So how can I fake it til I make it exactly? My teacher told me my dancing is the best it has ever been today and she says all that's left to get it the attitude but I have no clue how to be a little sassy pants on stage.
You don’t even have to be sassy, I know I’m not.
'Fake it til you make it' is all about projecting things like confidence even if you don't believe it yet. Think of it like when you're a teenager and see a boy that you like. Inside you're freaking out but you try and play it cool on the outside, because that's exactly what this is.
Some people need to do this not just on stage, but the whole competition day. Whether you’re rattled by who you’re dancing with, what your rotation is, not feeling good about your dancing, or are just nervous, pretend it doesn’t bother you. And I don’t mean pretend as in telling people it doesn’t bother you but still letting it eat your soul inside, I mean convince YOURSELF it doesn’t bother you.
There’s a technical name for this that I forget, but its about stopping negative self-talk and replacing it with positive affirmations instead. For example:
"Everyone is this competition is so much better that me" —> "I belong here and want to show it to everyone"
"I’m going to get last today" —> "I’m going to dance my very best today and improve from my last feis"
"I’m so nervous I feel like I’m going to be sick" —> "It’s just a feis, I’ve done these dances hundreds of times and I can do it again today"
This is what should go on internally every time you say something negative to yourself. Turn it into a positive as soon as you catch yourself. Soon you won’t do it at all.
Then on feis day, you need to do the same thing with your actions. Shlumping around already pitying how you’re going to do today? Get those shoulders back, chin up, smile, and say I’m going to try my best today. Nervous to walk on stage? Walk on stage pretending you always win. Dancing with the world champion? Think to yourself, I’m going to step it up so that the judges think I was 2nd!
The more you practice this, the less ‘pretend’ and more real it becomes. You start believing yourself and before long you have real confidence in yourself and your abilities.