|Lee Celledoni, 1947 State Library of Queensland|
I very much want to do more solo performances, but every time I prepare for one, I feel like the worst dancer in the world. My songs aren't right, my costumes aren't right, I look nothing like how I imagine myself to be in my head--everything is terrible.
Luckily, I remember the wise words of some wonderful dancers I've met. In this case, it's Princess Farhana: "People can barely leave a coherent voicemail, let alone get on a stage and dance!"
Most of the time, your audience aren't dancers themselves, and won't even know how skilled you are compared to the dancers you admire. To them, you're doing things they think they never could do. And other dancers will admire your courage to get up on that stage. I've even talked to members of my troupe, and they are sometimes surprised that I've taken the stage alone. It's something that scares them too much to attempt too often.
Then there's just the practice. The show I'm dancing for is a regular local show, with lots of opportunities for dancers looking to practice performing. In fact, the audience rarely gets above 25 people. If you're lucky enough to have a similar venue in your area, you should be signing up as often as you can. Each time, it'll get easier to get up on that stage, and even better, you can have someone videotape each of your performances, and watch yourself improve.
You're not a terrible dancer. Neither am I. There's still many dancing years ahead, and as dancers, we should take any opportunity to improve ourselves, and get used to performing on a stage.
For now, I'm not going to worry so much about my perceived lack of skill. The whole point is to have fun, and to share the stage with some great dancers. And, with any luck, I'll learn something from this performance!