Many times I have to ask the dancers not to just stand there waiting for class to start but to go and warm up. But what does that mean? I have had my warm up routine for years, and as I age I have to add to it. One of the latest articles from The Dance Training Project covers just this topic. http://danceproject.ca/changing-this-one-thing-will-drastically-improve-your-warm-up/#.VZGcU0aQoS5
Warming up is crucial to maintaining a healthy dance body and preventing injury. Many new studies show that moving major body parts (small jumps for example) rather than stretching prepares the body for activity more effectively. http://healthland.time.com/2013/04/08/why-stretching-may-not-help-before-exercise/ Stretching that increases flexibility should come after activity not before. As dancers warming up in parallel is also important to help increase turnout and prevent injury so start there.