I want to give a shout out to one of my followers for suggesting this post last week! Thank you! Jumping right into this post, I wanted to start with the definition with confidence.
Webster’s dictionary defines confidence as: the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust.
So, confidence is really defined as trust. What should we be trusting and relying on in ballet? We should be relying on technique.
In dance, it is so important to trust yourself. If you don’t believe that you can do something, you’re not going to do it. Period.
Now you might be wondering, “How do I keep having confidence when I’m doing something difficult?”
Here are my 5 ways to stay confident in class:
- Keep breathing. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again…When we’re nervous, we tend to hold our breath. Taking deep breathes can take away nerves and help you focus on what you’re working on.
- Positive self-talk. I can do this. I’ve put in the work. My muscles know the movements. My body has been doing the preparations for this step for years. All I have to do is try. I can do this and I will do it well.
- Essential oils. Before class, I inhale and apply Valor, and/or Peace and Calming to my feet. The smell is incredibly calming, and I have noticed such a difference in my focus in class.
- Characterization. Often times in class, I will pretend that I am a character from a ballet. This has greatly boosted my confidence. When I’m pretending to be the Black Swan from Swan Lake, I don’t have to be afraid of a turn combination, because I know that the Black Swan can nail 32 fouettés. When I’m pretending to be Tinkerbell from Peter Pan, I don’t have to worry about petite allegro, because Tinkerbell is incredibly good at jumping and quick, precise footwork. Become the character, and you can trick your brain into doing things you didn’t think you could do.
- Find a role model. Find a dancer or two that you look up to, and aspire to become that dancer. A few of my favorites are Sarah Mearns, Isabella Boylston, and Kathryn Morgan. How did they get to where they are now? They worked hard. You can have all the confidence and talent in the world, but if you are lazy, you won’t get anywhere. So keep working, and remember that even the incredible dancer you look up to has bad days in class, too.
Have a great week! And stay confident!