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 Post subject: Anyone else see a paradox?
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2001 12:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2001 12:01 am
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Location: U.S.A.
First I heard you're supposed to stretch before warm-ups, then I heard that your not supposed to stretch without being warmedup! Now granted, I'm not the brightest crayon in the box, but is anyone else having trouble with this?

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 Post subject: Re: Anyone else see a paradox?
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2001 12:16 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 20, 2001 11:01 pm
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Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
yup.. that does seem weird until you really think about it. i think that yer supposed to stretch before class, but yer not supposed to strech when yer completely cold. You are supposed to walk or jog a little before you stretch... otherwise you can really mess up your muscles. The trick is to be careful and gentle, and don't do anything that feels wrong.<p>[This message has been edited by Balletgirl (edited May 25, 2001).]

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 Post subject: Re: Anyone else see a paradox?
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2001 12:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 1999 12:01 am
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Location: Seattle, WA USA
This is the way I think of it:<P>-before class, I would give stretching (as a teacher) only to "loosen up" the joints. Get the blood flowing, Moving, limbering up stretches. NOT heavy duty stretching.<P>-after class, or when the students are REALLY warm and sweaty, I would give more deep stretching, to seriously work on flexibility. Holding positions a long time. Working on deep muscles. <P>I try to never mix the two up. Deep stretching should NEVER be done unless the students are warm. And positions should be held for a while; miniumum of 30 seconds, preferably longer. To work on really changing the length of your muscles, you have to give the muscles time to release.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone else see a paradox?
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2001 1:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Before class for myself - and for my students - the stretches are very gentle. Ankles rotations, head rotation, arm stretches. Stretch from side to side. Bend forward and just hang there (always holding on in case you get dizzy). <P>Lay on the floor (not a cold floor) and lift one knee up and then the other. Or stand in retiré, and gently swing the knee in and out. Gentle Achilles tendon stretch. Stand facing the barre, feet parallel, and then keeping derriere in, step back with one foot, keeping knee straight to gently stretch calf and Achilles tendon. Then the other foot.<P>Notice that all pre-barre stretches are gentle? All big time stretches are after you are warmed up. Just as Trina says.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone else see a paradox?
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2001 1:34 pm 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
To save confusion for my students I always describe those pre stretch stretches as isolated movements i.e you are working on one area to loosen it up and get the synovial fluid flowing round the joints. These movements should come after a pulse raiser like jogs or marches etc and then you should not concentrate on one body area for too long as the rest of the body will cool down. Once you have done that you can proceed into some gentle stretching and then go into more deep stretches later in the class.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone else see a paradox?
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2001 5:03 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Thank you SusieCrow - you reminded me of another thing I do to warm up - after a few relevés, I also do a pirouette or two to the left and to the right. That way I feel where my center for the day is, and also what the floor is like. Fast, slow. The speed of the floor changes with the weather.<P>Yes, and I also swing my leg through, as you describe - not high - just gently back and forth in an attitude through first position. <P>I not only need to get my synovial fluid going, but also my brain fluid. It all kind of gets me prepared, mentally and physically. During this gentle warmup, I begin to leave the rest of the world behind.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone else see a paradox?
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2001 6:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2001 12:01 am
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Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Our modern teacher says that too, and asks us if we understands what she means by the paradox. Things she makes us do to "warm-up for the warm-ups" is to jog around the room and do things like prances and fast bends foward and plies, tendues and degages in the center, and fast stuff on the floor. THEN we can do the really good strecthing!


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone else see a paradox?
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2001 6:40 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
BeBounce, there are some modern dancers/teachers here at this board I hope they get a chance to discuss with you what they do as a warmup for modern dance class.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone else see a paradox?
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2001 8:14 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA USA
My philosophy for modern warm up doesnt' differ all that much from ballet. What I will do is a slow warm up: first,initial exercise is usually slow joint flexion/extension, back contracting (curving, rounding)and stretching, circling the back (sitting on floor) over the legs, stuff like that. It's also important for me to know if the students have had another class that day...when, what kind of class,etc. That will determine what kind of modern warm up and class, I will give. I want it to complement what the students have already had that day. In other words, if they just came out of a ballet class and are already sweaty, I would give a slightly faster warm-up, since their "core temperature" (to put it simply, temperature in the muscles and joints)will be slightly higher than if they just walked in "off the street" so to speak!


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone else see a paradox?
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2001 11:21 pm 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
I agree that the warm-up is also very important for the dancer to prepare mentally for the class. I feel you need total concentration to perform stretches and a good warm up will take you into the class and away from the outside world.


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