We all know those pre-dance competition jitters too well. You might get them before running your number the last time, going on stage, or waiting for awards. No matter why you are feeling that way, it is not a fun feeling. There are definitely some things you can do to make your nerves calm down a bit so you can do your best and enjoy your performance.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Lack of rest can majorly contribute to feeling anxious or nervous. So, before you are going to compete try to make sure to go to bed earlier. Even small things such as taking ten minutes between rehearsals to just lie down and do nothing can help. And, if you have long car rides you can use that to your advantage as well and take the time to nap. 

Practice Controlled Breathing

It can be easy to get our breathing out of whack when we are anxious. This isn’t good for several reasons such as the possibility of hyperventilating and not getting enough air in your lungs. So, by practicing some breathing exercises you can keep a steady pace which will affect your nervous system and calm you down a bit. Research and try different patterns for breathing like box breathing until you find the one that works best for you.

Get Lost in the Music

As dancers, music is more important to us than just anybody else. It has a way of connecting our minds and bodies together to get them on the same page. So if you take a few minutes and listen to your favorite songs, chances are that you will feel more in tune with your mind and body. If you are unsure of what songs to listen to, you can never go wrong with something as simple as relaxing piano music.


When we get nervous our bodies tend to get tense and stiff. This isn’t good because as dancers we rely on our bodies to be capable of moving freely. To fix this, you can make some time to stretch when you wake up and go to bed. This will give your muscles a chance to relax and your mind to breathe for a minute. 

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Trina Hannah is a graphic design major and dancer at Siena Heights University. She loves all things creative including photography, painting, and writing. Trina has a passion for helping other young women build up their self esteem and chase their dreams all while making a positive impact.