Dear Katie: How Can I Overcome My Shyness Onstage?
Photo by Travis Kelley, courtesy Kathryn Morgan
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email email@example.com for a chance to be featured!
I'm shy and introverted, so I have a hard time opening up onstage, and a really hard time improvising. What steps can I take to push through my shyness?
Many dancers are shy and introverted—myself included! The thing I love about the performance aspect of dance is that it essentially gives you a chance to become someone else. Think of your "performance self" (and/or your "improv self") as separate from your normal self, which will help you be bolder and freer. You can even give your stage persona a different name, à la Beyoncé's "Sasha Fierce." It sounds silly, but it'll truly help you overcome the shyness.
Remember, too, that the audience is on your side. They're not sitting in their seats willing you to fall or fail—they're rooting for you! Let that knowledge bolster your confidence.
For more of Katie's helpful tips and advice, click here.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers by clicking on their names here:
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When it comes to injury-prone body parts, knees reign supreme for dancers. But a little strengthening can go a long way in preventing painful outcomes. We turned to Dirk Hartog, a physical therapist with Westside Dance Physical Therapy in NYC, for three exercises that'll support and stabilize your knees.
James Whiteside (Jayme Thornton for Dance Magazine)
Say you're perpetually impeccable designer Thom Browne. Say you're planning your Spring 2020 Paris menswear show along a "Versailles country club" theme. Say you want a world-class danseur to open the show with some kind of appropriately fabulous choreography.
Who do you call? James Whiteside, of course. On Saturday, the American Ballet Theatre principal—wearing pointe shoes and a glorious pinstriped tutu—kicked off Browne's presentation at the École des Beaux-Arts with a 15-minute, show-stealing solo. Whiteside choreographed the piece himself, with the help of detailed notes from the designer.