In this edit of Let's Talk DYNS, our team will be sharing their tips and tricks to make sure you are prepped and perfected ready for your next performance.
For a lot of us, performing can be an incredible, exciting experience, and ultimately the reason some of us are in the industry, but at times it can get difficult. Luckily you can rely on your instructor/choreographer to help you out with the choreography and your technique, but there are so many other factors you should think about to prepare for a performance.
The DYNS Team have put together some tips to help you prep for your next performance. Whether it's your first performance or your 50th, these tips from the DYNS Team should help to cure those pre performance jitters!
1. PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE!
You know what they say.. practice makes perfect! This sounds like a pretty obvious one, but so many times we hear dancers say after a performance that they wished they had put in a bit more practice before the big day.
To make sure you're making the most out of your performance, make sure you begin your rehearsals well in advance, preferably months before performance day, and rehearse your routines AT LEAST once a week, but the more you rehearse, the better.
We say "practice makes perfect" .. but really it should be "PERFECT practice makes perfect". There's no use practicing a routine over and over if you aren't correcting the mistakes. Once your body gets used to doing a move a certain way, it can be difficult to correct. It's important to always practice your routines 'full-out', making sure you're dancing as if you are performing to an audience every time. This will help your body get used to how it will actually move on stage, and will also improve your stamina ready for performance day.
Ultimately, it is important that you are patient with yourself and your body. If you are struggling with a certain movement or sequence, or you feel the whole routine isn't looking the way you'd like it to, take a step back, breathe and rethink.
Feedback is one of the most important factors of perfecting your routines. You can practice in front of a mirror, just for yourself until you're blue in the face, but having an outside perspective can make you realise certain flaws in the routine that you may not have noticed previously.
Any piece of feedback is valuable, whether it be praise or constructive criticism. It can be from your choreographer, instructor, peers, family members or even a random observer.
If you don't have anyone present to give you feedback, it may help to record yourself performing the routine (full-out of course!) and then watching it back yourself, or even sending it to someone at a later date.
3. Mock Performance
Once you have most of your routine pretty much done, it's a good idea to start rehearsing it in front of a group of people, especially if you've never performed before, this is a great way to ease you into the feeling of others watching you. This is a good way to ease some stage fright that you might have built up.
4. Mirrors be Gone!
As great as mirrors in dance studios are, some of us can become too dependant on them, especially when dancing in a group. Once you become too reliant on dancing in front of a mirror, it's easy to get disorientated when they are no longer there. Some dancers also rely on mirrors to help with their spatial awareness, once the mirrors are covered, it can be hard to figure out how close/far away others are to you.
It's so important to get regular practice time away from mirrors, the earlier you integrate this into your rehearsals, the better, especially as your performance space will most likely not have them.
5. Just Keep Dancing!
Even after the months and months of hard practicing, no matter how hard you try, there is still a possibility that you may forget a movement or make a mistake. THIS IS NORMAL. But the great thing about performing in front of a new audience is, they don't know the choreography inside and out like you do. So many of us dancers make mistakes on stage during our performances, but 99.9% of audience members just don't notice. But the reason they don't notice is because as dancers, we are trained not to show it in our faces/bodies. As long as you keep dancing, keep smiling, the audience will be none the wiser!
6. Smile and Have Fun!
Ultimately, performances are meant to be exciting and fun. Try not to stress yourself out too much over making mistakes or forgetting the choreography. Just go, do your best and perform full-out, and that is good enough for us!
We hope these top tips may come in useful for you some day, just remember, keep dancing!
Lots of love,
The DYNS Team xx