How to develop stage presence at home (and on video)

Alexander the Great conquered the known world. Everywhere there was fell to him. He did a good job, too, keeping the local culture culture intact. But his big love was conquering. When he got as far as there was to go, when there were no more countries to to invade, Alexander broke down and cried.

Alexander the Great
Mosaic of Alexander and his horse, Bucephalus (c. first century AD), ancient Roman floor mosaic from the House of the Faunin Pompeii showing Alexander fighting king Darius III of Persia in the Battle of Issus (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_the_Great)

Sometimes it seems we can only go so far by dancing for our pets, stuffed animals, and furniture. Where else is there to go? Many of us do not perform, or we have few chances. We need some real live interaction!

Well, here is an an idea.

Dance with the mirror.

Most of us have been trained to squint at ourselves critically. What if we enjoyed ourselves instead?

I started by just smiling at and reassuring myself in the bathroom mirror. Then I moved on to a little mirror in my living room. Then when I danced in that room, I found I danced to myself in that little mirror—just my face. I would dance and smile and twinkle, and it was so much nicer.

A while back, at an improv class of Leila Farid’s, people were asking about using mirrors to practice improv. This is generally a terrible idea, since we all squint and judge ourselves so much in the mirror, focusing upon what we look like and tweaking our visual.

I mentioned that I was developing a new relationship with my mirror, dancing with rather than staring at, and I danced a little bit, twinkling at my reflection, enjoying the moment.

The reaction was interesting. Everyone’s jaw dropped. Clearly, no one had done this before. So I mention it today. What if we all reclaimed our self-relationship? What if we all used the mirror to reinforce our self-love and enjoyment? I think that could be one hell of a revolutionary gesture.

This also works on video.

I first noticed this when I was making 90 Days practice videos. I see what the camera does on my computer screen. I keep an eye on the monitor to be sure that I am in the frame, and I smile and send love out through the camera to to all of my guests. But I realized I was doing more than that—I was dancing with myself. Instead of squinting and judging, I was twinkling and smiling and playing!

Well! That was a fun surprise. I find it is becoming a habit. And what a nice habit! Because I smile at myself, it comes through the camera as though I smile into it, so it has a double benefit of love to myself and love towards my guests.

I usually position the cam so it is at waist height, which I understand as the best angle for recording dance, as neither half of the body is lengthened or foreshortened. I do all the normal video things, check the light, mark the space I have, remove any clutter, and then I have a good time dancing with myself! I even like the way the videos have been coming out. So it is a win-win.

I have a video for you below, so you can see what I mean. I made this for the 90 Days; now you get to see it, too ; ). 

I invite you to try it for yourself!

Start with mirrors or video as you like—just smile and twinkle at yourself. Dance and have fun!

This is exactly what we will do in PRESENCE!

Our next FUN Class Deep Dive is alll about developing a joyful, confident, connection to ourselves, our dance, and anyone with whom we care to share it. We’ll use pinning, breakouts, and other strategies to increase our capacity for connection, openness, warmth, and joy.

Presence runs Tuesdays at 4pm ET from Sept 27 through Oct 26 2022. Each class is recorded (instructor view only). Each recording is available during the session.

More info and register here!

Will you join us? It’s going to be joyfully liberating!

Love,
Alia

Music: Maewood, by Abdel Halim Hafez!



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