Warming up, and streching can be very well one of the most nessacary and effective ways to prepare for a preformance (including Show Choir activities). Remembering that streching, in a big part, is meant to improve our flexability. Flexibility is imperitive beacuse "It improves muscle balance around a joint, thus improving posture. It reduces the chance of injury when playing a sport or in every day activities (and) "It increases the blood and nutrient supply to muscles and cartilage, thereby also reducing muscle soreness after training"*. In my own experiance, I have preformed in dance shows where they don't even let you on stage (to preform/reherse) until you've streched. Should we not have the same attitude with Show Choir, where 70% is focused in the quality of a preformance? It is also a known fact that streching makes quite a dramatic differance (for the good) in your preformance (higher kicks, straighter and just all around cleaner dancing/physical activity).
A lesson known thing about streching is the importance of warming up before auctually streching. Although nothing particularly strenuous, even taking a 5 minute warm shower helps to lossen your joints (this still doesnt make up for streching though). Although with all things, their is a right way and a wrong way to strech.
"Stretching should not be done as a warm-up to an activity as you could injure your muscles if stretching them when they are cold. At least 3 to 5 minutes of cardiovascular training is recommended to warm up the muscles sufficiently. Each major muscle group should be stretched slowly and with control, holding each stretch for 1 to 3 sets of 10 to 60 seconds. Hold each stretch at the point of mild tension or tightness, not to the point of pain. It is important to stretch after doing any physical activity. When muscles perform any exercise, they tighten and shorten as a result. Stretching them out helps to restore and improve their length. When doing strength training, you could stretch each muscle group directly after performing each set"*.
But as always we must be careful about when and when not to strech. Various examples include after a recent injury (such as a fracture) or when it causes a particular amount of pain (although, we musn't be so quick to give up, after all, no pain no gain!).
Streching after any preformance is also important, and all the more effective to reduce the chance of injury which could possibly keep you out of compitition/future preformances. Even if the IHOP, or Denny's is all that way.