At Chicago Dance Supply we try to keep stocked and ready for whatever Chicago weather has to bring our way. It is very hard for dancer’s to stay warm during winter while they are dancing. Often we are more prone to injury because we either don’t properly warm up or because after we warm up we get cold while waiting for our turn across the floor. I believe with the right attire and knowledge one can stay warm and be injure free all winter long!
One of the best ways I stay warm during winter is by layering. I love wearing a short sleeve or long sleeve leotard with a pair of Capezio transition tights as my base layer. Next I like to start my warm up wearing Sansha warm-up pants “carry“, the Sansha warm up sweater “gardenia”, and the Gaynor Minden paws. In order to make sure I don’t get injured right away in class I try to arrive at each class 15 minutes early. This way I ensure that I have enough time to get really warm for the beginning of class. If I’m taking a ballet class I tend to leave my full body warm ups on for plies through degages. Once I feel like my muscles are warm and my joints are flexible I start to take off my big warm ups. I generally start with the pants. I replace them with either the Sansha “alfie” warm up short or the Harmonie warm up short (if I’m feeling like I want a little color in my wardrobe!) and a pair of legwarmers.
As class continues, I make sure I stay warm by continually stretching on the side if we are going in groups or going in both groups to keep my body moving. If I feel like I’m getting cold waiting on the side no matter how much I move then I will put my heavier layers on while waiting and take them off while I go across the floor. However, often I will keep my warm up sweater on the whole class because it is pretty tight fitting and the teacher can still see my body while wearing it. If I don’t want to wear a sweater the whole time I will still keep my arms and back warm with the Mirella mock wrap. At the end of class I put all of my warm ups on (no matter how hot I am) stretch, and then leave everything on underneath my outer wear so that I can stay warm while I go out into the cold.
Some preventative measures that I like to take for myself is making sure I’m stretching really well before, throughout, and after class. I try not to rush myself too much when coming or going from class because if I don’t stretch and then go outside when it’s really cold out my muscle’s will seize up and then I’ll get really stiff which is not a great feeling to have. I also try to not make too much of a routine about what I’m wearing to keep warm in class. Every class is different and needs different warm up attire. My warm ups for modern at Joel Hall Dancer’s and Center are very different than my warm ups for Jazz at Gus Giordano Dance Center. No matter what you wear for your warm ups the key is to stay warm for as long as you can before, during, and after class. Just by doing this you will be help yourself to not get injured at a very easy and cold time to do so! If you are in a warm up funk and need some new supplies come visit Chicago Dance Supply. We carry all of the warm ups mentioned here and many more!!!