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Dear all,
 
This summer, I had a call from a mother whose daughter was about to go onstage and was filled with anxiety about her performance. She wasn't sure how to best support her and wondered if I could speak with her before going onstage, which was in two hours.

Of course, I said yes!

We got her signed up for a new program I'm offering, a "mini-retreat," and I had a quick call with the dancer where we went through a few exercises to calm her down and get her focused on what she had to do onstage.

She went from very nervous to in control in just a few minutes.

It was so rewarding for me to hear how much it helped her right away, and then to hear the next day that she was delighted with her performance. I just love it when this work can so immediately impact a dancer.

(Keep scrolling down for one of the anxiety-reducing exercises I shared with her!)

This "mini-retreat" is just one of the new programs I've developed in the past six months which you can check out on my website: www.easullivan.com.

(By the way, that's a brand new website. Yes, it's been a busy six months!)

I have also created a 12-month program in addition to my signature 6-month program, and all have been updated and tweaked to meet the feedback of my dancers and their families.

(If this sounds like something you've been looking for, head over to my new website to schedule a Discovery Session so we can get on the phone soon.)

I've also got a new Facebook Group for mothers: Moms of Pre-Professional Dancers where moms and I have conversations about issues that come up in their dancer's training.  We've already touched on some controversial topics like whether or not a dance school can/should tell a dancer to lose weight... It's a private group, so just ask to join and I will say yes and then, you're in! 

** Keep scrolling down for one of the anxiety-reducing exercises I shared with my mini-retreat dancer! **

Thanks for reading and I look forward to connecting soon, 
Elizabeth          

 
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     Wellness Tool: Calming Anxiety  


We've all been there: hours before a performance, anxiety makes its scheduled arrival in the form of a fluttery stomach, accelerated heartbeat, or mental images of all the ways we will mess up the performance. Anxiety can be debilitating and worst of all, it sucks away any confidence we had in ourselves. 

Watching your dancer go through this can make you feel everything from frustrated (but you KNOW you can do this!!) to helpless (she's not absorbing anything you're saying).

Here is the good news:

  • Even the most seasoned performers can experience stage anxiety, like Baryshnikov, who claims that he still fears failure before going onstage (?!).
  • There are simple, effective tools to combat this kind of anxiety. 

The simplest tool is breathing, which acts as an antidote to fear. We know from research that when the mind is scared, the body reacts by raising our pulse and getting ready for trauma (you may have heard the phrase "fight or flight"). When we calm the body first through breath, the mind follows. 

Talk your dancer through slow, deep breaths. Ask her to close her eyes or focus on a single point. Alter your voice to reflect the slowing of her breath and your own sense of calm. Ask her to focus on lengthening her breaths in and out and on noticing how the air feels as it moves in and out of her nose. 

 

3-5 minutes of this can make a world of difference,
taking her from a 10 on the anxiety scale to a 5 or 6. 


Think this is something your dancer would benefit from but you don't want to be the one talking her through it? I hear you. Please head over to my website to schedule a Discovery Session with me. We can get started on this and many other tools to conquer performance anxiety.

Questions about what you've read? Stop by the
Facebook Group to post your question or send me an email by clicking on the envelope below.

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Copyright © 2016 - Elizabeth A. Sullivan - Coaching dancers in NYC & around the world since 2011.

Our mailing address is:
240 Kent Ave, 2nd fl, B-5
Brooklyn, NY 11211

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The Dancer's Toolkit · 240 Kent Ave., 2nd Fl. B5 · Brooklyn, NY 11211 · USA

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