In a revealing interview, Sam Smith has spoken about dealing with anxiety and overcoming his self-consciousness about dancing in front of other people.
It’s fair to say Sam Smith dances up a storm in the video for his new single How Do You Sleep? At one point the 26-year-old even struts his stuff in six-inch heels.
“There’s a vivacious woman inside my body that is being set free,” says the four-time Grammy Award winner. “To feel free and no fear is quite special.”
While it’s nothing new to see a pop star breaking some moves, for Smith, dancing in front of other people – let alone a film crew – was a huge deal.
The singer, who has been open in the past about his battle with anxiety and eating disorders, has always loved dancing. But for years he felt too body conscious to include it in his performances.
In a behind-the-scenes interview to promote his new song, Smith reveals that he felt conquering this fear would help make him a more complete performer.
“I love to dance. But I’ve always done it privately in my bedroom or while intoxicated in a club. I felt restricted [about moving on stage]. I felt if I moved too much the way that I wanted to, I would be laughed at.”
This feeling of restriction, along with a strong self-critical streak, limited his performances, he believes. So he finally decided to face up to this fear by including a heavily choreographed routine in his new video. “Jumping into your own insecurities is important sometimes.”
He worked with renowned Kiwi choreographer Parris Goebel, a process that was freeing and fun – and daunting and scary.
Smith experienced a bout of anxiety two days before the filming started, but pulled it out of the bag on the day. “It goes to show just how important rehearsal is,” he says. “When I went on the set, I was just so ready.”
London-born Smith, who rose to fame at 21, has also revealed that he meditates daily as part of a concerted effort to “learn to love myself”.
To read more about how to beat performance anxiety, CLICK HERE.