Do you remember seeing someone just RIP IT on stage and thinking “damn, I wanna dance like that one day!!”?
That “one day” can be a lot sooner than you think.
Whether it’s at a major competition or during groups in a class, you have the opportunity to inspire someone every time you perform.
Here are a few simple ways to build your stage presence!
Ready to radiate? Let’s go.
See Related Article: How To Deal With Pre-Performance Jitters For Dancers
1. Figure out your intention behind the movement
Dancers talk in such length about “intention,” but for good reason.
Dance is an expression. So of course you’ll need to know what’s being expressed.
Are you portraying a character? Telling a story? Emoting a feeling?
There’s always more to a move than the move itself.
The most captivating dancers aren’t always the cleanest or even the most technically sound. They’re the ones who are raw and unapologetic with their performance.
You can tighten up those fast combos and set your angles later. Make sure you’re translating the right intent first.
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2. Practice like you want to perform
“Under pressure, we don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.”
There are so many factors that make the stage difficult for a dancer.
Sticky floors, bright lights, unexpected jumps in music – not to mention the adrenaline, nervousness, and exhaustion that comes with performance day…
This is why it’s important to always practice the way you want to perform.
If you’re always marking pieces and half-memorizing your formation, you will NOT go full-out and get to your spots on stage.
Always err on the side of over-preparing.
When you do run-throughs, perform like you want to look on stage. When you’re running to your spot, GET THERE instead of lollygagging because “it’s only preview night.”
This applies in a class setting as well. If you want to smash it in groups, practice smashing it in groups every time you do the piece!
See Related Article: How To Dance Bigger, Stronger, And More “Full Out”
When you’re on stage, especially for a big show, someone is ALWAYS watching you.
“But I’m in the back left corner!” – Trust, someone can still see you.
Not to blast the pressure, but you should always be performing.
From the moment your music starts to the moment it ends, you are performing. Even if you’re doing a cross-over backstage – that’s a part of the production. That’s an element you cannot forget or mess up.
You’re milking for an 8-count? Make it the best milk of yo LYFE. Just holding a pose? Hold the sh*t out of it!
You need to OWN YOUR PRESENCE from beginning to end, regardless of where you are or what you’re doing.
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4. Interact with other dancers
It’s fun to watch people having fun, isn’t it?
I love feeling dancers just vibing with each other on stage. There’s a certain energy that you can feel when dancers have good chemistry with each other.
There’s no reason not to apply this in a class setting, too! Or any setting, for that matter!
Make eye contact, groove out, do random silly crap with other dancers when you’re performing.
You don’t want to distract them or take away from the effect of the piece. Just use your judgement to know how much energy to exchange.
Sometimes, a simple side eye their way is all it takes.
5. Don’t rush!!!
It’s common to get really caught up in the adrenaline of the performance and end up being a hair too early for your moves.
Stay listening to the music. By that point, the moves should be ingrained in your muscle memory. Now, just stay on the music and dance them!
The audience can definitely tell if you’re DANCING versus doing moves for the sake of doing moves.
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6. Know where to look
Your focus makes a BIG difference in your performance.
When you’re on a big stage in front of a big audience (especially if it’s a two + story venue), project UPward! Lift your chin and open your chest to make your movements readable.
In a class setting, look past the mirror. Look at the people you’re performing for. Look at the other dancers in your group.
Point is, don’t just stay glued onto your reflection in the mirror. You’re not serenading yourself!
7. Honestly.. Just have fun!
Everyone is naturally attracted to positive energy. You don’t want to watch someone who looks like they hate what they’re doing, right?
Watching someone who’s genuinely enjoying dance is captivating. If you’re feelin’ it, they’re feelin’ it.
See Related Article: How To Dance With More Confidence
Can’t wait to see y’all smash it in the next show! Happy training, dancers!
Have some tips that help you with your performance? Comment below to share!
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