Skip to main content
Unpublished Paper
Not scaring yourself silly: Effectively managing your stage fright
  • Jennifer Cumming, University of Birmingham

It is the moment you have been looking forward to for weeks with equal amounts of dread and excitement. Your preparation has gone well, but you wonder if you have done everything you can to be ready and are concerned you will make a mistake. As you wait backstage, you hear the audience taking their seats and the eager buzz of anticipation. Your fellow dancers are going through their last minute preparations and the nervous tension is building around you. Standing in your costume, you worry that your body is responding in the usual ways: your heart is beating faster and faster, butterflies in your stomach, sweat forming on your brow, and your muscles tightening in anticipation. Your worries turn to fear as the signal comes for you to move into position.

  • Dance,
  • anxiety,
  • imagery
Publication Date
Citation Information
Jennifer Cumming. "Not scaring yourself silly: Effectively managing your stage fright" (2009)
Available at: