Prepping for Performance
Performance season is right around the corner…and that means it’s almost time to start packing your show bag, adding the final details to your costumes and shining up your shoes!
Everyone has his or her own “prep” routine. For me, I like to start by making a checklist. On it is each number I am performing in, what I need to wear for said number, and – depending on if there is a quick change – what I need to have prepared to make the transition as easy as possible.
After the checklist is established, I begin to put together my show bag. I find it is important to always have extras of everything – eyelashes, tights, safety pins…I sometimes even bring a second pair of shoes! You never know when something is going break or fall apart, so you want to be prepared. I also always keep a sweatshirt or a blanket in my bag. Dressing rooms can be cold, and you don’t want your muscles to get tight before you perform! Tight muscles can result in pulled muscles, and as dancers, we certainly don’t want to be feeling any less than perfect before we go on stage!
Having your makeup done ahead of time can be a huge time and stress saver as well. Minneapolis is a big city, so we need to be prepared for traffic/weather/unforeseen issues. Doing your makeup in the comfort of your own home, where the lighting is better and you have more time to make touchups will help the day go by much smoother. My opinion only, but putting on false eyelashes in the car is far from pleasurable!
Once you are actually at your performance space, find a place in the dressing room to call your own. It doesn’t have to necessarily be away from fellow teammates or friends, but have a place that YOU can go to. For one, its important to keep all your performance needs together, but it also is important to have this space so you can be “in the zone.” Many of us need to mentally prepare for a performance, so pick a spot that is relaxed and calm. And when you’re there, you should feel totally comfortable and be able to concentrate on the upcoming performance.
These are just a few tips that have helped me over the many years I’ve been a performer myself. Each performer is different – but good preparation makes for a good performance. I shall leave this with one of my favorite quotes by Alexander Graham Bell. He says, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” 🙂