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Are you a perfectionist? With Helen Woodley - The Vocal Advancement Podcast - #022

Are you a “triple threat” — a performer who’s adept at singing, dancing, and acting?

If you want to work in musical theater, revue shows, or cruise ship entertainment, you’ll often find producers expect their dancers to have some singing ability.

Unfortunately, many performers who identify primarily as dancers may resist learning how to sing. Having held themselves to extremely high dance standards, many choose to believe they “can’t sing” when they don’t immediately sound like Beyonce Knowles.

This week’s guest helps prevent that perfectionism from getting in the way of performing dreams. A professional singer who identifies as a dancer, Helen Woodley has helped many dancers become comfortable with their singing voices — even when they need to sing in a foreign language. 

Her experiences have showed her the dangers of “maladaptive perfectionism” and how it can lead to anxiety, depression, and avoidant behaviors that keep talented people from expanding their skillsets.

Join us as Helen explains the challenges perfectionism creates for students and teachers. Discover strategies that encourage students to recognize the voice as another muscle that can be trained. And learn where those self-limiting beliefs about singing and performing may originally come from.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  1. How Helen’s early background as a dancer unexpectedly gave way to a singing career 7:43 
  2. Why modern musical theater is now requiring more dancers to know how to sing 9:26
  3. The unique challenges voice coaches face when working with dancers without a strong singing background 12:38
  4. Why students decide they “can’t sing” 15:19
  5. The difference between adaptive perfectionism and maladaptive perfectionism 17:48
  6. The tendency dancers have in developing maladaptive perfectionism 21:10
  7. How to encourage a dancer to develop their singing abilities 23:45
  8. How social media and reality shows have helped create limiting beliefs about singing and training 29:28
  9. How adult dancers need to look at singing and their ongoing singing education 34:15
  10. If singing should be part of a dancer’s early education 38:00 

The Vocal Advancement Podcast interviews many talented performers and educators, each with their own unique perspective on music and teaching. Follow us and subscribe to our YouTube channel so you never miss an episode! 

IVA offers plenty of great resources for singers and voice coaches, including a FREE singing teacher’s summit in November 2023 and a vocal warm-up app for IOS and Android phones that’s due in October 2023. Sign up for our mailing list and be notified when these resources come out! 

About the Institute for Vocal Advancement

Interested in becoming a better vocal coach? The Institute for Vocal Advancement (IVA) connects you with teachers who can provide you with more teaching tools for your classrooms. The IVA community and trainers teach from the empathic mindset that students of all ages benefit from, showing you how to improve your own teaching style.

Check out our list of upcoming events and learn how our Teacher Training Programs can help your career. Use the code “iva20percent” to get 20% off your first year’s course membership fee!

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