April 8, 2024

Coming out of your Shell

Embark on a journey of self-discovery with Theatretrain Artistic Director, Kevin Dowsett, as he delves into the transformative power of overcoming shyness. From personal anecdotes to empowering insights, explore how embracing vulnerability can lead to newfound confidence and empathy. Join us as we celebrate the journey from timid to triumphant!

Most of us probably went through a stage of being very self-conscious – most likely in our teenage years. It can be very traumatic to get up and be the centre of everyone’s attention. I suffered this as a 9-year-old. It wouldn’t happen today but every week our teacher would make us one at a time stand on our seats and do mental arithmetic in front of the class. As a result, I hated maths and feared being the centre of attention and no wonder – what a cruel thing to do to anyone – can you imagine how it felt to be wrong?

As we know it’s harder when you’re a teenager – it can feel like you’re under the microscope and you may want the ground beneath you to swallow you up. Understandably most young people fear the side-long looks and rolling eyes of those people who are already established friends. It is hard to join in but not impossible. The trick of course is to emphasize the work, not the person and if they immerse themself in it their anxieties fall away and suddenly, they are singing, acting or dancing along with everyone else.

I love to see the change in young people who start alone feeling fearful but gradually over the weeks transform into a more confident person not afraid to go for it and who eventually begin to offer up ideas and opinions of their own.

I often think the students who make the journey from shyness to confidence have an extra arrow in their armoury because they remember how it felt. They are more sensitive underneath and consequently more empathetic with other people – especially the imaginary people they become. I think it was true in my case – when I began teaching, I knew I never wanted anyone to feel what I felt all those years before, standing on my chair. So in a way, I have to thank that unkind teacher because without knowing it he set me on a journey.

Theatretrain, a nationwide provider of weekend theatre schools for young people aged 4-18, specialises in weekly classes in acting, singing, and dancing. An emphasis is placed on learning valuable life skills such as confidence, empathy, courage, and resilience. If you know a child who loves to dance, act and sing or could do with a little confidence boost why not visit to find out what our performing arts classes can offer your child at one of our 80 locations across the UK.

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