Dec 25, 2014

Being Anxious


I am the type of person who is easily nervous, and always hard on myself. Some call it perfectionist. I call it anxiety disorder.

***

There is a HUGE dance competition coming up in February. The judges will be from acclaimed academies around the world (US, Japan, etc), and the categories are vast, from ballet, to contemporary, to jazz, to various specialties. Even the venue will be awesome, which is one of Jakarta's renown theater building. This is major, considering dancing competitions usually take places in malls or even parking lots.

My dance school is forming a group to join the competition. In order to join the group, students had to audition first. I hesitated at first, but then decided to audition.

My dance school is small, with not many students. And in this small fish pond, I always thought that I am one of the better fishes. Yakin deh, kemampuan gue lumayan. Bisa, lah, audisinya...

However, on D-day, my anxiety strikes, and I was beyond nervous. I was sure I've rehearsed enough, and the 'judges' were my dance teachers, who have become my very good friends over the year. Harusnya santai, dong? Yet I still entered the audition room with shaky knees, and I couldn't look at my teachers' eyes. While dancing for only 46 seconds, I was trembling non-stop bak nenek-nenek joget.

The result was announced that very same day. When my name was called, the first words that came out from my teacher's mouth was, "Laila, lo nerfes, ya? Keliatan banget." All in all, I passed, but with lots of notes a.k.a. critics. They said - among others - I need to 'get a grip on my nervousness' and 'catch up with the better dancers in the group'. I nodded nonchalantly and acted cool, but deep inside, I was beating myself up.

I came home feeling totally deflated. I hated my audition. I hated the comments. But worst, I felt I've misjudged myself all this time. Maybe I was never the better fish. Mungkin gue GR aja, ya. Do I really deserve a spot in the dance group? Maybe I don't. Will I drag my team down? Will I ever conquer my nerve, which is the source of nuisance my whole life? Will I puke at the competition's stage, Pitch Perfect-style? God, I will definitely puke.


Secretly, I don't aim to win. I really don't. As much as I love my dancing buddies, I have to admit our group isn't good enough. My goals are really simple: nggak muntah di panggung, dan nggak lupa koreografi. That is all.

I wrote this is not to ask for encouragements, or even fish for compliments. I just need to ask you - especially athletes and performers - how do you handle pre-performance / competition anxiety? What REALLY helps, aside from rehearsing to death? And how the hell do you handle criticism? Baru audisi kelas teri aja mentalku keok... T__T


If you're interested, my dancing sessions from October to December 2014:



15 comments:

  1. Ka Leija narinya makin bagus aja.. <3 <3 <3
    Good luck for the competition..
    Nothing to lose..

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  2. paling suka klo di blog mbak lei bahas dance! hasrat ingin ngambil kelas dance lagi jadi makin nambah walaupun belum sempet-sempet juga daftar kelasnya.

    buat jawabin pertanyaannya, hmm udah lama banget sih ga tampil di depan publik gitu, apalagi buat dance tapi dulu-dulu biasanya yang dilakuin sih dengerin musik kenceng-kenceng sambil ngebayangin klo gw berhasil lakuin itu di depan banyak orang, ngebayangin orang-orang pada tepuk tangan, ngebayangin mereka pada seneng liat gw tampil. biasanya sih membantu walaupun ya tetep ada nervousnya juga.

    btw, badan sama muka makin keliatan fresh dan muda deh mbak lei! ;D

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  3. Aku dulu main di marching band, tapi kalo mau tampil bahkan pas mau lomba yg gede juga ga nervousan jd maap ga bisa bantu di bagian situ hehe..

