By Brian Henninger
As performers we are always rehearsing steps. Before a performance you see dancers going over their routines together. You probably do it yourself, but did you know theres actually a scientific reason for this? Your brain can actually cause your body to learn new movements as well as perfect old movements just by mentally rehearsing. With practice, visualization can become a sure fire way to give yourself more confidence and bring your performance to another level. Here is a short visualization practice you can do before a performance to get your mind completely in the zone. It takes about 5 minutes.
First find an area where you can sit down and not be interrupted. If you have headphones put them on because it will drown out some outside noise. Close your eyes and begin to focus on your breathing, you don’t have to try and slow it down just watch it for a minute or two. After you have a more settled mind begin to visualize your performance environment, like a painter begin to fill in every detail. Visualize yourself walking through the door, walking through the crowd, seeing your friends and other performers. Now that your within the space in your mind, begin to visualize the performance. See yourself performing from the audience’s perspective, and from your perspective. Rehearse with focus on as much detail as you can manage. The more vivid the details the better.
After you have visualized and created the performance in your head take a minute or two to bring your mind back to the present. Before opening your eyes begin to just focus on your breath. Start talking to yourself giving out positive affirmation for your performance. Slowly begin opening your eyes and taking in your environment. Notice all the details around you and begin warming up for your performance.
Visualizing is a powerful tool you can always use to get the edge on your performances. Studies show that the same neurons in your brain that fire when your actually dancing also fire when your visualizing! That is an amazing fact because that means that mental visualization will literally make your abilities stronger. Try it out next time your performing!
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