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How To Warm Up Before Dance Class

It’s a Wednesday arvo, your kids have just arrived home from school and.. boy are they excited for dance. They’re hopping full of energy and you’re wondering how you’re going to get them in the car to drive them to the studio. These few techniques might work as an effective way to calm your kids down before class. They’ll also prepare them mentally and physically for the dance session ahead.

Stretching is a wonderful way to prepare the muscles, joints and tendons for any strenuous routine. Physiotherapists will recommend stretching before any serious workout, dance included, to reduce the risk of harm. Stretching is also a good way to warm up the body, and get it pumped for exercise. In this post we outline several dance warmups your kids can do at home to warm up before a dance class.

Warm Up Your Joints

It is a good idea to open the joints before a routine to allow blood to flow between them. This strengthens tendons and increases flexibility. Have your kids warm up their ankle, hip and shoulder joints and the spine before class to make sure they’re as prepared as they can be physically to begin exercise. Try to complete the following exercises warmups 5 times before your kids’ class.

Ankle circles will loosen up the feet and ankles for a session. Gently rotate the ankles in circles.

Hip circles will do the same for your hips. Lie on your back with your knees bent and open one knee at a time as far as it can go while keeping the pelvis neutral. Then, close that knee and begin working out the other.

Arm circles will prepare the shoulders for any strenuous workout. Lie on your back with your ribcage gently touching the ground, or mat, and stretch the arms out backwards and then sideways.

Spinal flexion and extension prepares the neck, shoulders and back for a class. Sit on a chair and bend your head forward, holding for 15 seconds.  Then, bend it backwards until you’re facing straight up and hold.

Warm Up Your Muscles

Once you’re done relaxing the joints listed above, it’s time to start stretching your muscles! Hold the following stretches for 15 seconds and then repeat five times.

Hamstring Stretches – Lie on your back and bend your knee towards the chest. Then, extend back to resting position while lifting the other knee.

Thigh Stretch – Start in a lunge position and then extend into a deeper lunge.

Warming up the legs is particularly important for dance routines because kids use them a lot!

Build Strength and balance

Once you’ve finished with the muscle relaxation, it’s time to start building strength and balance for your session.

Perform an oblique criss-cross by lying on your back and ‘pedalling’ in the air by bending your knee until it touches your chest. Rotate your shoulders in the opposite motion to your legs to strengthen the core.

If you have one, balance on a bosu ball while standing on one leg. You can improve your balance by moving the leg supporting your balance while the other is held up at your knee. Balance for 30-60 seconds.

If you’ve finished the stretches and balancing exercises above then congratulations. You’re fully prepared to take on your next dancing lesson in a healthy manner. Contact Dance on Q for any questions or to make an enrollment for your kids’ next class!