Cardiovascular warm-ups

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					Cardiovascular warm-ups
These warm-ups aim to raise the body temperature in preparation for dance
activities. The following suggestions are examples and can be adapted to suit the
purpose or thematic content of a lesson. Additional warm-up ideas are
incorporated into lesson units. It is best to follow these activities with a focused
stretch to regain student concentration.

Area walks. This activity is an excellent start to a dance lesson. It provides a
safe way of increasing body temperature and loosening large muscle groups.
The focus of the walk can be varied each time. Introduce changes in speed,
direction and movement quality and add simple arm movements. For example,
ask the students to: walk around the space not touching anyone; increase and
decrease the speed of the walk; change directions and pathways; gradually
increase the walk to a gentle jog using curved pathways; circle around others
while jogging, without touching; decrease speed to a walk; finish in a static

Concentration circle. Students make a large circle in the centre of the room.
Begin by counting out loud from 1 to 8. Students then move clockwise, stepping
forward on each count. Ask the students to continue to count softly as they walk
and listen to further instructions. Vary the moving and counting pattern by adding
the following instructions, one at a time:
        • Whistle on count 5
        • Hop on count 2
        • Arms in the air on count 4
        • Clap hands on count 1
        • Tap knees on count 3
        • Jump on count 7
        • Turn on count 8 (to walk the next 8 counts in an anti-clockwise direction).

Note: While this is a physical warm-up, it is also a focusing exercise. Students
will find it
very difficult to concentrate on moving, counting, and replacing counts with other
and actions. Begin a new sequence when students can no longer maintain

0 to 5. Students find their own space.
Teacher explains that 0= freeze, 1 = walk, as slowly as possible, 2= a slow walk,
3= medium pace walk, 4= jog, 5= run as fast as possible.

Teacher calls out numbers in any order, while students respond by moving at
various speeds.
Around relay. Divide the class into groups of 3–5. On a signal, the first person in
each group runs around a marker, and returns to collect the second person. This
continues until all members of the group are running around the marker in single
file. Other locomotor movement can be added, e.g. skips, jumps, leaps.

Circle run. Students stand in a circle of 8–10 metres in diameter. Each student is
given a number (or colour, animal name, object). Call out a particular number
and all students with that number run clockwise round the outside of the circle
and back to their places. Jumping, skipping, hopping and directional changes can
be used.

Chain tag. Designate a square boundary. Elect one student to be “in”. This
student must “tag” others, who then link up by holding hands to become part of a
chain. The chain continues to move together, tagging others. Only the ends of
the chain can tag. When the tag has eight members, it can split in half to create
two chains of four. The game ends when there is only one student left

Pirates. Designate the four walls of the space as PORT, STARBOARD, FORE
and AFT. Demonstrate the positions that the student can adopt (see below).
Instruct students to listen carefully and follow instructions promptly. The leader
calls out the orders and students respond as quickly and correctly as they can.
       Row the boat: Students sit with knees bent, performing a rowing action.
       Haul the anchor: Students lunge forward and pull back.
       Walk the plank: Students pretend to walk along a narrow plank.
       Scrub the decks: Students fall to the floor and make a scrubbing action.
       Man overboard: Students mime looking into the distance through
       Climb the rigging: Students mime climbing a rope ladder.
       Hit the deck: Students lie flat on the floor.
       Aye, aye captain: Students stand in a straight line and salute.
       Port: All run to the left side of the room.
       Starboard: All run to the right side of the room.
       Bow: All run to the front of the room
       Stern: All run to the back of the room.

Extension: This game can be adapted to fit various themes.

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Description: Cardiovascular warm-ups