Self-Confidence in Dance | Live Q&A with Coach Kayla

Today’s Topic:  Self-Confidence in Dance

Hello everyone.  Today we’re going to talk about self-confidence in dance.  For those who haven’t seen me on here before, my name is Kayla.  I’m a coach with Complete Performance Coaching and I work specifically with dancers and cheerleaders.  I also work with basketball players and swimmers.  I was a professional cheerleader in the NFL for about six seasons.  I was also a collegiate dancer, cheerleader, and swimmer.  I played basketball for many years, so I definitely have a lot of experience and all the different competitive levels.  If you are a part of any of those sports, please book a coaching session with me.  I guarantee I can relate to you in a lot of the challenges that you’re going through.

Having a Strong Foundation

Speaking of challenges, one of the biggest challenges as a dancer is self- confidence.  I teach a group dance class and I do private lessons all week.  Something that I’ve been noticing lately is that self-confidence is always something that dancers struggle with.  I really believe that as a dancer, the foundation that we work from is self-confidence.  It’s really important to work from a sturdy base of confidence so certain things can’t tip you over.  If you’ve experienced anxiety, choking, or maybe forgetting part of the dance routine, you need to be confident to get through it.

Think about it – simply walking into a dance class, learning a new trick, that takes self-confidence.  I know that turns, kicks, and leaps make me so uncomfortable.  I do not have high self-competence at all when it comes to turns.  It’s just not my specialty.  There are so many times in dance where some people may compare themselves to other dancers which can lower self-confidence.  You start doubting yourself and your abilities.

Lack of Confidence Creates a Barrier

Right now we’re going to have a conversation about self-confidence in dance.  Low or no confidence can really serve as a barrier or block to your success, having peak performance, or accomplishing your goals.  So how do we work on this in a way that way we can radiate self-confidence on the dance floor?  It’s so apparent when somebody is so confident and they’re standing in their power on the dance floor.

A lot of my dance routines are structured around helping my students make stretches outside of their comfort zone.  To make stretches, to reach that full potential, and their self-confidence that they desire for themselves.

Mental Rehearsal

One of the ways to boost self-confidence is mental rehearsal.  It’s audition season, and NFL auditions have already started.  What a lot of people will do during theoffseasonn for their audition prep, is they will take all the dance classes you can possibly imagine.  They have many different styles they are working on, a fitness and nutrition regimen, and all of those things are great.

What I think is overlooked is the mental aspect of preparation.  Often times, what can happen at a competition or audition when you are required to perform on this bigger platform, is you start to experience anxiety or choking or doubting yourself because there’s mental aspect, this mental rehearsal wasn’t worked on, it was only the physical aspect.

Find Balance

What we really want to do as dancers, and athletes in general, is you want to be balanced with your mental and physical rehearsal.  You want it to be balanced.  You don’t want to be polarized to one side or the other. It really requires that balance which is going to help you achieve really high self- confidence.

One of the ways you can work on mental rehearsal is by hiring one of us on the Complete Performance Coaching staff.  We can work on sports psychology techniques and mental skills techniques.  Not only can you rehearse these games at practices but by yourself as well.

Tap Into Your Creative Side

Something that I do to really focus on my self-confidence is go into the studio and freestyle dance and also choreograph.  This is one way to boost your confidence – really work on that foundation by being your own coach and creative director.

While I’m dancing, I incorporate a lot of mental skills such as positive affirmations.  I have an awareness of my internal dialogue with myself while I’m dancing.  I’ll pump myself up or I kind of lear my mindset.  I get familiar with my mind and I’m able to normalize some of my thoughts.  By doing this, I’m working with my mind and my body.  I’m able to say to myself, “Oh Kayla, no.  We could do a little bit better on that turn,” or, “Why are you feeling anxious right now?”

How Your Confident Mindset Becomes Habit

I’m able to integrate some sports psychology, mental skills, and techniques.  That way, when I walk into these dance classes, I notice that I’m able to take that mindset with me, this creative director, coach mindset, into these dance classes.

Combatting Negative Thoughts

I noticed that it’s really helped a lot with my self-confidence.  When I’m in a dance class, if there is something that makes me nervous, I can have the internal dialogue with myself, positive affirmations, positive self-talk.  I’ve already learned how to counter any negative thoughts and provide reasoning to them because I’ve allowed myself to do so in this creative space by myself.

This is really helpful for bigger stage auditions or competitions.  If these negative thoughts come into your mind, you can immediately supplement it with a sports psychology technique.  You just say to yourself, “Oh, I’ve been there, done that.  I know that when I have this thought, this is a technique that works best for me.”

Shutting Out Negativity

That brings us into the next step that can help you build a stronger foundation for your self-confidence – let it go one ear and out the other.  I kind of do this same thing with my thoughts.  If I’m doubting myself at all or if there’s a negative thought that I have, I will envision the thought coming in and maybe I can quickly assess it and provide a mental skills technique, then it can go in one ear, out the other.

You’re not letting these thoughts fixate in your mind and stay for long periods of time.  It’s really important to recognize the thought and immediately provide a positive affirmation for yourself to combat that negative thought.  Or, you can immediately do some quick reasoning with that thought if you’re doubting yourself and that thought is not beneficial to facilitating your performance.

Eventually, that’s just called mental rehearsal.  You can do that when you’re by yourself, when you are at a game or a competition, and it will become second nature.  It will become a quicker process because you’re undergoing that mental rehearsal and now you can supplement it with the physical rehearsal.

Two Machines

I always say that you’re working with two machines, you’re working with your mind and your body.  They’re both so, so powerful, and you should work on both of them and really focus on trying to have that balance.  Try to not ignore the mental side of things because it’s really important.  Especially with auditions, you really want to walk in there feeling balanced and show off your best self.

Taking On a Character

As a dancer, a lot of these routines require for you to really embody a character or a certain story and that takes a lot of confidence to do that.  Some people can hop right into it.  It’s all about feeling confident enough to step into that.  A lot of that is going to come with mental rehearsal and spending that alone time getting familiar with your mind.

Remember, you can hire me for a coaching session.  I can teach you a lot of the techniques I use that have allowed me to build this sturdy foundation of self-confidence foundation.  No, it’s not completely balanced every single time, but I do recognize when my thoughts or confidence isn’t as balanced or sturdy as I would like.  There are certain techniques that are really, really helpful for dancers that I use myself and I share it with my clients as well.

I hope you guys enjoyed our conversation today.  If you would like to book a coaching session, please feel free to do so here.  We can really work on how to build a stronger foundation for your self-confidence.

Thank you for tuning in.  I will see you next month!

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