Prior to competing or performing, dancers should understand the importance of fully warming up their bodies. We spend a lot of time discussing this with our dancers, and we provide a checklist of proper pre-performance warm-ups (and, sitting in a straddle is not a proper warm-up!). This way, if we are busy or unable to lead a warm-up onsite at a performance or competition, students (and, sometimes, with the help of their parents) can independently guarantee their bodies are prepared for their stage performance.
A Sample of Our Recommended Warm-Up:
- Cardiovascular Exercise (Example: Jumping Jacks, Runs in Place)
- Isolations (Example: Shoulders, Head, Arms, Feet, Ankles, Hips)
- Ballet Work (Example: Plies, Tendus, Degages, Battements)
- Standing Stretches (Example: Lunges, Flat Back)
- Sitting Stretches (Example: Second Position/Straddle, Splits)
- Back Stretches (Example: Cobra Stretch, Back Lifts)
- Wall Stretches (Example: Resistance Flexibility)
- Core Stabilization (Example: Plank, Hold & Balance in Retire)
After the body is warm, dancers can review or execute certain skills within their routines.
It is important to reiterate that once the body is warm, it should stay warm until performance time. If a dancer is idle, it is important to repeat the entire warm-up.
Communicate this information with your dancers and their parents, and you will be impressed with the level of autonomy and focus it instills on performance days.