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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

Belly Dance
Performer's Power Pose!




Conquer your pre-performance jitters with a "power pose" before you dance!


What to Do

While you're still backstage, shortly before beginning to dance, take a stance that takes up a lot of space. Put your hands on your hips and place your feet apart.

Or, if you prefer, reach your arms to the sky, as shown in the photo.

Hold this position for about 2 minutes.

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Lina Jang, New York City, New York.


How and Why It Helps

Such expansive poses create a very real beneficial physical effect in your body. These poses cause your cortisol (stress hormone) level to drop. Reduced cortisol means reduced physical effects of stress in your body.

These poses also cause your testosterone to rise, which builds up your courage.

According to the study, this physical result lasts about 15-20 minutes, which should be enough to keep you going until you're in the flow of the performance.

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Michael Baxter, Santa Clara, California.


Does It Really Help?

Some researchers are skeptical. The original study looked at only 42 test subjects, and some attempts to reproduce the findings with a larger group of test subjects have not shown compelling results.

Even in the original study, not everybody succeeded in achieving the benefits described above.

The way I see it is this: doing the pose doesn't require you to take any classes or buy any products. It doesn't harm your health. So, why not try it? If it doesn't work for you, you haven't risked anything. If it does work for you, then it'll become another tool in your toolbox of techniques for conquering your pre-performance jitters.

For more information on the science behind the power pose, as well as the opposing views by skeptics, do a web search on the name "Amy Cuddy" or the keywords "power pose".




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