Ep 151 Transcript - Dr. Chelsea Pierotti

Ep 151 Transcript

[Motivational Intro Music]

Dr. Chelsea: Dancers, don't wait to be confident. Don't wait to feel ready or wait to feel like you have achieved this level of greatness before you can feel confident. Don't wait for some magic thing to happen that will give you confidence. You have to take action to become confident.

Hi, I'm Dr. Chelsea. Welcome to Passion for Dance, the podcast for passionate dance teachers and dancers. My mission with this show is to change the dance industry by creating happier, more successful dancers through positive mental skills training. And if you have ever wished you felt more confident, or dance teachers listening, maybe you feel like, “I have tried everything to help my dancers believe in themselves and it's falling on deaf ears,” well, I hope you listen in today. I'm sharing the key insight into gaining confidence and how you can get started right away.

And to help you get started, I have some simple journal prompts that are especially designed to be used the day before or morning of a competition. Get your mindset in the right place by spending just a few minutes with a competition day journal prompt and notice the shift in your confidence. You can download the prompts now at www.chelseapierotti.com/confidence. You'll see the link in the show notes. So stick around, let's hear the simple yet powerful action that you can take to immediately see a positive shift in your confidence!


[Motivational Music]

Hi, I'm Dr. Chelsea, a former professional dancer and mental performance coach. I know what it feels like to be a passionate dance teacher who cares about your dancers, but you want to challenge them and help them be their best, and I also recognize that some traditions and teaching practices in the dance world are harmful. So I'm on a mission to change our dance industry by creating happier, more successful dancers using positive mental skills.

When you understand how to help your dancers with their confidence, how to find their own motivation, work together as a team and more, your dancers will unlock new levels of competitive success and happiness. And it's not just about them; you deserve the same. So we'll talk about how dance teachers can use positive mental skills to be more confident, resilient, and motivated as well.

Be sure to hit “subscribe” wherever you listen to podcasts. There are new episodes every Thursday, and each week you'll hear from me and my guests with advice and actionable tips for building mental toughness, covering topics about mindset, motivation, resilience, and building a community. Passion for Dance is a show designed to help dance educators like you have a positive impact on every dancer you teach.

[Motivational Music]


For many dancers, confidence feels like an elusive skill that maybe you'll get someday or, “Everyone else has it figured out and I can't crack the code.” How do you become a confident dancer?

You Can Learn The Skill of Confidence – 2:51

This is the first important thing to know. You can learn the skill of confidence. It comes a little easier to some people, sure, but just like learning turns and leaps, you can learn confidence.

Dancers, maybe you relate to this. I was talking to a dancer recently who was struggling with confidence in her solo. She did fine in the group dances, but when it was time to compete her solo, she would get overwhelmed and never really felt confident before taking the stage. She could do her solo, it was okay, but it was always scary and hardly ever fun. She worried so much about the skills or making a mistake or how she would rank against the other soloists that she never felt a sense of calm confidence before taking the stage.

Have you felt that way? We want to feel that sense of unshakable confidence before we step onstage, and often we think we see it in other dancers. We know what it looks like. Head held high, that energy and power in your movement, and that consistent performance quality. But what does confidence feel like? How do you get to a point where you can actually feel that confidence every time you're ready to take the stage?

If you want to be the dancer that steps on stage with confidence and actually feels that calm excitement, you can practice the skill and see an improvement just like you would any other dance skill. And I promise I'll share some ideas on how you can practice confidence. But first, I want to point out that there is a lot of advice out there or old sayings to the effect of, “Fake it ‘til you make it,” or “Just keep trying. Confidence will come.” Many dancers believe they will feel confident once something happens. I'll hear dancers tell me, “I'll be confident once I place top ten for the first time,” or “I'll be confident in my skills when I get chosen for the special role or to move up a level.”

Dancers who decide something has to happen and then they will feel confident are going to be waiting around for a long time. So don't wait for something outside of your control to determine if you feel confident.

Coaches, I know many of us do the same thing. I had a client tell me recently, she was still so unsure of herself as a high school coach, even going into year four, and she wouldn't really feel confident and trust herself until she placed in finals at her state competition. But why does some outside measure of success get to determine if you're confident or not? Why not be confident before that? Why not do the work and practice it yourself to build it so that your confidence can help you reach those competitive external goals?

Confident Actions Come Before Confident Thoughts – 5:25

So here's the big lesson for today and my key point: confident actions come before confident thoughts. You have to do the work to be confident before you will feel confident. And waiting for some experience to come and bestow confidence on you like a fairy godmother isn't going to happen, or maybe it's going to happen who knows when, and why wait for that?

