Feel like you're in need of a little assurance to help you perform at your best? We're here to help! Read on for BLOCH's top tips on building confidence in the ballet class and beyond
Pulling off a high jeté or five pirouettes is an impressive feat for any ballet dancer, but what's even more extraordinary than perfect technique, is when a dancer beams with pure confidence. You know it when you see it — a light radiates from his or her presence, through every extension and every pore, in an almost unexplainable way.
While such unmistakable self-belief comes naturally to some, for others, expressing poise and self-assurance can feel impossible. If you fall into the latter category it doesn't mean you'll never experience this feeling, it just means you may have to dig a little deeper during class to find it.
Practice, practice, practice
"Practice until you can't get it wrong." Claudia Salinas, Professional dancer and model, on Instagram.
Practice truly does make perfect, and being comfortable in your own skin starts long before reaching the stage — it begins in the classroom and requires practice. Just like when you fall out of your fouetté turns, when you're doubting your abilities, simply stand up and brush them off. Constructively working through those insecurities is how you'll start trusting your skills, which in turn will build confidence.
This is something echoed by the professionals too, like ballerina and model Ariana Dewing, who once said on Instagram: "As dancers and as artists we must stay strong when other's opinions are not what we are hoping for. Because in the end you have to be your biggest fan." We couldn't agree more, never give up!
Take all feedback on board
"Your focus determines your reality!" Chloe Arnold, Choreographer and founder of Syncopated Ladies, via Instagram.
Even when it comes from a teacher you admire and trust, constructive criticism can seem harsh, but when you receive feedback that catches you off guard, don't let it get you down, use it to your advantage instead. It's a suggestion to make you a better dancer after all. Remember that a critique has nothing to do with your self-worth.
For those times in class or rehearsal when you do feel hurt by a correction, try not to dwell on it, as focusing on the negatives will only bring you down. Remember, that little voice inside your head telling you 'I'm never going to be as good as her' or 'I can't do anything right' is only that, a voice in your head. Keep repeating positive words to yourself and one day you might just believe them.
Never compare yourself to others
"Being unique is so much more beautiful than trying to be like the person next to you." Misty Copeland, American Ballet Theatre principal, via YouTube.
Being a part of a class or dance team means training alongside other talented dancers in an extremely competitive environment, but don't let that put pressure on you. Show up to class, support your fellow dancers, and keep working on your mind (just like your body) with healthy determination. Instead of comparing yourself to the other dancers in your class, focus on your own individual talents and skills and you'll be certain to thrive.
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