DanceMasters School of Dance
This is a brief report of how we run some of our classes please find below an outline of our regular routine and benefits of those routines.(This outline is for illustration only and can be adapted to each client) It will be broken down into an introduction of the types of warm up we do at the beginning of a class and then the class content and benefits of such broken into the three distinct age group that are under instruction in the classes held here.
However, within the population of dance teachers and students there has been confusion in the past as to what that warm-up should involve. Many in the dance world have believed that the first few movements of a dance are the warm-up, but this is not so. The body needs to be thoroughly warmed up before any steps take place if they are to be carried out as successfully and safely as possible.
Although putting on an extra layer of clothing or turning up the heating in the room may mean the dancer feels warm, this does not have the same effects on the body.
A good warm-up is a group of exercises performed immediately before an activity that provides the body with a period of adjustment from rest to exercise. It is designed to improve performance and reduce the chance of injury by preparing the dancer mentally as well as physically.
A warm-up should have some if not all of the following beneficial effects:
To make the muscles more stretchy.
When Blu-tack is cold you can stretch it so far and then it will snap. But when Blu-tack is warm you can stretch and stretch it and it feels gooey. So it is with your muscles - it is simply the warm blood rushing through the muscle that warms it up on the way past and makes the muscle fibres more elastic. It's a bit like the hot water in the radiator heating up the whole of a room.
To make your breathing faster and deeper.
To make your heart best faster and stronger.
To increase the internal body temperature.
To allow your nerve fibres to work more efficiently.
To allow time to focus.
To increase the range of movement available at joints.
To redistribute blood to where it is needed.
A warm-up is necessary no matter how warm the environment. All the above benefits can be obtained by a warm-up routine that should include the following features:
Gentle jogging, marching, skipping or similar rhythmical activity.
Exercises of a steady rhythmical nature involving other joints of the body, such as gentle knee bends, arm swings, sways, trunk rotation, and step ball change. None of these should reach end of range of movement so muscles and joints are not overstretched. Incorporating arm movements at this stage will increase the effects of the warm-up.
Gentle stretches to the large muscle groups, holding each stretch for 10-15 seconds. An increase in flexibility through stretching may reduce the incidence of muscle and tendon injuries. You might want to stretch your quads, hamstrings, and inside-thigh and calf muscles at this time.
Balance exercises, such as standing on one leg, then being able to control bending and straightening the supporting leg and rising on to your tip toes
How long a warm-up takes will depend on the age and fitness level of the student. A young child would be exhausted if they had to jump around for more than a couple of minutes, but a teenage student might need to take 10-15 minutes to be fully warmed.
Interestingly, the fitter you are and the more often you train, the longer your warm-up needs to be to have the same effects.
The steps in the warm-up should not overstretch you and should not include sudden changes in direction, complicated leaps or turns. Keep the steps simple and repetitive and leave the technical bits to the class when the body is warmed up and better able to cope with them. At the end of the warm-up you should feel warm, relaxed and ready for action. If not, you have either done too much, or not enough!
For all three age groups covered within our classes the one thing all their classes have in common is the general improvement dance brings to child’s’ Gross Motor Skills*
Obviously how this achieved will differ as much between ages as it does through children. So I will attempt to outline an average class for each age group and benefits of the dances taught this is by no means a definitive class instruction to follow just a few bullet points of the benefits of dance.
The children in these age groups cover:
Jnr Infants [4-5 yrs]
Snr Infants [6-7 yrs]
1st class [7-8 yrs]
Again this age group would continue to benefit from the two styles outlined above and we would introduce ever more ‘stretching’ choreography, we also give them the opportunity to interpret the music provided themselves (dependent on time constraints within the class) which enables them to work even closer as part of a team. Teaching them that dance is an expression of their personality and a way of exploring who they are.
In all three classes we try to install some of the following:
Dancing is not just about the Tango and Waltz. Think of the many forms of dance you see every day, in pop videos, or on the TV... Hip hop, street, break dance, pop, disco, freestyle, Latin, jazz, ballet etc... Even cheerleading, line dancing and belly dancing. The list of different dance styles is endless.
But it doesn't’t finish there as important as the warm up and the class itself is the cool down
Thank you for taking the time to have a read through this out line and hope you found it informative.