    Tapi mau share soal ngadepin kritik nih. Taun pertama main, I was one of the weak leg. Jadi tentu saja sering banget dikritik. Pas kejadian dikritiknya sih sok cool aja angguk2, begitu sampe kosan baru deh bengong ngenes.. "Duh gw bego amat ya.." gitu haha.. Itu tuh menghayati bgt perasaan down-nya karena dikritik, tapi aku kasih time limit. Misalnya sehari doang boleh down sampe nangis, puas2in deh, tapi habis itu langsung mikir gimana buat perbaikinnya. Dan ternyata yg paling efektif adalah nanya/minta diajarin sm yg ngasih kritik. Muka badak lah pokoknya, kejar terus sampe dia bisa kasih solusi haha.. Dia yg bikin down, dia juga yg harus ikutan tanggung jawab bikin gw lebih baik fufufu..

    Semangat terus Kak Lei! Latihan aja sebaik mungkin sm banyak2 visualisasi, trus pas hari H let the muscle memory do the work :D

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  4. Anon: NOTHING TO LOSE. Totally. Makasih ya kamuh :-* <3

    DwD: Hmmmm, ngebayangin sukses tampil yaaa. Iya sih bener, emang tepuk tangan tuh 'bensin'nya performer banget deh. Thank you ya! Udah buruan deeeh daftar dance classnya, sama aku sini! :D

    Shanti: AMAZING ADVICE! Sip sip sip sipppp. Akan aku praktekkin 100%. Untungnya koreografer / guru nariku untuk lomba nanti emang santai dan friendly, kayak temen aja, nggak kayak pelatih... Jadi aku bakal korek dese terus demi perbaikan diri!

    And yes, muscle memory. OMG, makasih banget udah ngingetin aku bahwa ada yang namanya muscle memory, nggak cuma memori di kepala. Bikin aku jadi agak pede nih! LAFYUUUUU SHANTIIII!

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  5. Leila, congratulations! udah pernah nyobain Bloch dance shoes ngak? Aku punya sneakers-nya bisa dipake untuk berbagai macam dance. Ringan, ada spin spot-nya. Split sole-nya, enak untuk muter-muter.

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  6. La... lu perform di team kan nanti? Teamwork sih membantu banget. Kl kita pny team yg solid n support each other,nervousnya bakalan turun. Beda dengan audisi yg lu sendirian. Terus biasanya... kalo ud ktm penonton, mendadak pride bisa naik. Itu sih perasaan gue hahaha. Tp yg ngasih advice di atas2 itu lbh keren pengalamannya.

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  7. Mbak lei keren amat sihhh..keliatan paling muda! Oya itu yg cowok pas dance berdua mbak lei sapa sih? Mukanya dan gesturenya plek bgt ky mantan aku hihihi *setel videonya 1000x :)))))

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  8. You're amazing girl..
    Feedback is just an information, it's up to you how to use it, and what most important is, feedback is definitely not you. That's what they experience about you the moment they said it to you. Just check what need to be fix and move on. Dance like there's no tomorrow, just give your 100% and everything will fall into place. Don't worry too much about the result, it will just perfectly follow.

    -DLS-

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  9. Fibenewyork: Haaai, pernah coba Bloch tapi jazz shoes, bukan yang model sneakers :) Beken yah diaaa... Temenku ada yang pake tuh Bloch sneakers tiap latian :)

    Leony: Yesss bener, gue parah banget kalo harus tampil sendiri. Tapi begitu rame-rame, bawannya pengen maju ke depan hahaha. Thanks ya Le!

    Anon: HAHAHAHA, itu guru aku namanya Peter hahaha... Beneran mantan nih jangan-jangan ;)

    Tylla: Amazingly uplifting advice :) I'm always too hard on myself sih, thanks so much ya...

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  10. Watching your hip-hop moves makes me feel so dirty I need to do at least 50 push ups to cleanse myself...

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  11. Hai Leija..

    Pas baca post ini saya mengangguk-ngangguk sambil membatin "tell me about itttt." hihihih.

    Jadi saya ini juga nerpes-an berat, since forever. Kalau untuk presentasi verbal gitu masih bisa teratasi, tp anxiety ini jadi lethal ketika saya harus main piano depan orang. Yaaaa gimana mau main dengan baik dan benar kalau tangan gemeteran..

