Foundations for Excellence: Losing yourself in the work, or lost to nerves?

Global majority female dancer skipping down a london street side on with arms in the air . Wearing black leather jacket and blue skirt

By Imogen J. Walker, Sanna M. Nordin and Terry Clark, Trinity Laban

Performance anxiety is a common occurrence for performing artists. It is often interpreted negatively, but can actually help performance when at an optimum level. If performers can interpret their anxiety symptoms as helpful, they will feel more in control and confident that their anxiety will not negatively affect their performance. A number of techniques can help those affected by excessive anxiety, making them more likely to become absorbed in the moment and experience the optimal performance state called flow.


Foundations for Excellence began as a Department for Children, Schools and Families’ Music and Dance Scheme conference in February 2009 at Dartington Hall. The energy that was evident at this event made it clear to the programme committee that this work needed to be developed and distributed further; to provide a resource to as many practitioners and young musicians and dancers to have access to the latest research, ideas, examples and good practice as possible.

Foundations for Excellence existed to share research, resources and best practice for the support and development of talented young musicians, singers and dancers. This was achieved through the online resource hub, the commission of new information sheets on a variety of specific topics and a biennial conference.

These information sheets were created by Foundations for Excellence in collaboration with One Dance UK’s Healthier Dancer Programme. You can find links to the other information sheets below.

Beyond physical practice
The nature of motivation: a question of ‘Why?’
The intricate dance between motivation, goals, and success in the performing arts: A guide for teachers
Managing Joint Hypermobility – A Guide for Dance Teachers



Who is this for? Health and Wellbeing

Created on 04 July 2023

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