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Confidence in Class/Auditions


BalletBear
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Hello everyone!

 

 I was wondering if anybody could help me with a few worries that I have about dancing and I know they aren’t the biggest problems in the world but I’ve been struggling with overcoming them recently. 
 

While at summer school, I developed shin splints which has meant that since I’ve been back at ballet I haven’t been jumping. My physio is currently easing me back into jumping but I’m so scared to try because I don’t want to feel the pain that I felt when I kept on pushing through the pain at summer school! Does anyone have any ideas on how to overcome this fear?

 

Also, I am auditioning for upper schools this year and while I don’t expect any places one can try! However, I’m only in RAD Intermediate (with 1 ISTD Advanced 1 class a week) and I really lack confidence in auditions (and an invitational class at my studio) because of it. I was supposed to take my exam in a few weeks but even though my shins are nearly fully recovered, it obviously wouldn’t be a good idea! Does anyone have an experience with overcoming self-confidence doubts and expressing their love for ballet in auditions? 
 

I’m sorry this is so long but I knew that everyone here has lots of experience and the help I’ve received in the past has been wonderful. Thank you in advance! 😊
 

BalletBear x

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Well I am not a dancer Ballet Bear, and I am a lot older than you, but I do have some experience of the anxiety that comes with starting to do things again after yiu have been injured. And the first thing to know is that those anxieties are NORMAL. There is nothing wrong with feeling that way and you are certainly not alone.

Patience, and gradually working back up is key in my experience. Sometimes you have to push a little beyond your comfort zone, but do it gently and slowly so you don't set yourself back. That can be very frustrating of course, but remember the tale of the tortoise and the hare.

Dont be afraid to talk to people, both the supportive adults in your life and your friends. They will probably be more understanding than you think. Bottling stuff up never helps. You have a lot on at the moment, your injury, auditions and I presume GCSEs. That can be very stressful. You might benefit from learning some relaxation strategies. Do you have a counsellor or a learning support department at your academic school? They may be able to point you in the right direction.

I hope you feel better soon. Be kind to yourself!

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11 minutes ago, Pups_mum said:

Well I am not a dancer Ballet Bear, and I am a lot older than you, but I do have some experience of the anxiety that comes with starting to do things again after yiu have been injured. And the first thing to know is that those anxieties are NORMAL. There is nothing wrong with feeling that way and you are certainly not alone.

Patience, and gradually working back up is key in my experience. Sometimes you have to push a little beyond your comfort zone, but do it gently and slowly so you don't set yourself back. That can be very frustrating of course, but remember the tale of the tortoise and the hare.

Dont be afraid to talk to people, both the supportive adults in your life and your friends. They will probably be more understanding than you think. Bottling stuff up never helps. You have a lot on at the moment, your injury, auditions and I presume GCSEs. That can be very stressful. You might benefit from learning some relaxation strategies. Do you have a counsellor or a learning support department at your academic school? They may be able to point you in the right direction.

I hope you feel better soon. Be kind to yourself!

Thank you so much! That was really helpful, yes I do have gcses this year (Mocks soon!!). I’ll try, I guess it’s something that needs to be a work in progress. Oh and yes there is one at school, so thanks for that idea!  Thank you again xx

Edited by BalletBear
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Great advice by Pups_mum. ☺️. All I would add to that is to take things little by little; literally small steps, one thing at a time.  

 

The first thing I would do - after checking with the Physio - is to find a swimming pool nearby that’s not too cold, and try very small jumps in water, using the rail as a barre.   When my dd was recovering from a back injury, she was allowed to do barre in a swimming pool and it really helped.  If your shins are OK after that, then try some petit allegro at the barre - not leaning on the barre but just using it as a support, resting your hands lightly on it.  If you can do this gradually and get your confidence back, then you can start in centre again but take it very slowly.  Your confidence will come back. 

 

I would postpone the exam for now, even if it’s just until the next session in a few months.   If you understand Adv 1 vocab and are working towards the exam, that will be absolutely fine for Preliminary auditions.  No point in fretting about Finals yet, see how you get on in Prelims first - always one step at a time. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Anna C said:

Great advice by Pups_mum. ☺️. All I would add to that is to take things little by little; literally small steps, one thing at a time.  

 

The first thing I would do - after checking with the Physio - is to find a swimming pool nearby that’s not too cold, and try very small jumps in water, using the rail as a barre.   When my dd was recovering from a back injury, she was allowed to do barre in a swimming pool and it really helped.  If your shins are OK after that, then try some petit allegro at the barre - not leaning on the barre but just using it as a support, resting your hands lightly on it.  If you can do this gradually and get your confidence back, then you can start in centre again but take it very slowly.  Your confidence will come back. 

 

I would postpone the exam for now, even if it’s just until the next session in a few months.   If you understand Adv 1 vocab and are working towards the exam, that will be absolutely fine for Preliminary auditions.  No point in fretting about Finals yet, see how you get on in Prelims first - always one step at a time. 

 

 

Thank you, that sounds like a really good idea! Yes, my exam has peen postponed for a few months, I’m trying work on some new exercises in advanced one so I can understand some things at the auditions! Definitely one step at a time, I’m not even really expecting any finals but I’ll definitely try! Thank you again x

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Good advice above. I personally know many dancers who have come back very successfully from shinsplints, and/or are managing shinsplints, including professionals. So it’s not necessarily going to prevent going as far as you can in dance. 

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Dealing appropriately with injuries, both physically and mentally, is as much part of the training, as class itself. Restraint and patience when necessary and determination and mental strength. It sounds as though you are well on the way 😊 so going slowly and steady and taking a day at a time is the way to go. I would focus on being completely physically well first, before focusing on your auditions ( easy to say!) because healing properly will mean less chance of your injuries reoccurring. You could look to Andy Murray for inspiration. He’s finally winning again after months of rehab, patience and hard graft and believing it’s possible!

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