Like No One’s Looking: Warm Up

Dancing is akin to celebrating individuality and emotions while embracing freedom from judgment or self-consciousness. Dancing as if no one’s watching allows for an open and honest celebration of the self as we move to rhythms that resonate with our souls. But before embarking on this journey of self-expression and liberation, one critical step must be noticed: warming up.

Warming up before dancing is more than a prudent step to prevent injuries. It’s a way of preparing the body and the mind for the movement to follow. It’s about waking up the muscles, stirring the senses, and setting the stage for an emotional dance experience.

Begin by stretching your body. Stretching warms the muscles and increases flexibility, critical to executing dance movements. Think about a dancer’s body as an instrument, like a violin. The strings of the violin need to be tuned to the correct tension before they can produce beautiful melodies. Similarly, a dancer’s body must be stretched and warmed to move freely and avoid injury.

The warm-up can be as simple as a couple of stretches or as elaborate as a short yoga sequence. For example, a simple neck roll can relieve tension in your neck and shoulders. A forward bend can stretch your hamstrings and back, preparing them for the dance. Sun salutations, a famous yoga sequence, can serve as a full-body warm-up, awakening every muscle. 

Beyond physical preparation, the warm-up phase also provides an opportunity to prepare for the dance mentally. It’s a moment of introspection where you can check in with your body and mind. Legendary dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham once said, “You must love dancing to stick to it. It gives you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls…no other desire but to keep doing it.” The warm-up is the perfect time to connect with this love for dancing and reaffirm your desire to express yourself.

Scientific research backs the importance of a proper warm-up. A 2013 study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that a dynamic warm-up routine can help increase total body power and improve overall performance in athletes. And while you might not be dancing for athletic performance, the same principles apply – a good warm-up can enhance your dance experience.

Dancing as if nobody’s watching is about breaking free from judgment and embracing individuality. Warming up ensures your body is ready to take on this journey and express itself without hesitation or constraint. So, before you let loose and lose yourself in the dance, take a moment to warm up and prepare your body.

After understanding the significance of warming up, what is your ideal warm-up routine? How would you prepare your body for a dance where no one is watching? Let’s hear about it in the comments below. Your warm-up routine might provide the perfect inspiration for someone else looking to start their journey into dancing freely. 

What does your warm-up routine look like?