Summer 09

The end of your practice or class should be calm, with slow moves and stretches. It’s important to let your body cool down gradually, and for the muscles to relax. The class always finishes with a curtsy or bow— this is called a réverénce. It’s a way of saying “thank you,” and also good for cooling down. After a performance, dancers do a réverénce to thank the audience for watching them. After allegro, you will be hot and your heart will be beating fast.


A simple port de bras exercise is a good way to allow your body to cool down and your heart to return to its normal rate. Stand in first and think about relaxing your shoulders and back as you do easy waves with your arms. When your muscles are warm, they will stretch more easily. After class is a good time to practice stretching. You should never stretch too much, and it should never be painful. It’s best to increase your flexibility by a tiny amount each time you stretch.


Beverley and Joe are doing a port de bras to the side to cool down and stretch. After all their hard work in the class, they make sure their muscles are stretched and relaxed. This will leave their bodies ready for their next practice. Remember to stretch both sides evenly.