As the weather changes and the temperatures continue to drop, it can be difficult to decide what to wear each morning, especially as a dancer. Dancers must wear specific attire to class, but a leotard and tights may not keep you warm as you ride to class and scurry across the icy parking lot to the building. In addition to keeping you warm, dressing appropriately for winter can help keep your muscles from contracting in the cold and prevent injury when you begin to dance. Here are some tips for choosing what to wear this winter:

1. Start with the basics.

Begin with your usual dance class attire: a leotard and tights. There’s no reason to change your normal dance outfit since the building where you take classes will most likely be warm enough inside. You’ll want this layer underneath so you can take off your outer layers as you dance and warm up.

2. Layer the top half.

Over your leotard, put on a dance sweater or sweatshirt to keep your upper body warm. Any kind of form-fitting sweater or top that doesn’t restrict your range of motion will be fine.

3. Layer the bottom half.

Over your tights, put on a pair of leg warmers or dance pants. If you choose leg warmers, make sure to pull them all the way up to cover the majority of your legs. Make sure your pants are not too loose and not too tight, so you can still dance and move freely. If you need to, take this layer off when you get to the dance studio so you are not restricted as you begin class.

4. Choose appropriate footwear.

The type of footwear you choose will depend on what type of dance class you are taking. If your class does not require shoes for the warm-up, be sure to wear warm socks before class starts and then take them off as class begins to avoid slipping on the floor.

5. Don’t overheat.

Because the dance building will most likely have the heat on, you won’t need all your layers once class begins. As you feel your body warming up, begin to take off layers as needed. Once your body gets moving, it will naturally heat up. Even if you find yourself sweating at the end of class, bundle up again before you go back out in the cold.

If you have any questions about dance attire, feel free to speak to your dance instructor!