After doing yoga poses before class, Lauren Giordano Curran likes to warm up with her students.

In our April issue’s Health column we asked four teachers what their personal warm-up practices were. Here’s what jazz teacher Lauren Giordano Curran had to say.

Lauren Giordano Curran

Specializes in jazz for students of all ages at Gus Giordano Dance

Age: in her 20s

Before class I do basic back-opening, spine-strengthening yoga poses like cat-cow and thread the needle, just to relax the side of my face on the floor and find an opening on the front side body and the back. I also do eagle pose or sometimes just eagle arms. I’ll round over and gaze up at the ceiling for a few moments. I feel so much release.

Then I’ll warm up with the kids as much as I can. I’ll make sure to get my heart rate up within the first five to seven minutes. Then by the end of the warm-up—half hour, 45 minutes—we’re all dripping sweat and ready to go across the floor. Once they’ve memorized the warm-up, I spend more time walking around the room, observing and correcting, so I’ll give myself the warm-up before class. It includes contractions and releases, isolations, cardio—like jumping jacks—pliés, tendus, dégagés, ronds de jambe and stretching.

Photo by Caitlin Hargett, courtesy of Giordano Dance

For more warm-up ideas, subscribe to Dance Teacher.

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