Dancewear en l’air: Stripey Bamboo Legwarmers

New York City Ballet dancer and self-made entrepreneur Cameron Dieck has established his own line of legwarmers, Échauffe. These line-lengthening limberers are made from high-end bamboo yarns and are designed to keep your gammies warm without hiding the muscle definition you’ve worked so hard for.

Available in multiple colors, my favorite is the striped “truffle/conch” version. For their debut, Pointe Magazine is giving away a few pairs to lucky entrants here!

Ballet in Print: The Dancer’s Book of Ballet Crafts

Summer is here! And with it long days of sleeping in, outdoor activities and barbecues – at least until summer dance classes begin. What better way to entertain yourself whether hanging out at home or in the dorms at an SI than with a packed book of ballet-specific crafts. The Dancer’s Book of Ballet Crafts: Dancewear, Accessories and Keepsakes is a lovely book including upwards of 30 projects for budding ballerinas to enjoy. (Click the link above and view the table of contents for the full list of projects.)

Projects in this book are cleverly divided by dance use, like warm-up, rehearsal and performance. Famed dance photographer Rosalie O’Conner lends her expertise to photos of student models from Stanford Ballet, School of American Ballet and Manhattan Youth Ballet that pose with the craft creations. Inspiring ballet facts and quotes accentuate the pages.

From ballet warm-ups to tiaras, this book contains not only step-by-step instructions for a range of projects from beginner to advanced, but also space for scrapbooking and journaling, making it the perfect place to entertain yourself, get inspired and keep track of your summer ballet adventure all in one place!

Dancewear en l’air: The Thumb-Loops Shrug

Shrugs were all the rage when I was a young dancer, but they gave way to off-the-shoulder, retro sweaters and modern, zip-front fleece jackets in the years that followed. Thanks to Black Swan, shrugs are back!

I’ve always loved shrugs because they offer warmth without covering up your pretty leotard. I posted on the Lydia shrug by Bloch some time ago. Mirella’s black shrug style M1105 is slightly looser in the arms for increased ease of movement and a more casual look. This warm-up also features thumbholes at the wrists for security no matter your port de bras. The long arms are great for a slight bunching. Get cozied up by pairing this piece with similarly bunchy legwarmers.

Dancewear en l’air: Tee Time

I do not like when students try to wear junk in my classroom (Hellooo, demerits!), but also can’t stand scantily clad students dallying between classes even more. For pete’s sake, put on some pants!  – Or an adorable dancer t-shirt like this one from HD Wear, a up-and-coming ballet t-shirt designer. It’s stylish, covers nicely and makes a cute statement. Better yet, put on both. Now how hard was that?

Dancewear en l’air: The Long-Sleeve Turtleneck Leo

A long-sleeved turtleneck leotard can be a lifesaver on wintery days, especially if you have a dress code that does not allow warm-ups. These styles can look a bit plain, however, which is why I love this mesh-inset version, Melinda (L4504C), from Sansha.

With a stylish keyhole cutout in the back and mesh fabric for the sleeves and across the collarbone, this leo evokes that dramatic evening-dress look. It’s only available in black, which works well since other colors in mesh can look a bit garish instead of elegant. I think this leo would look adorable in a winter class with a short black wrap skirt and bunched ankle warmers.

Dancewear en l’air: Ballerina Mukluks

There was frost on my windshield this morning down here in the deep South – which means mukluk season is officially upon us! For those of you that aren’t familiar with the comfy, knit foot and calf warmers called mukluks (pronounced muck-lucks or mook-looks, depending on who you ask), these little guys are totally perfect for keeping your feet warm between classes. (But please, please, please do not dance or go on pointe in them!) They a perennial fashion favorite at many SIs, too.

Mukluks are similar to a thickly knit sock, but they have a sewn-on indoor-use leather sole. They aren’t always easy to find, but Turtle ImportsEmpire Dance, Merde Dancewear, Barbaraz through Ebay and Bohemian Groove through Ebay are carrying them now. Then can also sometimes be found around holiday time at American Eagle, Old Navy, Wal-Mart, Target, Victoria’s Secret, AC Moore and local dance boutiques. Check out Alaskan Mukluks for more sources. Grishko and Gaynor Minden currently make synthetic, more modern versions.

Do you know where to score some sweet mukluks or have a review of some that you own? Leave a comment below to let your fellow dancers know!

Update: Mukluks by Himalayan Craft are available on the Russian Pointe website here.

Dancewear en l’air: The Flashdance Top

An 80’s retro top is perfect for dance inspiration, and K.D. Dance FAL1143034 captures the era perfectly with its drapey style. This Flashdance-inspired top is cut oversized (but is also available in a more close-cut fit) and comes complete with the original’s signature off-the-shoulder neckline that casually shows off your collarbone.

Created from K.D. Dance’s beautiful shadow stripe acrylic blend fabric, this sweater is available in some basic shades as well as an assortment of rich purples and wines. Lovely for a ballet warm-up or just to and from class, this is also a great piece for modern, contemporary and jazz classes. What a feeling!