Knits and Warm Up Wear

As the cold weather is upon us, dancers try to do everything they can to keep warm. There are many products on the market for doing just that but did you know that knitwear, however stylish it may be, actually has a bigger purpose. For dancers it's esential for injury prevention to make sure muscles are warm before dancing and to make sure they cool down properly after class. Below we outline the most poplular knitwear styles and explain how and why they are used. Of course you can find all these items at Gabie's! 

Leg Warmers
Leg warmers come in a variety of colors, sizes, and styles. The most common are knitted in black or pink, worn from just below the knee to the top of the ankle. They are available in footless or a stirrup foot which will cover more of the ankle joint. There are various length options available, some covering only the ankle and some coming right up to the top of the thigh. Leg warmers are worn by dancers to keep the ankle and leg muscles warm as they warm up for class or take a break between classes. Leg warmers can also be worn over tights to keep them clean before performances.  They also make a great fashion accessory, and are often worn by non-dancers as well!

Warm-up booties are worn by both male and female dancers and often come in unisex sizing. The purpose of a warm-up bootie is to keep the muscles and ligaments of the feet and ankles warm between classes and performances. They can be worn over dance shoes to keep them clean and protected. If being worn over dance shoes, it may be necessary to go up a size from your street shoe size to allow the room needed, especially if being worn over pointe shoes. They come in a variety of colors and prints and are extremely comfy and cozy to wear, they will remind you very much of slippers you would wear in your house!

Knit Shorts
Essentially knit shorts are used to keep the hip joints warm which can help with injury reduction. A pulled hamstring is a common injury among dancers so keeping the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the hip joint warmed up between classes can be key in injury prevention. Knit shorts come in many fashionable styles and colors. They are usually worn over top of a bodysuit and tights.

The most traditional type of dance sweater is a classic ballet wrap. These are tight fitting sweaters which are cropped in length and cross in the front. The sweater is secured with strings that wrap around the middle of the body and are tied into a small bow or knot off to the side. These sweaters come in a variety of colors, most commonly black and pink, and are usually made of cotton or are knitted. These sweaters are very popular among dancers as they allow for the dancer to wear tank bodysuits to class without being too cold and can always be removed once the dancer warms up. Most teachers will allow them to be worn during class as they are tight fitting and the lines of the body can still be seen. Beyond the traditional wrap sweater, many of the leading dancewear companies create warm-up sweaters in an endless variety of fashion styles, cuts, colors, fabrics, etc. There are pullovers, shrugs and many different lengths to choose from. 

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