Whether you’re about to attempt the moonwalk or just two steppin’ everyone knows you’re meant to warm-up first.
Stretching properly prepares you for your dance session and is important for preventing strain and tear in your muscles. Young dancers should make stretching before and after dancing part of the ritual to avoid muscle strain and injury and to develop flexibility early.
Each time a new dance move is introduced in to a choreographed piece, a new muscle group is too. Dancers need to warm up before every dance rehearsal to get the blood flowing, raise the body temperature , improve the range of motion and prepare the body for the more demanding moves the body requires. The Australian Youth Dance Theatre (AYDT) choreographers take their students through a range of warm up exercises and so we thought we would share them with everyone. Click below to watch the video and have a go trying these at home.
Here are seven warm-up tips for young dancers:
- First make sure you choose music you like because it’s much more fun when the music is good!
- Make sure you stretch evenly on both sides of your body
- Don’t over stretch (stretch too far) – be gentle on yourself (see tip 4).
- Stretch slowly and smoothly – avoid bouncy or jerky movement.
- Don’t forget to breathe.
- Isolations should be incorporated into your warm up – try to stand in front of the mirror when you do these so you can check if you are moving correctly.
- Make sure you listen to your teacher, tutor or choreographer when you are taking a class. They will always direct you for each one of your warm ups and give you the knowledge you need to work at home.
Watch the attached video example of a great stretching exercise from one of AYDT’s Choreographers with some of the AYDT ensemble dancers. This stretching exercise is much harder than it looks. It takes controlled movement, which relies heavily on strength. All the featured dancers said it was difficult to perfect.
By practicing warm ups at home between classes, you will improve your strength and flexibility and be well on your way to improving your dancing. Remember to take care of your body and listen to what it needs and you will be a fitter and healthier dancer.
Tell us here about your favourite warm up and why it makes you feel good.
The AYDT warm up for Friday night rehearsals
Christine Grey – General Manager NIYPAA.
Christine is an educator, organizer and art enthusiast, with a profound interest in youth performing arts. A former music and art teacher Christine is now devoting her time to the Australian Youth Choir and Australian Youth Dance Theatre where she has worked for over 15 years. She is a fan of the visual arts, live theatre, drama, film and is jealous of anyone who can create movement to music.Her working life has been dedicated to the musical education of young people in the performing arts and shes loves to tell anyone who will listen about the benefits the Arts can bring to every personality at all stages of their lives.
Brought to you by National Institute of Youth Performing Arts – auditioning now.
Go to www.niypaa.com.au