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Why Stretching is Important

Dancers are always ready to show off their best tricks. We can pop a jeté anywhere and pull out a turn into a split whenever we feel like it! But, this is not the safest thing to do! Without stretching before doing these big tricks or before a routine, you can seriously injure yourself. Although it may take some time to do properly, a stretch AND warm up before class is very important. Here are 5 positives to stretching, and 5 consequences when you avoid stretching…

1st Positive: Increased flexibility!
2nd Positive: Prevents muscle soreness after dance class.
3rd Positive: Less chance of injury while dancing.
4th Positive: Muscles are activated to help stabilize your body later on during dance class.
5th Positive: Relaxes and focuses the mind to fully commit yourself to class.

REMEMBER! Focus on your breathing while stretching, it increases blood flow to the muscles. Therefore, the stretching will become easier over time!

1st Consequence: Increased risk of injury!
2nd Consequence: Muscles depend on areas that should not be doing the flexibility work. Example: your joints.
3rd Consequence: Decreases flexibility.
4th Consequence: Inflames the muscles, as they are unprepared to work instantly.
5th Consequence: It may harm the function and condition of your body with age.

TRY THIS! Create your own warm up and stretch to your five favorite songs. Make sure it stretches all the muscles from head to (pointed) toes!

As you can see, it is better to choose the tedious stretch and warm-up over the consequences that may come from the lack of stretching. You should be consistent with your stretching routine as well… don’t wait for someone else to tell you to stretch. Organize some time for yourself to do what your body needs! And always stretch after dance class as well.