How to warm up properly
First of all, let me get something out there: I DON’T DO WARMUP-EXERCISES. It’s not that I’m by the opinion you shouldn’t, neither that I’m not familiar with proper exercises. It’s just so immensely booooring!!
Now, important first: You do have to warm up. Don’t, and you’ll be on the surgeons-table faster than you can say “tendon-sprain” or “joint-displacement” or any other major injury typical in dance-environments. Warm-up or not, the chance of getting them is there nevertheless, but believe me, you don’t exactly up the chances of avoiding them by skipping your warming up. But warmup-exercises, man, there are few things that makes me less motivated than 30 circles with your ankle, 150 pointe/stretch and so on and forth ’till you feel the heat piling up somewhere pretty far from your hamstrings (and no, I was not trying to make a stupid joke about the more “precious parts” of ones body). I can’t stand it. Many professional dancers has a morning (or before-class) routine they repeat daily throughout their entire career. And god bless them, if that works for them, but I would go mania-crazy by the end of the week following that same routine day in and day out.
So what do I do? Well, I warm up. Occasionally, I do an exercise or two from that very same program my colleagues tried to teach me. Sometimes, I do pliés and tendues for half-an-hour before class. Thing is, I try to listen to the needs of my body, and also keep in mind what I will be warming up for, and then warm up accordingly. Pas de deux-practice? Back, thighs, arms and shoulders. Stretching? Pelvis and quadriceps (your thigh muscles…). This method requires that you are familiar with your body and knows your needs, something that is way harder to achieve than you’d think. Although I am dancing every day for a very long time, there are times I have realized that I wasn’t prepared enough for this, mid class for instance. That is not a good thing.
I didn’t add this post to the “How to…” feature of the blog, basically because I don’t want to tell anyone how to warm up. I’m no authority on your body, only my own. A daily routine that works ensures a proper warmup every time, but drives me nuts. You just have to figure out what works best yourself, but a word of advice – the more the merrier! You can’t be too ready to move your body…
See you soon! Ta-ta!