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Pre-Performance Dance Warm Up Exercises

dance warm up exercises

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 dance warm up exercises (FYI, 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, knowledgeable parents) can independently guarantee that they are prepared for their stage performance.

Recommended dance warm up exercises

  • Cardiovascular Exercise (Ex: Jumping Jacks, Runs in Place)
  • Isolations (Ex: Shoulders, Head, Arms, Feet, Ankles, Hips)
  • Ballet Work (Ex: Plies, Tendus, Degages, Battements)
  • Standing Stretches (Ex: Lunges, Flat Back)
  • Sitting Stretches (Ex: Second Position/Straddle, Splits)
  • Back Stretches (Ex: Cobra Stretch, Back Lifts)
  • Wall Stretches (Ex: Resistance Flexibility)
  • Core Stabilization (Ex: 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.

stretch

Also, don’t forget that it’s equally important for dancers to be eating healthy foods in the days and hours before a performance! Take a look at these articles and make sure dancers are eating well so they can get through a big performance:

Nutrition for Dancers: What to Eat Before Competitions

5 High-Energy Snacks to Help You Power Through Your Dance Competitions

Dancer Nutrition: What to Eat Before a Dance Recital

Chasta Hamilton Calhoun

Chasta is the artistic director and owner of Stage Door Dance Productions in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is also the founder of The Dance Exec, a website and organization that provided resources and training for dance studio owners. The resources from The Dance Exec have a new home on the TutuTix blog, giving dance studio owners an even more in-depth library of free tools and information with which to grow their business. Chasta contributes to the TutuTix blog from time to time, offering her perspective as a studio owner (and TutuTix client!).