10 Ways to Have a Great Performance – Brought to you by Backhausdance

I'm excited to share another list of tips from Backhausdance! Again – if you don't know who they are, check out the post from last week and their website!
I loved this list even more than the last, so I decided to add some of my own advice/experience along with each tip. I hope you enjoy!

Best practices for a great performance:

From the Backhausdance Dancers


1. Know your pre-performance ritual – Do what your body and mind need to be focused and ready.

Just Breathe

I especially love that they say know YOUR pre-performance ritual. Because everyone prepares differently, and we each prepare differently for different shows. I've done shows where, if I needed to I could get ready in 15 min. Other shows I would need a full hour and half. Take the time YOU need, and allow your self to have it. If it helps you to listen to music while getting ready, bring headphones. And, even if it's a show you've done hundreds of times, don't forget to warm up to prevent injuries.

2. Get enough sleep the week before the performance

This is so easy to forget! When we are in tech rehearsals and once our show is up and running. Sleep is suuuuuper important!

3. Remember to connect with your breath. It grounds you and calms you down.

This is huge for performing AND for auditioning. Notice how they didn't say “Take a deep breath!”? They said CONNECT with your breath. I have some great breathing visualization techniques that I will share with you in a later post.

4. Include a moment of connection with the rest of your ensemble or cast.

My students love to “Pass the Power” before a show. Some people also call it an energy circle. It's where you hold hands and squeeze the hand of the person next to you then they squeeze the hand of the person next to them and it goes around the circle. What ever you do – be it, a group warm up, a count of and cheer or giving a moment of thanks as a group. Coming together and remembering that the performance relies on each and every one of you is hugely important.

5. Make sure to include warm up exercises that focus on stability and balance.Backhausdance Summer Intensive July 2010 at Chapman University, Orange CA.

This is great! It's not enough to just stretch before a show. Make sure to include some plies and core exercises as well!

6. Practice cross training and cardiovascular training during the weeks prior to the performance to build endurance and stamina.

This reminds me of when I worked as a singer on a cruise ship. Another singer in the show had to sing a crazy hard Gloria Estefan song called Higher while wearing a giant headpiece, and dancing around the stage. She would literally run on the treadmill and practice it full out so that when she was on stage she wouldn't loose her breath. I always admired her and thought it was kinda funny. UNTIL I HAD TO COVER FOR HER AND I ALMOST DIED TRYING TO SING THAT SONG! I have sense then upped my chops and I can sing that song no prob, but at the time I really thought I was going to pass out. I definitely should have been adding cardio work into my vocal routine jic. You never know!

7. Have enough rehearsal time… this means don't miss any rehearsals leading up the the performance.

Done and Done. If you are a part of a show it MUST be a priority, especially as you get closer to show time. Not only will you suffer because of the lack of rehearsal time. It is NOT FAIR to your FELLOW PERFORMERS. For reals.

8. Have a personal goal for yourself, something specific to help you improve and focus you during the performance.backhausDancelocatonshootCaliforniaAve.andEliotstreetHillbehindUCI

I love talking to my students about practicing with intention.  I love the idea of intentionally performing as well. Picking a specific goal for each performance will not only give you a super focused performance, you will also be working on your overall growth as a performer.

9. Always stretch and cool down after performing. Muscles should always be stretched after activity, when they are warm.

It's so easy to just pack up and head home or out with friends after a show. But, cooling down is really important. If you don't stretch after an especially physical performance. It will help reduce your aches and pains and since you are already really warm… you can add to working on your flexibility.

10. Be generous in your performance.

Take a moment to think about why you perform. We all love to perform for many reasons, but one of those reasons should have something to do with the audience. Without them… we would not have a show. It is so important to remember that we are giving of ourselves for THEM. Open your heart before you step onto the stage and know that you are doing a brave thing. You are giving of yourself so that the audience can experience something. What an awesome gift!

Backhausdance at the Barclay Theater UCI 3/21/08: "Shift"

AND – There's still a few more days to support this company by making a donation by clicking here. : )

Backhausdance 11 days

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