It’s official – you’ve got the look!  You’ve been booked in a high-profile fashion runway show.  It’s your first real modeling gig and you’re super excited.  There’s only one problem.  You have zero experience on the catwalk.  What to do?

Remember all of those times mom told you to “sit up straight” at the dinner table?  Well, consider that part of your training.  The first thing to remember when you’re walking the runway is to maintain proper posture.  Stand tall and look straight ahead.  This will allow you to exude confidence to the audience.  “There’s a certain quality that you immediately feel when you see a girl.  It has to do with her personality and her posture,” says Casting Director, Natalie Joos, in an interview with TIME Magazine.

There’s no need for over-exaggeration, either.  You don’t want to sway your hips unnaturally or walk in a way that’s too uncomfortable to be successful.  The audience will feel the awkwardness as much as you do.  Instead, walk normally, allowing your hips to sway as they always do.  This isn’t a wedding, either.  Despite what your coordinator may have told you, you don’t need to slow down your steps as you make your way down the aisle.

Music is likely to accompany your walk, so tune everything else out if you can, and sync your movements with the beat of a song as you make your way down.  This will help keep you from overthinking, entirely focused on the way you’re presenting.  Instead, focus on the song and your rhythm.  This will make the experience all that more fun!

Of course, there is a few tried and true techniques that most seasoned runway walkers are accustomed to.  Pull up a fashion show on YouTube and study the movement of the models.  You’ll notice they walk with a bit of attitude, standing tall, looking forward, and pausing to pivot at the end of the catwalk.  Practice your own pivot at home prior to the event, so you’ll be able to nail it on the big day.

Don’t forget, while you’ll certainly feel like the star of the show as you glide past, the audience didn’t only come to see you.  They are there to check out what you’re wearing.  This means, it’s important to pause before pivoting so they can get a good peek at your attire.  If you’re feeling more natural by the end of the show, feel free to throw in a bit of sass, too.  Often, you’ll see models removing a jacket and slinging it over their shoulder or adding in something similar before heading backstage.  If it feels right – go for it!