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Anxiety moving and dancing on stage.

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DancingGuy
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Dancing anxiety  

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  1. 1. Have you ever wanted help improving the visual side of your performance?

    • Yup, I just stand there twiddling my thumbs during instrumentals/solos
      2
    • Nah, this has never bothered me.
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i wanted to ask how you folk feel any anxieties around being physically present on stage moving and dancing in front of an audience?

My second hobby for the last few years has been dancing (primarily swing and blues), so I'm considering blogging some advice taking what I've learnt to help people remove any anxieties they might have around looking awkward in their movements on stage. I'd rather not sink time in to writing unwanted advice, so if you have any feedback around whether you've had problems of this type then that would be super useful :) 

The first post I'm planning out is around what to do with your hand that's not holding a microphone which I'll link here if there's interest. Follow ups could include a few understated steps, how to make your movements looks and feel good, strutting on to stage, motown style backing singer choreographies etc.

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Interesting subject.  I usually have a guitar (to hide behind) which I feel totally comfortable with.  But those times I don't have a guitar, yeah, it doesn't feel as natural.  I'd be interested in any advice you have regarding this, and I think others would be interested too.  It is an important part of performance as many people "hear" with their "eyes".

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Hi,

 

it's a real interesting subject for me. As i've been hired as a lead singer now and i'm more a guitarist/singer. I've always felt comfortable singing with my guitar but still feel naked without it ^^.

What i try to do is not to "overdo" (excuse my language i'm french) the moves. The biggest mistakes is to try to be Mickael Jackson or Timberlake... 

It's the second "season" for me and i'm still looking for the right attitude.

The great thing is to see you recorded, and be sure to always keep in mind that the "impact" to the crowd is always better than the one recorded, the happy eyes and dancing crowd never lie! ^^

Here's one humble exemple of me on stage last week (sorry for the not-so-good singing, was tired and it was the 3rd hour of the show).

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Randomly swing my hands around which I already do quite often if I'm speaking publicly. Better iff I can gesture something lyric-relevant (good example is placing your hand on your chest when singing about your 'heart' or something similar). Hold on to the mic stand, or a part of the mic XLR cable if I'm not using a mic stand.

Or simply give the devil's horns because METAL.

:headbang:

During solos, it's a little tricky. Take a step back (your soloists, typically guitarists, should be taking a step forward because it's their moment in the limelight), drink water. Headbang near the drummer. Imitate the guitarist by playing air guitar.

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Cheers guys! These are great responses so by all means keep them coming. It does sound like what to do with your hands/arms is a source of awkwardness that I could help with..

I can completely understand the feeling of nakedness without a guitar, I used to feel the same when stepping out from behind my double bass although it makes performing far less daunting with that not being the case.

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Cheers guys! These are great responses so by all means keep them coming. It does sound like what to do with your hands/arms is a source of awkwardness that I could help with..

Any help appreciated ^^

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Cheers guys! These are great responses so by all means keep them coming. It does sound like what to do with your hands/arms is a source of awkwardness that I could help with..

Any help appreciated ^^

     Not too bad Joshual1, You seemed connected to the song and the audience and you looked somewhat confident.....At least I did not get the feeling that you were bored or uncomfortable. 

     Watch a few live videos of Paul Rodgers, Freddy mercury, Lou Gramm(especially Foreigner days), Dio and Robert Plant.  The main thing is that they look like they own the stage.  Even if a bum note is hit they laugh it off and keep on going. Even if you have to view it as a part in a play where your character is the rock star.  That is why sometimes in interviews the singer/performer will speak of himself as another person when talking about the band and being on stage..

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My movement on stage has evolved over time, keeps getting better I hope. Never was a source of fear or paralysis but i used to make it look weird unintentionally. I took an acting for singers class in college which helped me a lot - it was focused on musical theater but it helped me in general. For me the biggest things I got out of it were being able to ground myself (the skill of NOT moving) - often I would feel very comfortable on stage but LOOK nervous because my body movement wasn't in control, it was more subconscious and kind of ran away from me so to speak. So the first step was to tame and control that, and then from there intentionally planning or improvising actions in accordance to the lyric.

Seeing yourself on video is definitely the only way to truly check in. You can think you feel great up there but still make the audience uncomfortable because they are seeing things you are doing that you can't. But then when you make it look right it will feel better too. Watching other people perform and studying their movement has also been hugely helpful to me.

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 For me the biggest things I got out of it were being able to ground myself (the skill of NOT moving) - often I would feel very comfortable on stage but LOOK nervous because my body movement wasn't in control.

