General Exercises

Disclaimer: These exercises are provided for information purposes only. Please consult with your physician before undertaking any program of exercise. 

Here are some exercises to warm up from head to toe before dancing.

Neck and head

  • Head to left, hold. Back to center. Head to right, hold. Back to center. (Keep body properly stacked up.)
  • Roll head and neck in circle. Reverse direction.

Arms and Shoulders

  • R arm reach to floor on the side (make sure chest don't collapse forward or bend backward), L arm reach up above head; repeat for L arm
  • Both arms parallel to floor, R arm reach to right side as far right as you can go (rib cage shifts to R too); repeat for L side.
  • Roll shoulder front, then back. One shoulder at a time first, then roll both shoulder front and back.

Rib cage isolation

Start: stand with legs a little more than shoulder width apart.
Keep hips still and only move rib cage. (To help to make sure hips don't move, the exercise can also be done when sitting on the edge of the chair.) 
  • rib cage: Left, Right (with arms extends to both sides), move hips as little as possible, shoulders and head flat. Need to compress one side while extending the other side. 
  • rib cage: Left with L shoulder diagonally up, Right with Right shoulder diagonally up
  • rib cage: Front, Back. Head and shoulders stay upright. Contract and expand rib cage. 
  • rib cage: L, F, R, B - separate distinct positions first, then smooth circular movement. Then, reverse direction: L, B R, F.

Hip isolation

Keep upper body still and only move hips:
  • Hip to left and right side (lateral), twisting/rotating,  pendulum.
  • Hip: Left, Front, Right, Back; then, Left, Back, Right, Front; (first stop at distinct point, then try circular continuous hip circle movement)

Leg Swings

The exercise will help loosen the hips:
  • In a standing position, swing one leg forward and back, keeping both knees bent. 
    • Swing your arms in opposition to the swinging leg, as if you were running. 
    • Start with small swings, and gradually increase the range of motion and speed. Straighten the knee as you do so. 
  • For lateral and rotational swings, swing your leg across your body and out to the side, keeping your knees bent. 
    • Move your arms in opposition to the leg movement. 

Hip Flexor Stretch

Kneel or lunge with your left leg in front of the right, with your toes pointing forward. Your left leg and hip should be bent at 90 degrees. Raise your right arm, and tighten your right buttock, shifting your weight forward. Hold the position for 10-15 seconds. Switch sides.

Plie Exercise

This plie exercise helps with balance and posture, and develop the flexibility of the feet.

Start with feet in second position (feet apart a bit more than shoulder width, feet turned out). 
Remind yourself with the posture elements at all times during the exercise.
  1. Arms up above head, feet in releve (on balls of feet). Focus: Compress butt cheeks, stretch the neck. 
  2. Arms to the side at shoulder level. Focus: Shoulders down. 
  3. Arms down, go into ground plie. Focus: lengthen the spine, hips under the body. No arches.