The pole dance studio I teach at organized an open house day last Saturday. I didn’t want to miss the chance to choreograph and perform a solo piece again, next to my students showcasing what they have learnt in my choreography classes.
I can’t tell for sure who was more nervous – me or my students. Even though it was a small event, I had a bellyache the whole day because of that. Funny enough, my piece was also called „Bellyache“ – the name of the song by Billie Eilish.
The anticipation is the worst. I hate having to talk to the audience before my act. You can hear my voice tremble because of how nervous I am.
Unfortunately I had to. Fortunately I survived it.
But once you’re on stage and the adrenalin kicks in, you manage to pull yourself together.
Does your studio organize showcases? Have you ever participated in one?
Studio showcases are a great and fast way to learn and to progress. I see it with my students.
Also for me, personally, my local studio is my favorite place to perform. The „smaller“ the stage is, the more you can experiment and the greater the lessons are.
As an example, here’s what worked well and what didn’t work quite so well last Saturday:
- WORKED: It was the second time I experimented with slipping into a strong and distinctive character on stage, which has nothing to do with my personality. Playing a different, strong character feels easier for me than my personal themes. It helps me let go of my previous hesitancy, immediately when I hear the song.
- WORKED: My smaller performances with just 2-3 weeks of preparation have, so far, been more successful than the bigger ones. You don’t have time to overthink it and you’re „forced“ to show your best. All you need is an initial idea/inspiration. Just make sure you reserve a few run-throughs to focus on the expression.
- DIDN’T WORK: If you’re using blood in your performance, make sure to use LOTS. The small tube of fake blood clearly didn’t work for me. You could barely see it. I’m getting a bucket of wall paint next time lol. If you’re playing a character don’t be afraid to overdo it. Act bigger and use props when appropriate.
- DIDN’T WORK: Don’t forget to check if the poles are on static/spinning in advance. Oops!
Now that the initial excitement has faded, I’m really proud how it turned out! I love the character, because she’s so unique.
Here she is:
But what was your last performance like?
Did you also DIE of a bellyache the entire day before? How did you feel once you started the performance, and what did you learn?
Even though I always get nervous before performances, I learnt through the years not to panic about what might not work well. At the end of the day it was never a big deal, but it was a very valuable lesson. At the same time I started celebrating more the things that worked well.
Do you want to learn more about performing pole dance? Sign up to my email list below and follow me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
wow! were you a zombie dancer?
Hehe Good question! Not quite. I’ll just post here the interpretation of the singer and the lyrics.
“‘Bellyache’ is about the concept of guilt, when you do things in the moment because you feel so strongly about them. In the end you’re left with the decision you made. That line—”I thought that I’d feel better, but now I gotta bellyache”—is about how you kinda know that you’re the worst but you don’t care. It’s about a psychopath who regrets being a psychopath but doesn’t really care.” Billie Eilish
Sittin’ all alone
Mouth full of gum
In the driveway
My friends aren’t far
In the back of my car
Lay their bodies
Where’s my mind
Where’s my mind
They’ll be here pretty soon
Lookin’ through my room for the money
I’m bitin’ my nails
I’m too young to go to jail
It’s kinda funny
Where’s my mind
Hi, curious about the fake blood: what did you use? You commented you’d go more next time, how weould it work with staining, being slippery on the floor or making the pole sticky/slippery? Really like your twisty moves, look very cool. Thank you
Hi Rachel, I’ll talk about the “next time”, which was for the competition Pole Theatre Germany. I used blood pads with fake theatre blood from the brand Kryolan. They’re specialized in special effects for movies. It worked perfectly during rehearsals, but during the competition only one of two pads broke, like it should. So, it was still not obvious enough. :/ I paid attention not to touch the liquid with my hands and not to touch the pole with the parts of the “bloody” shirt. So, I had no issues with stickiness/slippery on the pole or on the floor. It was easy to clean up after the performance… because I guess it’s a professional high quality product, and not a cheap solution from Amazon.