Stretching is a must for every dancer. Be it jazz, hip-hop, salsa or even ballet, every dance is performed after a rigorous session of warming up the body. When it comes to Ballet, leg stretches are mandatory as the dance comprises of all the footwork. Stretching of the calves, hamstrings, glutes not only improves performance, but also decreases the risk of any injury. Below are a few stretches that every dancer (be it a kid or an adult) must perform.
1. The Hamstring Stretch
Extend your legs and try to touch your toes with your knees locked out. In case, the pain is severe, you could slightly bend your knees. Hold the stretch for almost 20 seconds. This exercise warms up your hamstrings (back of the thigh) and improves flexibility. This could be done wither on the floor or with the barre (as in the video above)
2. The Calf Stretch
Steps including relevés which includes pointing the toes and balancing on demi or full pointe require a lot of calve muscles to work.Therefore, it is important to stretch the back of the lower leg.
Extend your left leg while bending the right leg. Take a strap and wrap it around the ball of your left toe. Gently pull the strap towards you making sure that your foot is turning towards your knee. Feel the stretch for 20 seconds and repeat the same with your right leg.
3. The Glutes Stretch
This stretch works on your glutes and the lower back to improve your posture while dancing.
Lay on your back and bend both your knees and hands on the side. Lift your pelvis towards the ceiling, creating a diagonal with your body. Stay at the stretch for 20 seconds.
This stretch is also named as 'The Bridge pose' or 'Setu Bandhasana'.
Know more: How to get involved in Dancing?
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