Performance anxiety Stage fright

What it takes to overcome performance anxiety

AileyBy Rachel Zar

What it takes to overcome performance anxiety

In the opening performance of her first season with Ailey II, Shay Bland was cast in Alvin Ailey’s Streams. This show was an important one—her first time dancing Ailey’s choreography as a professional. And as she waited in the wings, with the music already beginning to play, she panicked. “I was freaking out, imagining all the ways my performance could go wrong, ” Bland says. “Would I forget the choreography? Would my costume come off? I wasn’t breathing regularly, and the other dancers backstage were worried I would faint.”

Right: Bland with Jamal White in Jennifer Archibald’s Wings. Photo by Eduardo Patino, Courtesy Ailey.

Terrifying backstage experiences like Bland’s aren’t unusual. In fact, at least 50 percent of performing artists, regardless of age, gender or experience level, have had problems with performance anxiety. More commonly called “stage fright, ” performance anxiety can be a lifelong struggle or erupt midway through a dancer’s career, often due to an injury, a past bad experience or, as in Bland’s case, the overwhelming pressure of an important performance. Physical symptoms include a racing pulse, rapid breathing, dry mouth, a tight throat, changes in vision, sweaty or cold hands, and trembling in the hands, knees, lips or voice. Dancers may even get a sense of floating, being completely outside of their bodies. And the mental symptoms—fear and self-doubt—can sometimes be the most crippling.

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Anxiety like this doesn’t mean you’re a bad performer. In fact, dancers in principal roles may actually exhibit more signs of pre-performance panic because of the added pressure they’re under. But severe symptoms could negatively affect your performance, and hurt your career. (Not to mention that dread and panic can completely take the joy out of dancing.) Thankfully, there are several ways to overcome this syndrome.

Understanding Anxiety
The first step is understanding why you’re anxious. Dr. Steve Julius, a clinical psychologist who specializes in enhancing the performance of clients like Cirque du Soleil and the Chicago Bulls, as well as other athletes, explains that performance anxiety comes from the brain’s limbic system, which controls our fight or flight response. “A performer needs at least a moderate amount of anxiety to get energized, ” Julius says. “Too little isn’t helpful, because then you’ll under-respond. But too much will tell you to turn and run.”

Dancers shouldn’t be ashamed to seek professional help if their response is out of control. “If these symptoms are ongoing, especially if they’re coming during class and rehearsal, or they’re disrupting your sleep, seek counseling, ” advises certified athletic trainer Katherine Ewalt, who’s worked with dancers in Southern California. Most dance companies and schools have a psychologist on call who will listen to your concerns without judgment and help you find the path that works best for you. You can also find a local counselor at locator.apa.org.

Most stage fright goes away fairly quickly

by once_you_get_going

And are focused on the actual performance...before that, you have time to obsess on it so it's worse.
Things like meditation and breathing exercises can help, and there's all kinds of other tricks and techniques used by actors and public speakers that can apply as well-

If you want to know why

by FormerTroll

Wait, first of all i'm NOT going to be the type to lecture you about sleeping with an EX!! Any sex is good sex in my book lol
anyways,
most guys feel more secure when they are the ones that initiate sexual activities. Sometimes guys can get a bit insecure when a woman initiates. Notice i say sometimes because so few women actually initiate it regularly lol.
Then they start getting that pecker stage fright or clinically known as 'performance anxiety'
make another top post and i'll tell you how to get around it in the future........maybe lol

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