Every dancer is familiar with that unwanted feeling of soreness and muscle cramps, especially in the legs. Not forgetting one simple detail can before dancing can help avoid that pain: stretching! Stretching is the proper pushing and pulling of the muscles to improve the muscles elasticity and achieve comfortable muscle tone. It is common for all athletes to stretch before and after exercise in order to reduce injury and increase performance.
Stretching for even a short amount of time, 30 seconds to 1 minute is enough to warm up the muscles and improve blood circulation. By doing this you promote growth and strength in your muscles that will reduce the risk of an injury while dancing.
The real motivation behind stretching for most young dancers is achieving a split. This can be done by committing to stretching everyday in the right way. Most dancers are so eager to get their split that they stretch for too long and push the muscle too hard which works against gains in flexibility. Easing into a split and holding the stretch will maintain the length in the muscle. The muscle will then adjust to the increased length and maintain the flexibility.