Turning Performance Anxiety into Postive Dance Energy

February 3rd, 2016 by Roy Patterson

How To Turn Your Nerves Into Constructive Energy

Catherine Mancuso
Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 12.25.59 PM

Photo Courtesy of King Shot Photography

You’re backstage at the competition waiting to go on.

You start feeling butterflies in your belly and your thoughts are racing.

You’re about to be announced and suddenly nerves are taking over like crazy.

What do you do?

Let the nerves get the best of you?

Or do you use that energy and channel it into the best performance of your life?

What exactly are nerves? It’s our bodies’ fight-or-flight system coming into play. Our fearful brain doesn’t like unfamiliar territory where we don’t know exactly how things are going to turn out. It starts jumping to conclusions that we need to get out of there fast before something bad happens. The irony? If we let our nerves take over, usually something bad does happen.

Here’s how you can take those nerves and turn them into positive dance energy.

Step 1: Take 5 deep breaths with your eyes closed, focusing on just inhaling and exhaling. You want to get your parasympathetic nervous system (https://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/auto.html) back up and running so that your mind will calm down.

Step 2: Visualize yourself having the best performance of your life. Taking even just one minute to see yourself performing perfectly will ease your mind, and it will have rehearsed having a successful performance.

Step 3: Harness that loose energy! Take all those frazzled bits of energy and concentrate on putting them into focus in one area. I like to extend out through my extremities using all that extra energy.


Remember, nerves are just trying to protect you from danger. When we retell the story and focus that energy we can easily take those nerves and put them to constructive use. Catherine Mancuso – @AriesInFlight



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