The 9 Best Ways to Fight Nerves

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.

Latest Posts

Photo by Christian Peacock, modeled by Carmela Mayo

3 Exercises for More Coordinated Pirouettes

Whether you're aiming for effortless pirouettes onstage or trying not to bump into furniture while training at home, we all want sailing, suspended turns. While many components go into a controlled pirouette—a powerful preparation, a balanced relevé, a stable core and well-placed arms—your whole body must be a strong, solid unit to maintain your position against gravitational and centrifugal forces as you turn.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

7 Eco-Friendly Choices Dancers Can Make to Green Up Their Lifestyles

Ballet dancers are known for their empathy and willingness to improve, so it is no surprise that many are educating themselves about the environment and incorporating sustainable habits into their lives. "I recently read that there are more microplastics in our oceans than there are stars in our galaxy. That really hit me," says American Ballet Theatre corps member Scout Forsythe, who has been making an effort to be more environmentally conscious.

Although no one can fix the climate crisis on their own, we can make small, everyday changes to help decrease waste, consumption and emissions. Here are some suggestions for dancers looking to do their part in helping our planet.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Left to right: Dance Theatre of Harlem's Daphne Lee, Amanda Smith, Lindsey Donnell and Alexandra Hutchinson in a scene from Dancing Through Harlem. Derek Brockington, Courtesy Dance Theatre of Harlem

Dancers Share Their Key Takeaways After a Year of Dancing on Film

Creating dances specifically for film has become one of the most effective ways that ballet companies have connected with audiences and kept dancers employed during the pandemic. Around the world, dance organizations are finding opportunities through digital seasons, whether conceiving cinematic, site-specific pieces or filming works within a traditional theater. And while there is a consistent sentiment that nothing will ever substitute the thrill of a live show, dancers are embracing this new way of performing.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks