Body Language, Power and Performance

As you read this blog post, I’d like you to take a minute to realize how you’re sitting.  Are you sitting tall or are you slouched over?  How do you enter a room…shoulders back or hunched? 

The reason I ask is because I happened to watch a fascinating TED talk yesterday by a woman named Amy Cuddy called “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are”, and I wanted to share it with you.
 
It’s one of the only analysis of body language that I’ve ever seen that talks about how body language not only affects how people view you, but how you view yourself.  In fact, there is aphysiological/biochemical/mental change that happens when you alter the way you stand.
 
I think about body language when I’m standing in front of an audience…yes, I know that they’re only 4 years old, but believe it or not, that doesn’t make it any less nerve racking from a performing standpoint, when all of these set of eyes are on you and there are expectations to be met.  I have been reminded several times to take my hands out of my pockets.  It’s a totally nervous habit that I adopted while I’m waiting for the kids to arrive and getting ready to start the show.  It is such a little thing, but it is so true…I was literally trying to hide in plain sight.  So, now it’s something that I’m very conscious of…I do keep my hands out of my pockets, but I still fidget.  That’s how you can tell I’m nervous – and I still get nervous before every performance.
 
Body language to me is fascinating…especially from a performance standpoint.  I look at the way Bruce Sprinsteen or Keith Urban or Melissa Etheridge take the stage and it’s just amazing.  Typically, they have a wide stance and it conveys so much power.  Check it out and you’ll see what I mean.  Ironically, they would look ridiculous if they walked through real life like that…can you imagine Bruce Sprinsteen eating a bowl of cereal in the “rock ‘n roll” stance? 
 
Like I said though, the fascinating thing for me is the way that body language affects how we feel about ourselves, and I think that’s the important message of this TED talk.  I think it’s an especially important lesson for a lot of little girls out there.  So, I would challenge all of us to take a few minutes a day to do the "Rock 'n Roll" stance and rock out on that air guitar, see if we all feel more powerful!
 
Check it out and let me know what you think…It’s about 20 minutes, but I think it’s well worth it.  Just remember..."Fake it 'til you become it!"
 
Yours in music,
Nina

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