General Exercises


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

Warm Up Exercises

Some exercises from head to toe to help warm up the body before dancing.

Neck/Head Roll

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

Arms and Shoulders

  • R arm reach to floor on the side (make sure chest don't collapse forward or bend backward); repeat for L arm
  • R arm reach up above head on the side; repeat for L arm
  • Roll shoulder front, then back. One shoulder at a time first, then roll both shoulder front and back.

Ribcage isolation

Start: stand with legs a little more than shoulder width apart.
Keep hips still and only move ribcage. (To help to make sure hips don't move, the exercise can also be done when sitting on the edge of the chair.) 
  • ribcage: 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. 
  • ribcage: Left with L shoulder diagonally up, Right with Right shoulder diagonally up
  • ribcage: Front, Back. Head and shoulders stay upright. Contract and expand rib cage. 
  • ribcage: 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: twisting, lateral, pendulum.
  • Hip: Left, Front, Right, Back; then, Left, Back, Right, Front; (first stop at distinct point, then try circular continuous hip circle movement)

Lateral Stretch With Twist 

Stand about arm-distance away from a pole, door jamb or sturdy support, and bend sideways to grab it with both hands. As you push your hip away from the support, reach your lower arm across your body and twist without moving your hips and legs. You should feel this in your armpits, hip and back.

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, slightly 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 buttcheeks, 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.

Flexibility Exercises

Back Curls (Cobra Position)

Lay face down on floor, lift head and bend back.

Pretzel Stretch

This improves upper body flexibility. 

Sitting with R leg bent in front of body, lower right leg and right knee flat on floor, L leg bent and cross R leg, vertical. Body twist to left, R hand/arm over L leg and try (if you can) to reach R foot. L arm vertical propping the body. Switch to the other side.