You’ve spent hours in the dance studio perfecting your technique. You’ve got your costume in hand, bags packed, and you’re ready to get up on that competition or recital stage and show the world what you’ve got. Now let me ask you this, did you do a mental rehearsal? This might seem like a funny question but I’ve been using visualization as an integral part of my rehearsal process forever with much success. I was ecstatic when I saw an article in Psychology Today that provided scientific proof as to why this method was so effective. So what exactly is visualization and how does it work?
Studies have shown that mental rehearsal is just as important to achieving a successful outcome as physical practice is. If you take a few moments each day to mentally see yourself successfully performing your dance, you are increasing your odds of having a stellar performance the day of the competition or show. I’ve always instinctually practiced this as a young and nervous dancer. Whenever I felt my nerves giving me butterflies or I was worried about a performance I would take a moment to close my eyes, take several deep breathes and start imagining myself having a knockout performance. The more often I did this, the less nervous I was and it even resulted in winning high score overall several times. Why does this work so well? The more we “practice” being successful the more we believe we are successful. Your brain believes it’s rehearsed this event so many times that it automatically knows what to expect and what to do.
Today I’ve included a visualization exercise for you to try at home. Now go out and get your mental rehearsals going!