Preventing Stage Fright on the Dance Floor

Conquer Stage Fright

Lessons at Fred Astaire Dance Studios can help you conquer stage fright and get you prepped to cut a rug at the next big party on your calendar.

Does the idea of dancing in front of a crowd fill you with dread? Do you sit on the sidelines while your friends hit the dance floor? Don’t despair! You are not alone. Actors, sports heroes, and politicians commonly fall victim to stage fright before a performance, game, or public speaking engagement. The instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios are no strangers to stage fright either. As competitive ballroom dancers, many of our instructors get nervous before a big performance, especially with judges critiquing their skills.

Stage fright, or performance anxiety, is a form of anxiety that happens when faced with the prospect of performing or speaking in front of an audience. People who suffer from stage fright may feel numb or experience excessive dread. Many people even have physical symptoms, such as dry mouth, racing heart, nausea, and sweaty palms. It’s common to also feel tense and fidgety. At least 20% of Americans suffer from stage fright, but millions more experience butterflies before a big event.

Take a look at this clip from “The Graham Norton Show.” Actress Nicole Kidman discusses her bout with stage fright when she returned to the stage to perform in London’s West End.


Alleviate Stage Fright at FADS


Cutting loose on the dance floor at a wedding or dance club can be nerve-wracking for people who do not enjoy the limelight. One of the best ways to conquer stage fright is to practice. By practicing your dance moves, you will gain confidence in your ability and limit performance anxiety from taking center stage.

Lessons at Fred Astaire Dance Studios will give you the courage you need to conquer stage fright and make tripping the light fantastic second nature. Ballroom dancing is a fun, lifelong hobby you can enjoy for years to come. Learning to mambo, swing, and salsa will provide you with a creative outlet for your emotions, and practicing dancing will make you the life of the party.


Techniques to Banish Stage Fright


If you have butterflies before your first lesson, Fred Astaire Dance Studios recommends trying some techniques to lower your anxiety.

Take a deep breath. Deep breathing techniques can help you center your thoughts and relax.

Employ visualization strategies. Everyone has heard the recommendation, “picture the audience in their underwear.” While that technique may do the trick, we recommend visualizing your strengths and the joyful reaction the audience will have to your performance to calm your nerves.

Limit caffeine. Your morning coffee habit may be increasing your penchant for stage fright. The caffeine in coffee blocks receptors in the brain that promote sleep to keep you awake and energized. Although the extra boost is great for a Monday morning at the office, excess energy can increase anxiety. It’s best to avoid sugar and alcohol, too.

Adopt healthy habits. A healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and regular exercise can go a long way to limiting the symptoms of stage fright by putting you in the right mindset for a performance.

To refocus, take a look at two clips from popular movies of people who conquered stage fright.

In this clip from the animated musical “Sing 2,” one of the characters suffers debilitating stage fright. The theater owner calms her fears, and she impresses the crowd with her vocal skills.

Ruby, the main character in the movie “CODA,” is a talented singer. But she suffers from stage fright at school when she is asked to perform solo during choir class. Ruby is only accustomed to singing in front of her family, who are all deaf. The choir director uses humorous breathing techniques to give her the courage to sing.

Kick stage fright to the curb by scheduling a dance lesson. Contact your local Fred Astaire Dance Studios location to learn more about our lineup of dance lessons.