In the Southern Hemisphere temperatures are dropping, and some days dipping to single digits, as winter creeps in. This chill factor makes going to class challenging – especially early mornings and evenings – and this is usually dance time for most adult students.
Herewith then a few tried and tested tips to make dancing a little easier in the winter months:
- Leave home dressed warmly – after a day of work or rushing around in the hustle and bustle of life,you might not feel cold whilst dressing for ballet. You might feel warm enough with just a light top over your leotard. No! Dress for the cold – from head to toe – a beanie or hoodie, scarf and warm foot wear (even slippers) are a must.
- Layer your dance wear – over your tights and leotard, add a thin t-shirt or vest, a cross-over jersey and perhaps a pair of thick leggings or warm-up pants. Socks or legwarmers are a good idea for lower leg warmth. Some students find gloves a good option – especially for the barre section of class – and warmer hands will make your port de bras more fluid.
- Shed layers one by one – upon arrival at the dance studio,shed only the outer bulky layer of your winter armour against the cold. As the classes progresses, remove each layer as you feel your body temperature rising and your muscles warming up. Some ladies prefer a long sleeved leotard for the winter months. Your teacher still needs to be able to see your muscles work in each exercise, so be mindful of this when layering for class.
- Layer again as you cool down – as the class winds down, it is sensible to start putting your layers on one-by-one so that after class you need only put on your super warm jacket and warm shoes. This will also ensure that you don’t forget your favourite fleecy top in the studio :)).
- Essential items for warmth – Legwarmers: this die-hard exercise item from the 80’s and Jane Fonda still has relevance today! They are effective in keeping leg muscles warm and ready for pliès and relevès.Cross-over jersey/thin top: close-fitting and warm to keep your shoulders and arms from turning blue in the chill whilst allowing your teacher to still keep an eye on your posture and alignment. A popular ballet hack uses old or laddered tights: cut the feet off – to fashion sleeves; remove the gusset by cutting along the ouside of the seam – hole for your head. And there you have it – a warm and snug alternative to a jersey and can be worn under your leotard.High energy levels to do lots of allegro, pirouettes and batterie to banish the chills! 🙂