How to control the pre-show jitters

No matter how many times you’ve been on stage, pre-show jitters are real and not fun at all.  Butterflies in your tummy, weak knees, nausea, or a rapid heartbeat…anxiety can come in all different forms.  Here are some tips to get you out of your head and into your body before a big performance:

Practice deep breathing.  Breathe in through your nose for three counts and out through your mouth for five slow seconds.  Calming your breath with help slow down your fluttering heartbeat.  You can even say a mantra in your mind—breathe in peace and breathe out fear—or keep repeating “I am enough.”

Hold a 1-minute plank.  Firing up your core will center your energy and connect you to your body.  Doing a few pushups or jumping jacks is another way to expend nervous energy while also warming up your body for performance.

Listen to your favorite song.  Yes, you have permission to plug in your headphones and disconnect for a minute (so long as you don’t miss hearing your name/number being called to the stage!).  Playing your favorite song will put you in a good mood and distract you from any anxiety you’re feeling.

Nourish your body.  Eating something nutritious can ease your mind (and mindless munching).  Steer clear of caffeinated drinks and sugary snacks.  Instead, grab a handful of almonds, some Greek yogurt, a piece of dark chocolate, or a hard-boiled egg.  A combination of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats will keep you satiated (and prevent you from getting hangry!).

Manifest success. Olympic divers, sprinters, and gymnasts all practice dreaming.   What we mean is that they go through their performance in their heads, imagining how every moment will look and feel.  Close your eyes and go through your dance routine in your mind.  Envision yourself executing perfect pirouettes and exuding calm confidence.

How you deal with your pre-show jitters can vary from person to person.  If you’ve got some other helpful tactics that work for you, share them with us in the comments section below.  Remember…you got this!

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