Sam Nelson: It's Your Moment



Being a dancer takes confidence and poise. It is hard work and lots of fun at the same time. But sometimes, the fun fades and fear sets in. Here are some tips to help you conquer those fears and dance like nobody is watching.

Sometimes, it may be scary to take a class in a style you are uncomfortable in, but it is important for you to always push yourself to be better and try your hardest in every class you take. Don’t worry about being embarrassed or making mistakes. The class is a safe space for you to try new things, take artistic risks, and explore the endless amount of possibilities you have as a dancer. There is so much to learn and so much work to be done. The more versatile you are, the more marketable you become in the industry. Practicing your skills in all styles will surely pay off in the long run and you can enjoy the process of educating yourself in more than one genre of dance.

Dancers occasionally have injuries which keep them from dancing for a while. If the injury was caused by an accident that occurred while dancing, figure out what went wrong and how to avoid repeating the injury again. Don’t try to jump back into full activity right away. Give your body enough time to heal and become comfortable going full out again. Sit in on a class and take notes. This can help you learn and grow. Watch videos of yourself dancing to inspire you to get back to where you want to be. Take it slow and trust yourself to dance safely and you will be dancing like your old self again in no time.

Competitions can be stressful because we want to do our absolute best for our team, teachers, parents, and ourselves. Maybe you saw a routine go on before you that looked perfect and you’re thinking they are so talented, how can we beat them? Your adrenaline kicks in and you’re nervous you can’t compete with a group that good. My advice is to take that negative energy and use it to motivate yourself. You have worked hard training and rehearsing, and you belong on that stage too! Don’t worry so much about beating the other team. Enjoy your performance and focus on doing your best. The only dancer you should compare yourself to is the one you used to be. We are all at different stages in our dance training. As long as you are learning, you are growing. Keep training, keep working hard, and always do your personal best. We should be happy for other dancers’ success. When someone does well, we should applaud their efforts and support each other. We all love to dance, so even if we are on different teams, we are all artists in this sport. Cheering each other on makes the competition less stressful and more fun for everyone.

Personally, I get extremely nervous before taking the stage. However recently, I have seen a dramatic improvement in my approach to my performances. My philosophy is this; go out there and do the thing you love to do. You are well prepared and there is nothing to be afraid of. It’s your moment. You love to dance and that shows on stage. People enjoy watching other people do what they love – it inspires them. That is what makes an exceptional performance rather than a good performance. It is your time to show what you have been working so hard at. Don’t hold back and give it everything you’ve got. And most importantly, be proud of your courage to take the stage no matter what happens. That is an accomplishment within itself. You can do this ?

Shine on!