As a professional choreographer, our industry has a standard method for warming students up. We take turns isolating various parts of our bodies to ʻwarm them upʼ; our heads, shoulders, arms, hips, and legs. Then we might move on to cardio or intense stretching.
Working in the ﬁeld of developmental disabilities however, this method isnʼt always feasible. Plus, it isnʼt as interesting as it could be.
Thatʼs how 4th Wall created a better and more engaging warm-up method. It engages more parts of the brain, can often scaffold real-world concepts, and is a lot more fun! What is it? Acting to music. Pick an upbeat song. Then we “do” things such as go to the grocery store:
- Drive the car there (arms outstretched, works biceps)
- Grab the shopping cart (arms close to body, works triceps)
- Reach for items on the shelf and put it in (reach up high and low, works obliques)
- Run to the cashier! (running in place, starts cardio)
- Scan the items (reach down low out of cart, works lower back)
- Grab your wallet (reach into back pockets, works hips)
- Pick up all your groceries (make muscle man arms, works arms)
Itʼs a fun and easy way to get moving! Other ideas are mowing the lawn, baking a pie, etc. The students often laugh their way through these exercises not even realizing that they are doing isolation warm-ups. What could be better?