Stretching and dancing are completely connected. Stretching is actually very much a part of the art itself. Many of the moves push dancers to manoeuver their bodies in ways that require them to stretch at different angles.
Stretching also comes into play before dancing is actually done. Prior to starting any dance lesson, it’s important to really take stretching seriously. The best dancers in the world are often the most flexible. And flexibility comes with improving the range of motion through stretching.
Stretching Exercises for Flexibility
There are a number of exercises your child can do before starting their dance classes. These stretches can be done at home or at their dance studios prior to the start of their dancing lessons.
This really gives the muscles between your ribs a good stretch. Just lift your arms above your head and bend to either side slowly.
Lay on your back with your legs bent. Stretch one leg out and then back towards your body. Hold for five seconds.
Stand straight with your arms down. Bend your neck to either side and hold for five seconds on each side.
Stand straight and use one arm to hold your other arm across your body. Hold for 10 seconds then repeat on the other arm.
Stand with both arms resting against the wall. Put one leg back with your legs still straight and hold for five seconds. Do the same with the other leg.
Quads are the muscles of your upper leg. In a standing position, simply lift one leg up to your behind and hold it with your hand for 10 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
Leg and Lower Back
To stretch both at the same time, sit down with both legs straight out in front. Lift one leg and place your foot on the inner thigh. Then bend over your straight leg. Switch legs and repeat.
Upper Body Stretch
An easy way to stretch your upper body is to lift one arm and bend it behind your head. Hold it down for 10 seconds with your other arm. Switch arms and repeat.
Shoulder and Arm
Hold your left elbow with your right hand and pull across your body. Switch arms and repeat.
Simply lifting your foot off the ground and rotating your ankle is a good way to loosen up the muscles in that area.
Tips for Improved Flexibility for Dancers
While stretching is important, dancers must be able to stretch safely. A few things to keep in mind: First, make sure you always warm up; you never want to stretch cold muscles because that can actually lead to injury. Second, once you start stretching, stretch every part of the body. And do not hold your breath while you are stretching. Breathing sends oxygen to your muscles and helps keep your body relaxed.