Sinking into positions when you're not aligned isn't doing you any favors. Photo by Getty Images

Attention Hypermobile Dancers: You're Probably Stretching Wrong

When it comes to flexibility, more isn't always better. Donna Flagg says that many of the dancers who show up at her Lastics Stretch Technique classes at studios like Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway are already hypermobile.

"They're so loose," she says, "they just yank their legs as far as they can." That's not to say that hypermobile dancers shouldn't stretch—they just need to take extra care to keep their joints safe. Flagg recommends a few guidelines:


Pay Attention to Your Alignment

Keep ribs over hips, shoulders over ribs, knees over toes, etc. Even when you're stretching, check your profile in the mirror to correct bad habits.

Don't Go So Far You Can't Control the Position

Work to hold the stretch with your muscular strength and proper alignment. Don't flop over or rest on your arms in stretches like second-position splits.

Only stretch as far as you can maintain alignment and control. Photo via Getty Images.

Balance Your Flexibility & Strength

Focus on creating more stability where you're loose and opening up areas that are tight. (Most dancers have flexible inner thighs and hamstrings, with tight hips and quads.)

Don't Push Farther Than You Need To

If you're never going to split your legs more than 180 degrees apart in choreography, there's no need to stretch further than that.

Give It Space

Think of lengthening when you stretch, rather than pushing into the joint.

Don't Give Up 

When you first start stretching with proper alignment, you might not be able to go as far as you're used to. But if you keep practicing, you'll get back there.

Latest Posts


Studio Bleu students Jaxon Keller, Samantha Halker and Alia Wiggins. Photos by Chris Stark

How Turning Boards and Practice Mats Can Revolutionize Your Dance Training

When it comes to equipment, dancers don't need much—just shoes and whatever can fit in their dance bag. But between rehearsals in the studio and performances on stage, one major piece of equipment often goes overlooked—the floor.

Dancers too often find themselves warming up on the concrete or carpet backstage, or wanting to practice in a location without a proper floor. For years, Harlequin Floors has offered a solution to this problem with its innovative turning board, offering a portable and personal floor that can be flipped between marley and wood. Now, they've revolutionized portability again with their practice mat, offering dancers the option to roll up their own personal floor and sling it over their shoulders like a yoga mat.

We spoke with experts from every corner of the dance industry to see how Harlequin's products have become their everyday essentials:

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS