Tap Dance Warmup

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Arm Circles

Arm circles. Photo © Tracy Wicklund

Most tap classes begin with a warmup to prepare the body for tap dancing. Warming up the ankles, legs and feet is especially important to avoid possible injuries to these areas. Use the following exercises to warm up properly before tap dancing.


  • Holding your arms straight and out to the sides, gently circle your arms for about 20 rotations, 10 to the front and 10 to the back. (Tap dancing entails using the arms and shoulders for balance, so make sure they are loose and relaxed.)
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Ankle Rolls

Ankle rolls
Tracy Wicklund
Stretch out the muscles and tendons in your legs and feet by performing a few ankle rolls.
  • Standing with your weight on one foot, point the toe of your other foot into the floor.
  • Gently roll the heel of your foot around your toe.
  • Perform 20 rotations on each foot, 10 to the front and 10 to the back.
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Point and Flex

Point and Flex. Photo © Tracy Wicklund

Pointing and flexing your feet prepares the calves.


  • Stand with your weight on one foot.
  • Point your other leg to the front, keeping your knee straight.
  • Gently alternate flexing and pointing your foot for 20 repititions.
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Runner's Lunge

Runner's lunge. Photo © Tracy Wicklund
The lower legs work hard during tap dancing. Pay extra attention to your calves while warming up.
  • To perform a runner's lunge, lunge forward on one knee, straightening the other leg behind.
  • Place your hands on your lunged knee.
  • Push the heel of your back leg into the ground, feeling the stretch through your entire calf area.
  • Hold the stretch for 20 seconds on each leg.
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Hamstring Stretch

Hamstring Stretch
Tracy Wicklund
This exercise will stretch the backs of your thighs.
  • Stand with one leg in front with your foot flexed.
  • Place your hands on your thighs to support your body weight.
  • Lower your upper body towards your leg.
  • Hold the stretch for 20 seconds on each leg.
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Your Citation
Bedinghaus, Treva. "Tap Dance Warmup." ThoughtCo, Feb. 1, 2016, thoughtco.com/tap-dance-warmup-1007337. Bedinghaus, Treva. (2016, February 1). Tap Dance Warmup. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/tap-dance-warmup-1007337 Bedinghaus, Treva. "Tap Dance Warmup." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/tap-dance-warmup-1007337 (accessed November 19, 2017).