Recently I took my very first flamenco dance class. I’ve been wanting to take a dance class for a while. I knew nothing about flamenco, but it happened to be the only class that fit into my schedule. It’s a very distinctive style of dance with strong, sharp movements. The footwork in the dance doubles as the percussion, so the steps must be precise and deliberate. The other aspect of the dance includes being able to convey emotions through your movements and your facial expressions. To be a good flamenco dancer it is not enough to know the steps, you must also act the part. You have to be confident with your moves, your posture, and your attitude.
One aspect involved in the skill of confidence is how you carry yourself. How you carry yourself affects how you feel and how others perceive you. Imagine a competitor conveying their lack of confidence in their body language. They might be moving sluggish with their head hanging down or they might be stiff and full of anger… what do you think about your competitor in that moment? If you want to be the athlete to beat, carry yourself like you are the athlete to beat. I’m not talking about being cocky. When you are cocky you are risking overconfidence which can be detrimental to your performance. However, when you hold yourself with confidence, you start to feel more confident.
“If you don’t have confidence, you’ll always find a way not to win.” – Carl Lewis
Start paying attention to how you walk onto the field or carry yourself after a mistake. Then start to pay attention to the athletes you admire and watch how they carry themselves. During your next competition, think about how you can carry yourself with confidence from the moment you start preparing for your event through the end of your competition. Part of becoming a flamenco dancer is acting like a flamenco dancer, just like part of becoming a confident athlete is acting like a confident athlete. Act the part and you will start becoming the part.