As dancers, we sometimes underestimate the importance of stretching before and after dancing. A lot of times we just want to jump right into dancing and not spend the time stretching beforehand. Stretching after practice is something many dancers find just as monotonous. However, stretching is a seemingly insignificant thing that makes a huge difference not just in our flexibility, but also in our overall performance and health as dancers.
There are two types of stretches we use frequently as dancers.
- Static stretching involves holding a single stretch for a period of time before moving to the next stretch.
- Dynamic stretching involves moving from one stretch to another without stopping, almost like a choreographed stretching routine.Both types of stretches are beneficial to dancers when used at the appropriate times throughout practice.
- Static stretching is most beneficial when a dancer is warmed up beforehand. This allows your muscles to push through each stretch.
- Dynamic stretching is just the opposite. Although it is effective when your body is warmed up, it is also effective when your muscles are cold.
- Dynamic stretching is also the most beneficial when you do not have the time to warm up, but you do have the time to stretch.
Either type of stretching can be used before and after practice depending on the needs of each team.