confidently focus on performing for the audience.
Attending every class and rehearsal is particularly important for a group performance, class showing or an exam. Teamwork is a big part of dance and having someone missing during the final rehearsals or classes can affect everyone, especially the group patterns and formations. This is also when all the final polishing and positioning is tweaked, so missing this important time can affect everyone’s confidence and performance.
Check Your Costume and Shoes
Pulling a costume out of storage or from a dance bag the night before a show or presentation, can be a recipe for disaster. There may be a stain, small tear or stitching coming undone or the elastic could have stretched to the point of no return.
Dirty marks, busted zips, rips, and holes spell drama on performance day. Make sure your costume is clean, repaired, and ready at least a week before going onstage or into a presentation or exam. And don’t forget to try it on to make sure it fits. Plus check your shoes are prepared and clean as well. New shoes purchased in a hurry are not a good idea and can be disastrous for the performer, if they haven’t worn them before. They should also be prepared, worn in a little and ready at least a week or two, beforehand.
Pack Your Dance Bag
Every dancer needs a kit with plenty of spares for a performance, class showings or exams. Your dance bag should include some of the following, hair nets and pins, hair spray and make up, and tissues. A needle and thread are always useful as are safety pins and spare shoe ribbons. A mini first aid kid and a bottle of water are also a great idea. Snacks like fruit or a lunch if you will be waiting a long time between performances can also keep you fuelled and happy.
On the Day Tips
Pack and check your bag the night before so you wake up feeling prepared and ready to go. Plan to leave early so you are not rushing or panicking about arriving on time. Label everything – the dressing room will be a flurry of activity and it is easy for things to become lost or end up in the wrong bag.
Performances, class showings and exams are meant to be the highlight of learning to dance but they can sometimes be overwhelming. The most important thing is to smile and try to have fun. It is ok to feel nervous beforehand, but this will melt away as soon as you get on stage if you are well-prepared.