Dance lessons in Maple or Hamilton—or anywhere, really—are not just fun and exciting, but also physical. And with all physical sports, you need to make sure you take care of your body.
This holds true especially for children, as they often throw themselves headfirst into physical activity without being able to perform the movements with the precision necessary to execute them correctly.
We’ve all be told how important it is to stretch before dance class, but did you know that stretching after dance lessons also has its merits? That said, let’s dive into the benefits of stretching before and after dance class.
What Exactly Is Stretching?
Stretching is the act of manipulating your body in such a way that it elongates muscles and soft tissue. This helps prevent injury as your muscles won’t be as stiff when you dance (or engage in any physical activity) and therefore they will be less prone to tearing.
It’s important to note that stretching and flexibility are intertwined. As one improves, so will the other.
The best ways to improve stretching and flexibility involves:
- Warming up with physical exercise before the stretch. For children, this can be a bit difficult, but even just running around and playing can do the trick.
- Performing static stretches, where your child will hold a position for a length of time (usually between 30 and 90 seconds), which helps to improve the effect of stretching.
- Practicing during the day, especially if your kid is stuck in Zoom class or seated for long periods of time.
- Doing yoga, which can be a great way to develop those stretching muscles and can be a lot of fun for kids!
Why Is Stretching after Dance Lessons Important?
When your child dances, they are doing physically demanding maneuvers that can put strain on muscles. Stretching before can loosen up those muscles, so they don’t get injured during dance.
But stretching afterwards is also important, as it helps relieve your body of the buildup of lactic acids. This is the burning sensation that occurs in your muscles after playing a sport. Lactic acid is a result of the body’s need to use oxygen to break down sugars (glucose) when producing energy. And when your muscles are a bit starved for oxygen, like when dancing, your body produces lactic acid to break down the glucose and supplement that missing oxygen supply—which is just a long way of saying that it helps with recovery.
What Are the Benefits of Stretching after Dance Lessons?
Now that we understand the science behind it, what are the exact benefits of stretching?
Let’s explore those below. And if you’re interested in more benefits of dance lessons, click here.
Boosts Strength and Speed
Flexibility plays a role in strength and speed, making your muscles faster to respond and more able to handle higher demands. As you’d expect, strength and speed help out in most physical activities. And that goes double for dance, where the most demanding forms require movements that are fast, fluid, and powerful.
As we’ve gone over a few times, stretching both before and after can help reduce the occurrence of injury. Stretching limbers up your muscles so they are less prone to rip and tear, for instance, while stretching after reduces the build up of lactic acid which helps avoid discomfort. What’s more, stretching after also helps to keep your muscles limber and prevent them from stiffening up, which also helps reduce the threat of injury.
Improves Your Posture
Stretching helps align your joints, soft tissue, and muscles—it’s why one of physiotherapy’s go-to remedies is therapeutic stretching for posture correction. And posture isn’t just for looks, either—it can relieve pressure on joints and muscles, which in turn also helps to prevent injury.
Supports Blood Circulation
As you’d expect, the circulatory system is important to maintaining good health. And with stretching, you’ll encourage a higher blood supply to your muscles and joints. This promotes the delivery of nutrients to your muscles, while generally helping with blood circulation overall. Stretching loosens up your body, which helps facilitate this important process.
Helps in Relieving Pain and Reduces Stress
Lactic acid buildup can be uncomfortable and even painful. But with stretching, your child will avoid the more painful instances of post-dance soreness. Better yet, stretching can be a great way to reduce stress and centre yourself. You might wonder, “what do kids have to be stressed about”? But even young children can experience stress. And the older they get, the more stress they may experience. Stretching helps to focus and relax your child, which is a great way to reduce stress by getting their mind off of what’s stressing them in the first place. And stress can have a very negative impact for children’s health.
Looking for the Best Dance Studio in Toronto? Enroll Your Child at Performance Dance Arts Today!
Dancing provides many positive health benefits and establishes healthy habits that your kid can use throughout their life. So, if you want your child to benefit from these wide-ranging benefits, then you should contact Performing Dance Arts today.
Being a dancer requires intense focus and discipline, not to mention practice. This can be beneficial in other areas for your child, since they will apply this approach to their schoolwork, as well as lead to a lifelong appreciation for the arts. We offer dance lessons in Maple and dance classes in Hamilton, as well as in the GTA.
When your child takes lessons at Performing Dance Arts, they will greatly improve their fitness and confidence. Our studio teaches dance arts and skills that will serve your child well throughout their entire life.
Contact us today to register your child or learn more about which style and program fits best. We offer dance classes for all skill levels and ages!