Get Your Stretch On!

Stretching is an essential part of dance. Stretching alone can prepare you physically and mentally for dance or any type of exercise. Whether you’re preforming or just practicing, stretching determines flexibility and your overall performance as a dancer. Here are 5 of the best stretches that’ll improve and prepare you for any type of dance.

  1. Hamstring Stretch

Step 1: Sit down on the ground and extend your legs in front of you. Your toes should be either pointed or flexed.

Step 2: Place your arms in 1st or 5th position and slowly extend them over your legs.

Step 3: Let your torso follow your extension and relax your body into the stretch.

Step 4: Hold, release-then repeat with your feet in the other position.

  1. Kneeling Quad Stretch

Step 1: Kneel on the ground and slowly extend your left foot in front of you, make sure your foot is placed flat on the floor. Your leg should be bent at a 90 degree angle at the knee.

Step 2: Slowly and gently push your hips towards your left leg.

Step 3: Hold this pose for 10-15 seconds than release

Step 4: Bring your left leg back down and repeat the stretch with your right leg.

  1. Split Stretch

Step 1: Sit on the floor with your back straight and centered. Extend your legs outward as wide as you can.

Step 2: Carefully rotate your torso towards the right then move your torso over your right leg. Remember to breathe and go slow.

Step 3: Keep extending till you feel your body “stretch”. Hold this pose until your muscles relax.

Step 4: Slowly come back up and repeat with your left leg.

  1. Quadriceps Stretch

Step 1: Stand up straight and being careful that your back doesn’t arch or curve grab your ankle.

Step 2: Hold this position for a short time, make sure your back doesn’t arch.

Step 3: Repeat with the other ankle.

  1. Shoulder/Arm Stretch

Step 1: Stand up straight and extend your arms in front of your body.

Step 2: Interlock your fingers and slowly rotate your wrists so the flat of your palm is facing away from you.

Step 3: Lift your arms over your head and hold this pose for 10 to 15 seconds. Before moving your arms back down, place your left hand behind your head.

Step 4: Take your right hand and gently grasp your left elbow, proceed to press it down as much as you can. Hold this position for 10 seconds, and then repeat with your right hand behind your head and your left hand holding your right elbow.