Each and every class at The Dance Space commences with a warm-up.
Why? The short answer - to prepare the mind and body for the activities ahead.
So now let me explain - let me give you the long answer.....
Each dance lesson and genre of dance has differing demands on a dancers body. Of course, depending on the content of the lesson, there are also differing demands on the mind.
Our teachers design their warm-up based around their goals for each lesson. We also take into consideration environmental and social factors. For example, if it is a really warm day we know that our dancers will not take as long to elevate their core temperature so we may reduce the cardio content of the warm-up. If the dancers have been on break - we may include warm up activities where the dancers have the opportunity to interact with each other.
The warm-up should slowly and progressively increase the heart rate and core temperature. Increasing blood flow into the muscles and the flow of synovial fluid in the joint capsule (like oil in a motor car but in
side your body for your joints).
Some activities to increase muscular endurance and strength should also be included. To conclude mobility activities should take the joints through their full range of motion. Static stretching does not form part of the warm-up activities as stretching for an extended time inhibits the muscles ability to power up for jumps and kicks when required.
At any stage during the warm-up dancers could be asked to focus their mind on the activities to come. Some of the strategies may include focussing on the breath, running through the choreography from previous lessons in the mind, leaving the day behind and clearing space for the lesson ahead, using strength and endurance activities to unify the dancers mind with their body.
As you can see, warm-up not only sets your body up for a great class – it also sets your mind up to tackle whatever challenge is coming your way!
See you in class!
PS. And of course effective warm-up lowers your chance of injury!