Instead, take small, confident actions on a regular basis. Find something that makes you a little nervous, that pushes you out of your comfort zone just a bit, and go for it. Every time you challenge your own comfort zone, every time you push against that boundary and let it expand, your confidence will grow. Think of it just like learning a new jump or a new hip-hop skill. Maybe it looks really hard, or you don't think it's possible, so you're so nervous to even try it. I work with many dancers who are scared to try something new in front of their friends or their teachers in class, and they'll say, “Oh, it's okay, I'll work on it at home,” or “I'll try again later.”

The choice of staying in your comfort zone is holding you back, it's playing it small, and it's certainly not going to help you gain confidence. Instead, if you have a new skill that feels scary or hard, you can build up to that skill and start trying it. Take small, confident actions.

Maybe there's a skill progression that can help you get there, where you can work on a safer or partial version of the skill, or work on it with a spot, something that allows you to do it that way for a while, then add on or increase the challenge little by the little until you can do it. But with each gradual increase in challenge, you're gaining confidence. But if you don't keep increasing the challenge, there won't be any shift in your belief of yourself. You have to push yourself out of what's comfortable in order to figure out a new skill and gain confidence in your ability to do it. It's not about being confident in a specific skill; it's being confident in your ability to learn something or being confident in your ability to get better.

So waiting to try it later or waiting until you feel ready to do the whole thing will keep you stuck. Take a small, confident action and keep building from there.

Really, all confidence works this way. It's not just about dance. So taking small, confident actions on a regular basis can help you train your overall confidence that will bleed into your dance life, but you can do it anywhere. So think about ways you can take a small, confident action in dance class at school or at work, anywhere in your life. Here are some simple examples of what I'm thinking of.

Take Small, Confident Action – 8:00

You could raise your hand in class at school or speak up in a meeting at work, even if you're not 100% sure you're correct. Don't wait to be perfect. Share. See how it feels. Know that you're okay. You're participating and going for that challenge.

Dancers, stand in front when you're learning a new combo if that's usually not comfortable for you. Challenge yourself to stand somewhere else, or take a class in a style that you're not usually training in. Maybe as a traditional studio dancer, try a salsa class or something fun, a little out of your comfort zone, just for the challenge of it.

Dance teachers and choreographers, post a video of some of your choreography if you're usually too scared to share it. Just challenge that comfort zone a little bit. Outside of dance, you could start a conversation with a stranger in line or with a barista, and if you're usually really quiet, that might be a little unnerving. Again, challenge your normal comfort zone. And it could be something simple like trying a new fashion trend that makes you nervous, but you've been dying to try it. Anything that makes you have a little bit of a nervous reaction where you're like, “Ooh, I don't know if I can do that.” “Mm, I don't know if I'm ready for that,” that's a sign to keep pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone.

Obviously, we want to do this safely and not going so far, but it's this little stuff. You get the idea. Choose a small action that will challenge your comfort zone, take a deep breath, and try it. It doesn't have to be perfect. In fact, it probably won't be, and that's good. When you work on it every day, that confidence has so many wonderful repercussions in your dance life. It helps you perform as a stronger dancer. You actually get better because you usually train harder when you're more confident and, usually, you enjoy yourself.

Confidence helps you level up. So don't wait for something else to give you confidence. Those small, daily actions will change how you approach classes and conventions, how you take the stage, how hard you work in rehearsals. That all adds up and leads to faster growth in your training. And it's usually a lot more fun to perform with a sense of genuine confidence in yourself and not just a “fake it ‘til you make it” attitude. Let's build it for real.

So don't wait for the feeling to come. Train yourself to take confident actions, and I challenge you to try it for even just a week. Take one small, confident action every day for a week and see how you feel. I bet you find a sense of confidence inside you, you didn't know was there, and once you start to experience the shift, it will be easier to keep going. And so, keep going! Confident actions come before confident feelings, and you can control your actions, so don't stay where it's always safe and there's no challenge. Growth happens outside your comfort zone, so get ready to expand that comfort zone and train your confidence.

So, to all the aspiring confident dancers and dance teachers out there, I hope you always keep learning, keep building and training that self-confidence, and along with it, keep sharing your passion for dance with the world.


[Motivational Outro Music]

Thank you for listening to Passion for Dance! You can find all episode resources at www.chelseapierotti.com/podcast, and be sure to follow me on Instagram for more high-performance tips at @dr.chelsea.pierotti. This podcast is for passionate dance teachers and coaches who are ready to change the dance industry by creating happier, more successful dancers. I'm Dr. Chelsea and keep sharing your passion for dance with the world.

[Motivational Outro Music]

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