Stage Presence! What is it and how can I get it?

You know it when you see it. Some call it star quality – what is it, how important is it, and can it be trained?

Here are some quotes and opinions about stage presence – we’d love you to post your comments and what stage presence means to you!

“Stage presence is dancing in a relaxed manner from your heart. It’s when you transform yourself and the audience says, ‘wow, that’s amazing’.”

“I think most people would believe that it is a smile or a personality on a stage, but to me, stage presence is being able to express an emotion that is felt by the audience.”

“If you don’t have stage presence, people won’t think there’s anything to watch.”

“You have to tell me a story. Why are you walking there? If you’re walking for no reason, I’m going to get popcorn. You must tell me a story. I want you to tell me what you are feeling.”

“It’s important because the audience wants to be entertained. It’s important because you learn to show why you dance. Open your heart – it’s a 200% commitment.”

“There are some people who are just born with it. Many others train. Dancers get better with time.”

“I think it is a case of overcoming inhibitions and the ability to let it go and not be intimidated to share who and what you are with the audience.”

“There are people you don’t notice in the studio who then get into the stage lights and there it is!”

“I’ve been teaching over 30 years and maybe ten or so people I know have natural stage presence. Stage presence must be taught.”

“My school offers musical theatre and acting classes/coaching in addition to dance technique classes. I’ve found that these classes really help develop stage presence. Another way we are teaching stage presence is by having the students of every age perform for their peers during class time. As a teacher I ask the students how they feel about particular movements to help them make human and mental connections to what they are doing.”

“I think it comes with performing. It’s about explaining to your dancer what the story is about, what they are supposed to portray; really giving them the information they need to express the story. Sometimes dancers do not know what the choreographer is trying to express. The dancer needs to be fully aware of the choreographer’s intention.”

“Watch other dancers – go to see professional productions and see how other people perform. Why are those dancers in that great company?”

“I have seen some beautiful dancers whose performances didn’t cross the footlights. Dancers must invest in both stage presence and technique.”

“I’d definitely go with a medium level dancer with stage presence rather than a technician. My responsibility is to entertain and move the audience. Give me a dancer with energy, life, and passion. I think stage presence is the key to success as a performer, as a teacher and as a choreographer. Stage presence is present whether you are on the stage or not.”

“I would hire the dancer with tremendous stage presence and work on the technique.”

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