Hailee Payne’s pre-show ritual

We can’t get enough of Hailee Payne!  Ever since she blew us away on Season 12 of “So You Think You Can Dance,” Hailee has been dominating the dance scene with both her dancing and killer choreo. Whether performing as an alum on SYTYCD, on tour with Florida Georgia Line and The Backstreet Boys, or in music videos and live performances, Hailee always looks cool, calm, and super confident. We got to ask her about her pre-show ritual to better understand how she gets ready for the stage:

FOOD! “I always have a meal about 2.5 hours before a show.  It’s usually Chipotle, to be honest! It gets me amped and ready for the show with plenty of energy.  I also make sure to drink lots of water.”

Makeup: “I have become enamored with the act of putting makeup on.  It almost has a calming effect for me.  I take my time—especially with eyeshadow—making sure everything is blended to perfection.”

Warmup: “I always have to give myself plenty of time to stretch.  I have found that my show is not as solid if I do not have a proper warmup.  I love the traditional warmup: isolations, breathing exercises, lunges, strengthening, lengthening, and ending with some abdominal exercises (you’ve got to warm up that core!).”

Teamwork: “After getting into costume, the whole team gets together. We go over notes for the show, say a prayer, and gather our energy before the show starts.”

A moment to herself: “My own personal tradition includes separating myself from the group to take a moment and give myself a pep talk.  I take a deep breath, hold it, and exhale slowly. Then, I move into my ‘unicorn mantra.’ I remind myself, ‘I can do this. I love what I do and that’s all that matters. Perform to the best of your ability. Just relax and let it go!  Be a unicorn!”  With that, I shake off the last of my nerves and head onto the stage, game face on, ready to enjoy another day of doing the best job ever!”

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