Preparing for anything in life is important, but especially so for dancers.

We need to train to be healthy, fit, strong, and flexible in order to perform any movement. We also need to express without words, so we need to train to have an open, clear mind, and to access our emotions and spirit on demand.

In order to access this in class, rehearsal, and in performance, a dancer needs to prepare a good warm-up to be ready to do anything! Below are some helpful tips on how to build a well-rounded warm-up.

Calm the Mind

  • See if you can breathe in and feel the breath expand your chest and belly, then feel the breath deflate your belly and chest. Repeat 10x.

  • Think of a relaxing place that makes you feel good – forest, the beach, etc.

  • Repeat a helpful phrase. For example, ‘I am here, I am calm, I am ready to dance.’

Mobilize and Hydrate the Joints

  • In a comfy position (chair or lying down), gently circle all your joints; head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers, hips, knees, ankles, and toes.

  • For 5 minutes (set a timer!), sit comfortably, close your eyes and imagine you are being carried by the ocean. Make gentle waves with your spine: forward, back, side to side, up, and down. Try to keep moving for the whole 5 minutes!

Needing more Warm-Up tips? Stay tuned for DANCER HEALTH – Part 2…

Amelia is a professional contemporary dance artist in the Ottawa area. Amelia joined the Propeller Dance company in 2012, and now also teaches youth of all abilities for Propeller, and is Propeller’s social media gal. She also dances for Tara Luz Danse, Platypus Theatre, and Dorsale Danse, as well as other notable choreographers and organizations. Amelia is also a certified Ashtanga Yoga instructor and Yoga Therapist.