Warming up properly before you dance is the best way to maximize your performance and prevent possible injury. This applies to every dance class, practice, and performance…not just every feis! It is extremely important to understand what it takes to get your own body ready for dancing and to take responsibility for your warm up. That way, no matter what your teacher expects of you when dance class starts, you will be ready and remain injury-free!
A proper warm up raises the body temperature which increases blood flow to the muscles, mobilizes the joints, and includes sport specific exercises to prepare you for dancing. Start with small and continuous movements, gradually increasing your range of motion. Gently mobilize the joints of the legs, starting with the ankles and knees and moving up to the hips. Wake up the entire core (abs, back and glutes) by doing some strength and stabilization exercises. Engage in dynamic stretches to loosen and lengthen the muscles. And finally, perform some sport specific drills such as practicing small parts of your steps.
At the end of your warm up, you should feel energized and NOT fatigued. Every dancer is different in this respect and it may take some practice to learn what works for you as an individual. I would encourage everyone to spend some time creating a warm up that most effectively gets their own body ready to dance. Your warm up is also a good opportunity to mentally prepare for what you are about to do, so consider how to incorporate this into your warm up plan. And don’t forget to pay attention to your food choices…this is the fuel that you are feeding your dancing body and is also vital to proper preparation.
If you are looking for warm up suggestions, we will be adding one of our very own Podium Strength warm up routines to Podium On-Demand this month, so check it out!