I have heard that athletes use psychological techniques to enhance their performance. Can these be applied to dance?

There are numerous techniques that performers in a whole range of contexts will find useful to increase self-confidence, develop motivation, decrease performance anxiety, aid focus, improve performance and help in the rehabilitation of injury. To find out more about how to put some of these techniques into practice see some of the texts on performance psychology listed in Publications and Resources.

Foundations for Excellence has commissioned several information sheets on psychology and performance preparation for both musicians and dancers.

You might want to try Richard Butler’s Sports Psychology in Action (1996) or Taylor and Taylor’s Psychology of Dance (1995). The latter provides resources and information to develop a Psychological Program for Enhanced Performance (PPEP) in dancers. This can be used as a positive, constructive tool for the student, professional and teacher.

See also back issues of Dance UK News for articles on the use of psychology in dance and search the Practitioners Register or the Healthier Dancer Speakers list for a dance psychologist if you would like to invest in a one-to-one consultation or further group education on the topic.

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