Ever been to social dances where you see a lot of people dancing but only a few really owned the dance floor? Perhaps it's their technique or the way they complement each other's moves but there's just magic in the way they dance. Some call it power, others call it the “It Factor”. In the dancing industry, it’s called stage presence.
What is Stage Presence?
So what is stage presence? Does it come naturally or is it something that you can improve on during training?
Dancing isn’t just about the technique, it’s also about the visuals. It’s about how the dancer engages with the audience and keeps everyone’s attention on him or her. To be a great dancer, you should learn how to connect with your audience. Stage presence is the reason why you can’t take your eyes off a certain performer. It elevates every performance, giving the perception that the dancer is “larger than life!”
Stage presence, also called showmanship, is one of the primary factors that judges consider in a performance. It's that important. Even if you're not competing and you're good with joining occasional social dances, having a great stage presence will get everyone talking.
How to Improve Your Stage Presence
Good Posture and Confidence
Photo Credit: Ballroom Dream
How you carry yourself affects your performance. And we’re not just talking about the way you dance but in life in general. The way you conduct yourself in your daily life, how you walk, how you talk, your posture, all of these will affect your stage presence during a performance.
Good posture combined with a relaxed, confident demeanor inspires the right feeling. Professional dancers tend to project the energy of their chest up and forward into a space. The goal is to make the neck appear longer, more graceful. It’s like showing off the sparkle of an imaginary necklace, that’s how you should move while dancing to evoke the right emotion.
Communicating with Your Body
Dancing is about expressing different emotions through graceful movements. And to look larger than life during a performance, you have to embrace the moment, transform yourself into the character, and express the emotion through dancing so it is felt by the audience.
You can transform your performance by leaving all the talking to your body. Through dancing, you can be dramatic, melancholic, comedic. You can use your body to express different emotions and let the audience feel the said emotion.
Responding to the Music
One of the things that keep new dancers from fully embracing the craft is self-consciousness. That’s totally understandable because not everyone’s used to being watched while dancing. One of the best ways to overcome self-consciousness is by letting the body respond to the music, feeling the melody and emotions - let the music flow and the body will follow.
You can start by choosing music that you could relate to, melodies that inspire emotion in you. You don’t have to jump right into dancing as soon as the music starts. Close your eyes, be conscious of how your body responds to the music and let it inspire movement.
It’s All About the Eyes Too!
Dancing isn’t just limited to moving to the music. To look larger than life, you have to use your eyes to make a connection with your partner and with the audience. A performance will look very different when you see a real connection between dance partners. And when they look at the audience in an effort to make the viewers a part of the show, wow, it's an experience. There’s warmth, soul, passion. If the eyes look vacant or if the dancer kept gazing down because of self-consciousness, you lose that fire, the connection with the viewers. And the performance will be less of what it could be.
Facial Expressions - Don’t Force It
The facial expressions you make are a part of the performance too. But just like how you let the movements come naturally through, keep your facial expressions natural. Don’t force a smile or exaggerate facial expressions. Feel the music, respond to it with your body, and let a genuine response to a feeling show on your face. Be real, raw, and authentic.
The perfect look motivates you to achieve a flawless performance. From your hair right down to your Yami dance shoes, pulling together the look inspires you to be the ultimate performer that you are!
When you look like a total performer, you can bet that the performance will be great. Your attack is different because you feel confident. It’s not just aesthetics, choosing the perfect hairstyle along with your ensemble, Latin dance shoes, and accessories, make you feel good on the inside and out. And it will show on the dancefloor, making you look larger than life!
Speaking of Latin dance shoes, we’ve got a whole new collection up on our website. Go ahead and give yourself the ultimate treat. Go on a shopping spree at Yami Shoes to elevate your stage presence!