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Head and Neck Stretches

These exercises are only to be used when a dancer is warming up and the area of tightness is focused more on the neck and head. Back pain can also be attributed to neck tightness. At any time the dancer feels a lot of pain, they are to stop doing the exercise and seek assistance from Matt Forgie or another licensed athletic therapist.

These are "isometric" neck exercises, basically working your neck muscles without actually moving your neck/head.

  • This exercise can be done either sitting or standing. 

  • Shoulders are in relaxed position.

  • Attempt to perform the neck movements (bending up, down and in sideways) against resistance. There is no visible movement happening at the neck.

  • You are trying to perform the movement but you are actually not performing it. 

  • You should feel little pressure on the side of the neck, back of neck or front of neck.

  • You will hold three seconds and slowly release.

This is a good stretch to do any part of the day before, during, or after dance practice or class. This stretch helps relieve tension, loosen neck muscles, and help with back tightness/soreness they may be having. 

  • You want to be gentle with yourself while doing this and stretch only enough to feel a good stretch.

  • Spine should be straight.

  • One hand should be behind your back.

  • Shoulders should be relaxed and aligned.

Head and Neck Exercises

Some dancers have problems when they begin using the specific head positions required when you are comfortable with your dances. 

Key points to remember:

  • A dancer's eyes, nose, and head direction should all be in line. For instance, the nose should not be pointing forward with the eyes looking to the side. 

  • Chin should be slightly raised.

  • Shoulders are always relaxed.

Some Tips and Tricks for getting this:

  • Watch yourself in the mirror-make sure you know what you look like when your head is level and when your chin is slightly raised. How high is too high? How do I look? More confident?

  • Practice looking to the corner, making sure your nose is pointing the same direction you are looking and what you are looking at.

  • Have a family member or friend make sure you are all lined up when you are using your head in second (looking to the corner). 

  • Video tape yourself with your head positions while dancing.

  • Just use your arms and head while placing the dance's music.

  • Make sure your arms and head turn at the EXACT same time.

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