    Dulu pas jamannya les piano, tempat les sesekali ngadain konser siswa, dan tentunya saya nerpes, tapi ga terlalu dipikirin karena ga terlalu sering juga.. Tapi sekarang saya lagi sekolah Music Studies, yang mengharuskan saya perform lebih banyak, dan tentunya juga harus ujian tiap akhir semester. 3 semester pertama berjalan dengan anxiety yang terus menganggu, yang bikin saya merasa sedih ga bisa menampilkan hasil latian saya dengan maksimal. Saya coba metode positive thinking (yang susah banget buat saya), metode pernapasan, tapi belum berhasil. Trus pas semester 4 kemarin, saya coba meditasi. Saya pake apps Headspace, dan latihan meditasi selama semester lalu. And it works! Saat ujian tentunya nervous masih ada, tapi sudah gak overwhelming, dan hasil ujiannya paling bagus dibanding 3 semester sebelumnya! Horeeeee.

    Inti dari latian meditasi yang menekankan pada fokus di sekarang/present bener-bener ngebantu saya untuk mengatasi anxiety.

    Moreover, saya belajar bahwa anxiety is not merely about being nervous, but more about how we see ourselves. I learn to not beat myself too hard. Kalau kata guru piano saya sih: You can't be anything but yourself, so be it. :)

    Oh ya, dan being nervous itu sangatt normal, dan juga diperlukan untuk performance, asal nggak berlebihan..

    Maaf yah panjang, semangat banget soalnya! :))

    Salam kenal,
    Ania

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  12. Bowo: Creepy. I'll take it as a compliment, of course...

    Ania: Salam kenal, Ania! Aduuuuh, seneng sekali baca sharing kamu. Aku seneng ada yang paham bgt, "nerfes bawaan" tuh rasanya kayak apa. Dulu aku sampe baca buku athlete psychology, tapi tetep aja deh...

    Iya, nervous itu penting dan perlu memang yaaa.

    Sip, aku coba meditasi ah, dan cuuuusss download Headspace hahaha. And of course, not beating myself too hard. Que sera sera ya :)

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  13. Aduuh paling seneng deh kalau mba Lei udah mulai cerita soal dance.. bikin semangat yang baca (alias saya) yang sudah lama baaaangget ngga nari dan perform sejak jaman kuda masih jadi.. kuda,

    saran-saran di atas sih bener banget ya mba.. tapi kalau saya, entah ya, ngatasin nerfes sebelum tampil adalah... ke toilet.. entah bawaan siapa, habis buang air di toilet kok bawaanya jadi tenang dan lebih pede..

    kalau boleh tau skg dance di mana mba Lei selain Namarina dan UDW?

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    Replies
    1. Haaai! Wah, kamu nari juga yaaa... seneng yah! It's one of my most satisfying hobbies deh :D Aku nggak ngaruh, nih, walau udah pipis sebelum tampil, hihihi.

      Aku sekarang ambil kelas nari di Steps Dance Academy di fx Sudirman. Sempet juga di Gigi Art of Dance di Radio Dalam, tapi lagi vakum. Kalo UDW dan Namarina sih duluuuu banget... sekarang udah nggak :D

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    2. Ya ampuuun baru baca lagiii.. Iyaah, aku dulu waktu di kampus sempet ikut Liga Tari Ui selama 2 tahun setelah akhir itu tenggelam ama urusan kampus (meh)..Setelah itu vakum sampai sekarang, padahal rinduu, nari itu menyenangkan sekali.. apalagi ada alasan dandan maksimal kalo manggung hihihi..

      btw, kita satu kampus di Fisip loh, salam kenal ya.. tapi dirimu di bawah aku (pastinjaa,, wes, tuwek)

      Ah iyaaa, aku lihat studionya di FX.. tapi emang kalau urusan hiphop, bener katamu mba Lei.. belum bakat ke sana kayaknya aku, kelamaan dulu nari tradisional ama kontemporer apa ya namanya.. siiippp noteee.. aku jajal deh, sapa tau jodoh

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