7 Easy Ways To Kill It On Stage

Training Tips

7 Easy Ways To Kill It On Stage

Charise Roberts
January 23, 2024
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Do you ever watch a dancer just KILL IT on stage and think “Damn, I wanna dance like that one day!!”?

That “one day” can be a lot sooner than you think...

Whether it’s at a major competition or during groups in a class, you have the opportunity to inspire someone every single time you perform.

Here are 7 simple ways to build your stage presence! Ready to radiate? Keep reading.

1. Figure out your intention behind the movement

kill it on stage

Dancers talk in such length about “intention" – for good reason. Dance is an expression. So of course you’ll need to know what’s being expressed.

Are you portraying a character? Telling a story? Emoting a feeling?

There’s always more to a move than the move itself.

The most captivating dancers aren’t always the cleanest or even the most technically sound. They’re the ones who are raw and unapologetic with their performance.

You can tighten up those fast combos and set your angles later. In order to kill it on stage, make sure you’re translating the right intent first.

Feel, don't fake these: The 10 Facials You Make When You Dance

Once you figure out your intention, commit to it! Watch this video for tips:

2. Practice like you want to perform

kill it on stage
“Under pressure, we don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.”

There are so many factors that make the stage difficult for a dancer.

Sticky floors, bright lights, unexpected jumps in music – not to mention the adrenaline, nervousness, and exhaustion that comes with performance day…

Get help: How To Deal With Pre-Performance Jitters For Dancers

This is why it’s important to always practice the way you want to perform.

If you’re always marking pieces and lazy jogging into your formation, then you will NOT go full-out and magically get to your spots on stage.

When you do run - throughs, perform like you want to look on stage.

When you’re running to your spot, GET THERE instead of lollygagging because “it’s only preview night.”

Basically, if you want to kill it on stage...

Practice killing it in practice.

This applies in a class setting as well. If you want to smash it in groups, then practice smashing it in groups every time you do the piece!

Use these tips for a powerful performance: How To Dance Bigger, Stronger, And More “Full Out”

3. Stay in performance, no matter what you’re doing

kill it on stage

When you’re on stage, especially for a big show, someone is ALWAYS watching you.

“But I’m in the back left corner!” – Trust, someone can still see you! This is why it's important to perform during every single moment.

From the moment your music starts to the moment it ends, you are performing.

Even if you’re doing a cross-over backstage – that’s a part of the production. That’s an element you cannot forget or mess up.

You’re milking for an 8-count? Make it the best milk of yo LYFE. Just holding a pose? Hold the sh*t out of it.

You need to OWN YOUR PRESENCE from beginning to end, regardless of where you are or what you’re doing.

That commitment is part of what makes a great dancer great! Along with these 8 Things Great Dancers Do Differently

4. Interact with other dancers

kill it on stage

It’s fun to watch people having fun, isn’t it? I love feeling dancers just vibing with each other on stage.

There’s a certain energy that you can feel when dancers have good chemistry with each other. There’s no reason not to apply this in a class setting, too!

Or any setting, for that matter! Make eye contact, groove out, do random silly crap with other dancers when you’re performing.

You don’t want to distract them or take away from the effect of the piece. Just use your judgement to know how much energy to exchange.

Sometimes, a simple side eye their way is all it takes.

5. Don’t rush!!!

7 easy ways to kill it on stage

It’s common to get caught up in the adrenaline of the performance and end up being a hair too early for your moves. Stay listening to the music.

By the time the show comes around, the moves should be ingrained in your muscle memory. Now, just stay on the right timing and dance!

The audience can definitely tell if you’re DANCING versus doing moves for the sake of doing moves.

Keep your timing juuuuust right: What Is “The Pocket” And How Do I “Dance In It”?

6. Know where to look

kill it on stage

Your focus makes a BIG difference in your performance. When you’re on a big stage in front of a big audience (especially if it’s a two + story venue), project UPward!

Lift your chin and open your chest to make your movements readable. In a class setting, look past the mirror. Or make eye contact with the dancers who are watching.

Look at the other dancers in your group. Point is, don’t just stay glued onto your reflection in the mirror. You’re not serenading yourself!

Get more tips on dancing outside your box:

7. Honestly.. Just have fun!

kill it on stage

Everyone is naturally attracted to positive energy. You don’t want to watch someone who looks like they hate what they’re doing, right?

Watching someone who’s genuinely enjoying dance is captivating.

If you’re feelin’ it, they’re feelin’ it.

And that's how you really kill it on stage. Remember these 7 tips and you'll kill it on any stage you perform on.

Can’t wait to see y’all smash it in the next show!

Have some tips that help you with your performance? Comment below to share!

Up your performance game by learning pieces on STEEZY Studio. Record yourself killing it and send your videos to us!

This post was originally published on December 4, 2016.