Alexandra’s Tips on Confidence

By on August 12, 2016

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!”

About Alexandra Pullen

Alexandra Pullen was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and was raised in Chicago, Illinois, where she began her initial ballet training at a local community center. Pullen studied at Dance Center Evanston, Evanston School of Ballet, and Chicago Ballet Arts, and the Ruth Page School of Dance, where she joined their company, the Civic Ballet of Chicago. She trained on scholarship at the Joffrey Academy of Ballet in Chicago under Anna Reznik and Alexei Kremnev. She toured with the Joffrey Trainees to perform as Clara in The Nutcracker Suite. She studied on scholarship at summer programs of the San Francisco Ballet School, School of American Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre. In 2012, Pullen competed in the Youth America Grand Prix Chicago Semi-Finals and received a gold medal in the classical category and a silver medal in the contemporary category. She was a Finalist in New York City. In September 2012, Pullen was awarded the Shoot for Change Scholarship to attend the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre, and joined ABT Studio Company two weeks later. Pullen joined ABT as an apprentice 2013 and was promoted to the corps de ballet in 2014. With ABT, Pullen's rep included Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, Giselle, Swan Lake, Coppelia, Ashton's The Dream, Manon, Cinderella, Gaite Parisienne, Les Sylphide, La Bayadere, and Twyla Tharp's Bach Partita. She toured ABT to destinations such as Abu Dhabi, Australia, Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis. This is her second season with Colorado Ballet.

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