#7 Sway from side to side gently transferring your weight from foot to foot.
Adding some gentle movement helps you to maintain your focus on the whole ballroom while incorporating Steps 1-6. They include the organizing features of grounding, knowing where are your hip joints and top of the spine, thinking torso moving in opposition to your legs, neck easy, breathing coming and going.
You can use these thoughts to calm your nervous system – like a meditation for the body. This prepares you to both run across the floor with abandon or rumba walk slowly.
#8 What can you muscularly let go of without losing your height? You are using your thinking to organize yourself. Your muscles will cooperate.
Scan your body for extraneous muscle tension – that tone you don’t need to do a fast swing, a hip action ladened rumba or a quick Viennese waltz.
I always look to my neck and wish for it to be free. (If your neck is not muscularly engaged and your head is balanced on top of your spine, your whole spine has a chance to lengthen up and your shoulders will naturally move out).
#9 Keep coming back to the ballroom. You are expanding outwardly.
As the preceding thinking seeps into your kinesthetic awareness, remember that noticing your surroundings will continually feedback expansiveness in your whole body.
This will increase the volume of the effects of your new thinking.
#10 Repeat to yourself, “I am confident, I am ready, I will enjoy this”.
In a few of my previous blogs, I have shared with you my relatively new stage fright/nervousness when starting my ballroom competitions. Being judged so up close was a new sensation and it was fodder for a kind of self consciousness that I had never experienced. It seemed impossible at times to quell my nerves just by willing myself to stop. You may agree that that doesn’t work for you either. Hopefully, you have none of this!
But if you do, I’ve discovered that troubleshooting it by looking at the physical manifestations of the ‘feelings’ and addressing them through using thinking tools (all above) was as helpful as it gets. Remembering to access those tools is the important part!
Of course, adrenaline is a key helper tied to the excitement of a new experience built on movement, music, connection with your partner, glamour and the incredible energy of many people experiencing the same thing at the same time.
You will enjoy this.
Happy Dancing! If you know other dancers who may benefit from these tips, please forward.
To get my free 10 Steps to Competitive Greatness in PDF format, click here.