Overcoming Dance Nerves on Competition Day

February 9th, 2016 by Roy Patterson



Dance nerves are the WORST.

Imagine this- your next competition is three days away. You’ve been rehearsing an 8 count that you haven’t been able to nail the way you have been nailing the rest of your routine.  You’re slightly frustrated, but you know you’ve mastered it before, and are hoping that in the next couple of days everything will lock in.


Now imagine that you are 5 minutes away from gracing your competition stage. Your nerves are raging! You think, “What if I mess up?” “I haven’t consistently been able to nail that 8 count, what if I don’t nail it today?” “I really want to get a high score on this routine, I hope the judges focus on all the good parts and not the weak bits.”


There are many reasons why you may experience nerves before a performance, but today I want to focus on nerves that come as a result of your fear of “messing up.” When you don’t feel confident that something that you have been working on is perfect, you may doubt yourself so much that you experience crippling nerves.


The root of these nerves can be 100% settled by you. I would like to give you with 4 ways to overcome fear-fueled nerves;


  1. Breathe deeply. This will activate your body’s relaxation response and remind your nervous system to “chill out” so that you can execute your routine with confidence.
  2. Acknowledge where the nerves are coming from. Knowing that your nerves are a result of your fear is the first step to overcoming the nerves. Trusting that you have done all you can up to this moment to be will make all the difference.
  3. Lean on your friends/team. Sometimes your team mates are the greatest remedy to nerves. Let them know that you’re feeling nervous and allow them to affirm you with their words.
  4. Don’t focus on the negative. Instead of focusing your thoughts on all of the things that you haven’t been able to accomplish, focus on all of the things that you have perfected.


Don’t let your fear of messing up keep you from performing a top routine!