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7 Ways to Perform Like A Superstar

Some people just seem to be natural performers (like Beyoncé). They “work the crowd,” dance with energy, and seem to move with joy. Experience as a performer plays a big part in this. Like anything else, practice in performance allows you to learn what works and what doesn’t.

“Natural” performers, however, know some things that others do not. Here’s a list of some of these secrets. Well maybe there's nothing actually “secret” about these, but perhaps these are tips that you might find useful. As you work toward your performance be sure to put these skills into practice as you're learning your steps.

1. Make Eye Contact

Even if you're doing a solo, never dance alone. Involve the audience. Involve other dancers. Make eye contact. Direct and project your energy. It may sound scary to engage with the audience but studies show that engaging with the audience actually decreases stage fright. 

2. No Fake Smiles

Be natural. Relax your jaw. Lift your eyebrows slightly like you're listening or speaking to someone you like. Real or sincere facial expression often has more to do with the eyes than with the mouth. Rather than focusing on a “smiling” mouth, practice an “open” expression with your entire face but especially the eyes. Do what Tyra Banks calls "smize"—smile with the eyes. We practice this frequently in our classes so you may already be practicing smizing.

3. Fill the Spaces in the Music

Don't let your energy or intention drop between counts. Be dynamic. You're always on. Much of this comes from really understanding the music. Counting is great but practice beyond counts. Think about what you feel and hear in the music. 
"The more you understand the music, the easier you can dance." - Orlando Gutinez

4. Get Confident!

Ooze confidence . . . in yourself, in fellow dancers, in your practice.  Attitude is its own role—its own persona. Confidence helps the audience trust you. It's your gift to the audience. 

5. Really Act

You're an actor as well as a dancer. Know the context and your role in it. Study human behavior and PERFORM. 

6. Keep Secrets

Ha! We have one secret! Imagine you're keeping a secret from the audience and you're slowly revealing it bit by bit as the performance unfolds—like opening birthday presents one at a time. Even if you don’t know what your secret is, pretending that you have one as you dance changes the energy on stage and can make for a compelling performance. It helps depict the fun in your dance without relying solely on happy or joyful feelings. After all, not every dance is happy but they can all have their secrets.

7. Go Beyond Your Kinesphere

Kinesphere is a word used in dance that describes the space surrounding the body. It is the imaginary bubble that encircles you. Think and move outside this box (or bubble), and perform to your highest potential. Dancing beyond this bubble is something you IMAGINE as you dance, not necessarily something you DO. Project your energy beyond your fingertips and toes, out through the top of the head, from your eyes, or even from every cell in your body. This can improve your execution of the movement as well.

So, what are YOUR secrets? What makes a performer enjoyable to watch?
How do you engage an audience? What are some qualities that great performers possess?

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