The 7 Stages of Dance Performance Anxiety with a Flash Mob Twist

When Kelly asked if I’d like to perform a mother-son dance at his wedding, I answered with an exuberant hell yes but didn’t anticipate the 7 Stages of Dance Performance Anxiety.

Celebrating my birthday with family kicked off a solid week of parties. My son, Kelly, married Leksy Wolk the following weekend. The frosting on the wedding cake? Boulder finally broke its five-month snow cycle and hit eighty degrees.

By the way, this wasn’t your average wedding. Kelly is a music producer known as, Chuck Shadow, so after the welcome party, he headlined a show in Denver. Chuck also played his music at the wedding after-party. Don’t worry. I stocked up on Red Bull. It worked wonders at the Two Jews and a Blond party years ago.

If you have followed my blog for a while, you might remember that I love to dance. I have no shame, which is crucial. I have often included videos of my interpretive moves with my blog parties and posts. Be sure to watch our rendition below!

After my son asked if I would like to do a Mother-Son dance at the wedding, I flew out of my chair, scrolled through videos, and found the perfect song. Can you guess? Do you remember my obsession with a particular family? I couldn’t wait until the wedding!

But you know me. I had to add something. Something special. Something unique like a flash mob, where we could easily run into each other after very little practice. Something else to worry about. Let’s do it!

Then reality hit me right between my beady eyes. I’m a dancer but have never performed in any way unless you count cheerleading during my sophomore year in high school. Even so, I thought I would nail the choreography right away. Pshhh.

When I committed to the song, I didn’t anticipate performance anxiety. As the weeks progressed, so did the stages.

The 7 Stages of Dance Performance Anxiety:

  • The Cognitive Learning Stage – This is not recommended and probably slowed my progress. I wrote two pages of notes, thinking it would help to break down the choreography. Instead, it stuffed my puny brain with needless information. I would have been better off relying on muscle memory. Mistakes were made.
  • Watching the YouTube Video Tutorial on Repeat StageThis viral recording by Jade Lavinia had over a million views when I started. Now it has another 500,000, most of them from me.
  • The Earworm Stage – This stage follows in lockstep with the Repeat Stage. I still wake up every morning with the first few bars of the song in my head.
  • The “For God’s Sake, Get Through the Song Without Making a Mistake!” Stage. This caused all kinds of frustration after I added the third verse and choreographed it. Because what’s the fun in life without challenges?
  • The “Why Am I Still Screwing This Up?” Stage. This had a lot to do with practicing it over and over again. It wouldn’t take long until I skipped an entire section. NOTE TO SELF: Rehearsing in loops to exhaustion creates confusion, which leads to bouts of cussing. Hey. I have been known to talk to myself, so that shouldn’t be a surprise.
  • Worrying that I Will Blank Out at the Sight of a Crowd Stage. I had nightmares that I walked onto the dance floor and froze. What would I do if I blanked out? Oh, my God, oh, my God, oh, my God!
  • The Withdrawl Stage. I really enjoyed dancing every day and really miss it.


See for yourself. Make sure to watch for the FLASH MOB at the end!

Considering we barely practiced together, I was pretty dang proud of the result. Did you love the ending? LOLOLOL! I worried that we would bump into each other.

It was a blast! I didn’t see any faces but plugged into muscle memory and let it rip. The real miracle? I made it through without tripping. YES!

Did I mention that we will celebrate my daughter Courtney’s wedding in July? I predict a lot more dancing ahead.

Wednesday dance, Mother Son Dance- Kelly and Susie perform at the wedding

So what’s next? I’m looking for another viral video, of course. Have any suggestions? Uptown Funk is at the top of my list, but it’s so complicated and super fast.

Do you take center stage at dance parties, or are you the silent toe-tapping observer? Is there a song that always makes you want to dance?

35 thoughts on “The 7 Stages of Dance Performance Anxiety with a Flash Mob Twist

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  1. LOVE IT – Oh So Much FUN too 🙂 What a SPECIAL time with your kids as they adventure on to the next chapters in their lives. Plus who does not love a celebration with dancing into the wees hours! Anything disco or with a really great beat I am moving and shaking and tapping my feet. I dance exercise and have done it for years and love it. CONGRATS – CELEBRATE – DANCE – CHEERS – CLINK!!!


    1. CLINK! Yes! I was present (and awake) through the entire wedding weekend, which started on Thursday, and loved every minute of it! Afterwards, I slept for two solid weeks. 🤣 Onto the next one!
      Thanks so much, Renee! 💜😎💜


      1. I forgot to mention – here’s a cheeky and fun song choice for ya. Papa Loves Mambo by Perry Como. That songs make me want to dance with a pretty dress on and a drink in my hand – ha!


  2. I love to dance too – and in honor of the recently departed I will have to go with the Banana Boat song by the great Harry Belafonte as my can’t sit still song although there are many others!


  3. Congratulations to everyone involved. Looks like a lot of fun. Even Musical Miss gets stage fright if she hasn’t performed for awhile and she’s known to make up words to songs she wrote if she forgets the lyrics while she’s playing so your seven stages are in good company.


      1. Just rehearse until you can’t. MM does not like to rehearse, but spends hours by herself and then with the band. BTW, I’ll be in Boulder with my “other” musician in Mid-June. I don’t have the sked in front of me, but I’ll let you know.


  4. Congratulations Susie, on both the dance and the marriage of your son. Such a special time to celebrate and looks like you chose to do it in style! You go girl! 💃🏻🕺🏻


  5. So much fun! Congratulations!! My wedding was a luncheon with a pianist. No dancing. Pretty mellow – mostly a lot of visiting with family and friends I hadn’t seen in ages.


  6. Well that was impressive especially in a strapless dress. Shaking anything, especially your shoulders in a strapless dress is risky. I’d say that added to the stress factor quite a bit.

    You looked fabulous by the way. Congratulations to your son and daughter-in-law! One down, one to go.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt


  7. Heyyyyyyy Congratulations! Was it a Cali or Colorado wedding? It’s great when you can dance at a wedding and have fun! Although I’m sorry about the seven stages of anxiety, being a Wild Rider I was hoping for just a little butterflies for you and that’s it, no extra grief 🙂 but let me tell you… your dress and you rocking it must have felt good 🙂 good to hear from you and good luck on the next celebration!


    1. Thanks, Guat! The Colorado wedding was a blast. I didn’t know what to expect but was so stoked when muscle memory did it’s thing. 🤣
      Thank you! I need to start shopping for Courtney’s wedding!

      Liked by 1 person

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