by ERIN CONCANNON, Feis America Magazine contributor

Confidence is a quality that, to many dancers, might be hard to perfect…and easy to lose.

Just think of how discouraging it can be when one adjudicator’s opinion can make or break your feiseanna track record. But it’s how you mentally prepare yourself for all situations—competitive or not—in the dancing world that will help you survive. And what better way to start than with the fresh fall feiseanna headed your way. Read these tips for a little boost.

Practice is what makes you perfect. If you practice your dance routines outside of class for at least 30 minutes a day, you will know the steps backwards and forwards, causing you to become less nervous on the big day of competition! Look at it this way: On the day of a big test, you study your heart out the nights before, going over the information so many times that by the end of the night you could recite the information backwards and forwards. The same rule applies to dance! If you keep going over your steps so much that you go to bed at night thinking about them, you’re prepped to put your best, um, foot forward.

Tell yourself you are always right. Seeing is believing. If you can see yourself in the mirror doing all your steps right, then you know you can do it. So keep telling yourself before you go up on stage to dance that you can do this! This is your fate in the dancing world. If you say you deserve to be the best dancer you can be, it will help to come true. The constant flow of positive thinking will help your mind reject any negative energy.

Keep friendly conversation. Talking to your competitors right before you go out on stage shows that you are not only friendly, but that you are fearless and can keep your cool while under pressure. Karma is a big thing to believe in while living in this crazy dancing world. If you don’t do nice things to others and put in good thoughts, then only awful and upsetting things will occur while you’re trying to go for gold.

What are some thoughts that help you stay confident through competition? Let us know in the comments below.

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