By Alexandra Pullen
Confidence is key in any performing art. It’s pretty much a proven fact that you dance better when you’re feeling good about yourself. For me, I whip out more pirouettes when I’m feeling on it and when I’m not trying too hard or feeling too much pressure. That’s when it just happens. Due to the nature of ballet, it’s natural that you might not actually FEEL confident all of the time, or even some of the time. Standing in front of a mirror in skintight and minimal clothing, with directors and teachers standing at the front of the room constantly watching and criticizing you, striving for perfection all of the time…It can really take a toll on your self-confidence. The popular phrase “fake it ‘till you make it” really rings true. If it’s not possible to BE confident 24/7, you can at least try out these tips to FEEL confident 24/7.
Give Yourself Positive Affirmations
When you wake up in the morning, remind yourself of what you love about yourself. It’s not vain to recognize your positive attributes. Maybe you love your archy feet, or your eyes, or your smile. Although you may have things you don’t like about yourself, it’s more productive to focus on what you do like.
Remind Yourself Why You are Where You Are
If you are a professional dancer, or even a student at an elite training school, you need to recognize that there’s a reason you’re there. Someone handpicked you to be there. Someone is literally paying you real money because they want you to dance for them–how crazy is that?! This is a good way to remind yourself that you are valued and wanted, even though directors sometimes have a funny way of showing it.
Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
It’s easy to pick apart our technique, our bodies, or our lives and compare them to others. This is SUCH a waste of time and energy. Everybody has different qualities, everyone has different paths, and everyone has their own unique attributes as well as insecurities. No one is perfect. You need to embrace your unique self. That’s where true confidence really comes from.
If you practice these three things, not only will you appear confident on the outside, but you’ll actually FEEL confident. Confidence comes from within and stems from loving yourself–including all of your “flaws!”