To evaluate the effect of warm up on energy cost and energy sources of a ballet dance exercise, 12 adolescent talented female dancers performed a ballet exercise (30 s of tours piqués en dedans on pointe) without and following a warm up. Warm up consisted in a light running followed by a period of stretching and two ballet exercises. The overall energy requirement of dance exercise (VO(2eq)) was obtained by adding the amount of VO(2) during exercise above resting (aerobic source or VO(2ex)) to the VO(2) up to the fast component of recovery (anaerobic alactic source or VO(2al)) and to the energy equivalent of peak blood lactate accumulation (anaerobic lactic source or (VO2lA) of recovery. VO(2eq) of exercise preceded by warm up amounted to 37 +/- 3 ml kg(-1). VO(2al) represented the higher fraction (50 +/- 6%) of VO(2eq), the remaining fractions were: 39 +/- 5% for VO(2ex) and 11 +/- 3% for VO2lA . VO(2eq) of exercise without warm up amounted to 38 +/- 3 ml kg(-1). This value was made up of: 26 +/- 6% by VO(2ex), 56 +/- 6% by VO(2al) and 18 +/- 3% by VO2lA. Between exercise conditions, significant differences were found in VO(2ex) (P < 0.01), VO2lA (P < 0.01), and VO(2al) (P < 0.05). The metabolic power requirement, 1.6 times higher than subject's VO2max indicates a very demanding exercise. The anaerobic alactic source was the most utilized. It can be concluded that, when dance exercise was preceded by warm up, the anaerobic sources contribution decreased whereas the aerobic energy source increased.