A Step by Step Guide
At Nan’s School of Dance, we believe that stretching is an essential part of dance. Stretching keeps the dancer’s muscles flexible, strong, and healthy. We need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion for our joints. Without it, the muscles will become tight, and that’s when injuries can occur. We have put together a list of the five best stretches for dancers and a step by step guide on how to do each stretch. So whether you are warming up or cooling down, these stretches will be every dancers’ best friend.
The hamstrings are muscles which extend the hip and flex the knee. Dancers need exceptionally flexible hamstrings, as this muscle is used in almost every movement. To do this 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.
To do this 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.
Quadriceps are a group of four muscles that cover the front and sides of your thighs. The quads are some of the largest and most powerful muscles in your body. To do this stretch:
- Step 1: Stand up straight and while being careful that your back doesn’t arch or curve and 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.
Kneeling Quad Stretch
To do this 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, then release.
- Step 4: Bring your left leg back down and repeat the stretch with your right leg.
Shoulder and Arm Stretch
Dancers use their arms and shoulders in every possible style of dance. A dancer must have strong and limber shoulders in order to support their frame. To do this 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.
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So why Nan’s school of dance?
At Nan’s School of Dance, our goal is to provide top-quality instruction at a competitive price. We encourage our students to reach technical proficiency in their favorite dance form and build self-discipline, poise, and self-esteem. We offer instruction in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Acro, and Pre-Dance, at all levels.
We love having new members in our dance classes and will help get your child acclimated to our dance school to make them feel right at home. When your child attends Nan’s School of Dance, they will become a part of our dance family and share in our love for dance!
Don’t forget to register!
From ballet to hip hop, we offer dance classes for ALL ages and skill levels in a variety of styles. We place students in classes that will challenge them while offering a fun atmosphere for learning and growth. We also offer Mommy & Me classes, (18 months – 2.5 years). Register online or give us a call at 919-803-6044 to hold your spot!