Getting ready for your next dance class takes more than practicing the steps. Dance class demands energy, stamina, and a 100% effort. To do all of this, you need to properly warm up. Warming up steadily gets blood pumping to your muscles and increases your heart rate. In doing so, you reduce the risk of injuring yourself.
Step 1: Music
This first step is easy and fun! In addition to reducing risk of injury, warming up is also meant to focus your mind. So make sure to pick your favorite tune that get’s you ready for the class ahead. You can either have a set warm up playlist, or personalize your songs each time.
Step 2: Isolations
Isolations are going to be your best friend when it comes to your warm up. The concept is pretty self explanatory. You keep your entire body still, with the exception of the appendage you are focusing on. For instance, when isolating your neck, stand still with your feet hip width apart and your knees unlocked. Then slowly, twist your neck so you are facing right. Then twist it again so you are facing left. Then gradually increase the tempo of this movement. By doing this, you are thoroughly warming up your neck by preparing it for the dance movements ahead. Therefore, don’t limit it to your neck. Isolate your wrists, fingers, ankles, knees, hips, etc. Just remember to be precise!
Step 3: Cardio
Now that you’re a little looser, it’s time to get your heart rate up and your blood flowing. You can start simply by walking around the room, steadily increasing the pace until it becomes a brisk walk. Feeling up for more? Start doing some light jumping jacks and leg swings. Still going? How about lightly jogging around the room, or even chasséing? Just don’t wear yourself out! You still want the energy to enjoy class. The point is to just barely work up a sweat, and get the blood flowing.
Step 4: Stretch
Now that your muscles are warm, it is safe to stretch them out a bit! Everyone has their favorite, go-to stretches, and this would be the time to whip them out. Can’t think of one? Try standing with your legs spread apart. Then, bending at the waist, reach both of your hands down towards your left foot (hold for 30 seconds). Do the same for your right foot. Lastly, bending at the waist, let your body hang forward between your legs. Find some new favorites here!
Step 5: Roll
Finally, it’s time to roll up and down your spine. Begin by tilting your head down, the letting the rest of your body follow, one vertebrae at a time, until your upper body is hanging down from your hips with your fingertips brushing the floor. The point of the roll down is not to stretch, so make sure your knees are bent. Once you get to the bottom, slowly roll back up your spine.
There you have it! Just make sure you don’t forget to warm up before your next class. For more dance articles, like us on Facebook, and let us know your favorite warm ups.