So much yes to this! Confidently standing still is bewilderingly difficult. Have written this down on my video lesson to-do list.

It sounds like the real question is helping people improve the visual aspect of their performances through moving and standing better on stage, with the intention that this would help people up their game and book better paying gigs. Does this resonate more with people?

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 For me the biggest things I got out of it were being able to ground myself (the skill of NOT moving) - often I would feel very comfortable on stage but LOOK nervous because my body movement wasn't in control.

So much yes to this! Confidently standing still is bewilderingly difficult. Have written this down on my video lesson to-do list.

It sounds like the real question is helping people improve the visual aspect of their performances through moving and standing better on stage, with the intention that this would help people up their game and book better paying gigs. Does this resonate more with people?

Yes but I would be less focused on better paying gigs, I'd be more focused on getting the audience to love the show and turn them into loyal fans first, which will obviously lead to better paying gigs down the road.

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One of the worst things you can do is make physical movements on stage that are contrived and not real. That is the mark of an amateur. If you feel uncomfortable dancing on stage, then for the love of God... and for everyone that is watching you, don't dance on stage! There is no requirement to "dance on stage" or do anything on stage that you don't feel is 100% natural to your disposition and how you feel the art.

In my opinion, the best singers on stage are the ones that just strut proudly with confidence. Their disposition communicates absolute confidence. If there is a moment of "dance" or physical movement, great... but it is real and most certainly not an embarrassing display of contrived gestures that makes everyone feel uncomfortable and you look like a amateur, "trying to dance on stage". 

JUST BE YOURSELF !!!

@Joshua... nice video.

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Not sure Prince would agree with this. His bands have all done contrived dance moves and it comes off as awesome. Jacksons, Sly and the Family Stone, etc. same deal. Same with Bruno. Check out his Runaway Baby clip. It's amazingly cool and loaded with choreography. It is also loaded with attitude.

 

There are some instances for us amateurs where dancing on stage is necessary including higher paying ameteur casino acts, depending on the band of course. Have a look at the packaged disco acts out there (Hi Dan!) and some of the 80s acts (Hi Dan!). Those bands PACK clubs and it's because there's an element (a big one) of it being a "show" and not just guys in t-shirts and jeans looking at their shoes.

Granted, if you CAN'T dance convincingly, DON'T. It'll look worse than you think. But if you've got a good sense of rhythm and can do it while singing or playing an instrument, or both, it CAN look very cool AND can get you more money at upper end gigs. If you were in a club and saw a kickass band doing this stuff, you'd definitely come back and THAT is what it's all about.

Of course it depends on what type of band you're in too.

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Not sure Prince would agree with this. His bands have all done contrived dance moves and it comes off as awesome. Jacksons, Sly and the Family Stone, etc. same deal. Same with Bruno. Check out his Runaway Baby clip. It's amazingly cool and loaded with choreography. It is also loaded with attitude.

 

There are some instances for us amateurs where dancing on stage is necessary including higher paying ameteur casino acts, depending on the band of course. Have a look at the packaged disco acts out there (Hi Dan!) and some of the 80s acts (Hi Dan!). Those bands PACK clubs and it's because there's an element (a big one) of it being a "show" and not just guys in t-shirts and jeans looking at their shoes.

Granted, if you CAN'T dance convincingly, DON'T. It'll look worse than you think. But if you've got a good sense of rhythm and can do it while singing or playing an instrument, or both, it CAN look very cool AND can get you more money at upper end gigs. If you were in a club and saw a kickass band doing this stuff, you'd definitely come back and THAT is what it's all about.

Of course it depends on what type of band you're in too.

???  It totally depends on what kind of band/act you are in and what the expectation is from the audience in that regard... that is a big part of it... but more to the point... Dan singing in his 80s Disco band, Randy singing in his "Journey" act and you singing in your gig... which I have seen... is not contrived?! 

I said don't be contrived and think carefully about taking the risk of appearing to be contrived. I didn't say, "... don't dance on stage".

Not sure Prince would agree with this. His bands have all done contrived dance moves and it comes off as awesome. Jacksons, Sly and the Family Stone, etc. same deal. Same with Bruno. Check out his Runaway Baby clip. It's amazingly cool and loaded with choreography. It is also loaded with attitude.

These are artists that can dance their socks off... and this is NOT CONTRIVED!  THIS IS CALLED, REAL DANCING THAT IS GOOD AND THEY ARE PROFESSIONALS AT IT... This is precisely what I am saying you should aspire to do... 

:symxmask:

 

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