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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Leg warmers


GretchenStar

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I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts about wearing a leg warmer in class, particularly for a recovering ankle sprain or achilles tendinitis. Previously, my teacher did not allow dancers wearing leg warmers (she thought it provided a false sense of the muscle being warmed up sufficiently), but over the past couple of years, more and more of her students are sporting leg warmers for their ailments.

 

I sprained my ankle four weeks ago and it's getting better (can take most of class, including petite allegro). I don't wear an ankle brace for barre (anymore) and only sometimes for center.

 

I'm kind of hesitant about wearing a brace or leg warmer (if my ankle isn't really bothering me) because I don't want it to become a crutch. Last year, there were 4 or 5 dancers that wore a leg warmer on their foot/ankle (for achilles tendinitis or ankle sprain) all the time (ranging from several months to a year). There was one time where the teacher told them all to take off the legwarmer after plies and they grumbled.

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Obviously, your teacher is a bit testy on this issue. I'd clear it before class, if I were you.

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Given the number of students with injuries this season, the no-leg-warmer policy isn't currently in effect. I was just wondering if it makes a difference physically...

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I couldn't imagine what I'd think if a teacher insisted that I remove a legwarmer, especially on an injured leg. Adults can dress themselves. I think dress codes for adults are silly. Just my opinion.

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Oh, sorry, the dress code doesn't apply to adult dancers. When the teacher told the students to take off their leg warmer, that was pre-professional students.

 

I'm an adult dancer and I was just wondering on the physical implications (if any) of wearing a leg warmer for an injury. Whether it's actually needed (to keep the leg warm, etc) or there is psychological component to it.

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Guest kristinene

Hmm...I'm positive there are physical and pschological reasons for any warm up.

 

Physical - I've always lived in the Northeast, and in the middle of winter I find it hard to warm up my feet - no matter how hard I work them. It usually takes an entire barre for them to start feeling warm. So, for me, wearing a cut-up sock, or a pulled down legwarmer helps to retain the heat as it slowly accumulates. This layer of protection keeps them from cramping when a breeze or draft enters the room (which inadvertantly, but consistently occurs). I usually strip off the socks or legwarmers by the time we hit center. I think this is what some dancers use warm ups for.

 

If dancers are covering up their entire body all the time it can indicate a number of psychological things - most pepople certainly don't need help staying warm in the middle of a sweat-drenching class in July!

 

Also, don't forget the fashion component of these things. Since many dancers, especially pre-professionals, spend more time in a leotard and tights then in 'regular' clothes I think it is understandable that they wish to express themselves as 'normal' people do through their clothes. In a technique class it can interfere with the teacher's ability to observe the line of the body, and therefore the extra clothes can be a problem. I personally think these style details should be reserved for more appropriate times then technique class. At the school I went to as a girl we wore skirts for pointe, but only the color coded leo and tights for class. For rehearsals and Saturday classes we could wear whatever we liked, which allowed for freedom of fashion expression.

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Guest mic31

I'm of two minds with legwarmers. I use them myself, because I tend to get shin splints. Nothing beats properly warming up an area, especially an area that is recovering from an injury.

I don't like them when they are bulky and the teacher can't see everyones little problems, bent knees, bad turn out etc.

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I live in L.A. so we usually don't have a problem warming up... except in the winter time.

 

So wearing a legwarmer is okay, but don't pull it down over the heel? Why is that? (I wouldn't wear it like that, but is there a reason?)

 

I took two classes yesterday and by the time we got to center in the 2nd class, my feet had cooled down a little (don't know how this happens, since I did take barre...). I certainly could have used the leg warmer because my ankle started to feel a little stiff, but someone walked away with my ankle brace. :bouncing:

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The answer to your question is an easy one -- so that you don't trip or slip on the legwarmer! :shrug:

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  • 7 years later...

I've got a question about leg warmers!

 

I always hear that they're generally for injuries, or to warm up the muscles. Well, I don't have any new or old injuries, or have issues warming up (at least so I think), so I usually only wear them if it's cold outside.

 

What I'd like to know is, are they useful for when your muscles are cramped up from a previous class? Does assistance in warming up the muscles aid in relieving those cramps?

 

I had a challenging class yesterday and today I'm really feeling it - probably will tomorrow too. So if this will help, I would like to take advantage!

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I *think that the best advice for sore muscles would be to massage and do warm bath. So I can't see how wearing leg warmers could hurt!!! You could try it and see if it helps.

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Cool, thanks! I am a huge fan of nice hot baths, the feel like pure heaven after a class! As of today only my calves are still cramped. I'll massage them preiodically througout the day and start the class with warmers. :blush:

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  • 2 months later...

Dancers are responsible for warming their bodies prior to class, and leg warmers can help with that. I teach my studentsa series of warm-ups and they are expected to perform these for at least 15 minutes prior to class start time. :)

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