The 9 Best Ways to Fight Nerves

November 28, 2001

Are your spring performances coming up? Don’t let stage fright get the better of you. We compiled the 9 best tips Pointe has ever run on dealing with nerves.


1. Don’t be afraid of the butterflies in your stomach: Nerves can give you an extra shot of adrenaline which will keep you focused on stage. Think about using that giddy energy to your advantage.


2. Give yourself plenty of time to properly warm up, fix your hair and makeup, and rosin your shoes—rushing will only increase your anxiety.


3. Look for ways to relax backstage: Listen to your favorite songs on your iPod, find a quiet space to meditate or chat with a friend who makes you laugh.


4. “Stop thinking about the performance and focus on something completely random, like puppies.” —Hannah Bettes


5. Foods that are rich in carbohydrates, vitamin B or magnesium can help calm your nerves by enabling your body to produce serotonin, which makes you feel relaxed. Try snacking on things like cereal, bananas, cucumber and pumpkin seeds.


6. Write down a list of all the things you do well in the ballet. Can you nail a triple pirouette? Do you have beautiful épaulement? Read the list back to yourself to boost your confidence.


7. Close your eyes and picture yourself dancing the ballet well, visualizing your ideal performance.


8. Remember that your technique isn’t going to magically disintegrate while you’re onstage. Trust in the strength you’ve gained during the many hours you’ve spent training in the studio.


9. Remind yourself that this choreography is something you’ve done dozens of times. Let yourself go a bit so you can enjoy the moment up there—it’s what you’ve sacrificed so much for. The best performers are the ones who can truly relish the spotlight.