Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Product Review #2: Capezio 27" Stirrup Legwarmers

© 2017 Wendy McDermott: all rights reserved
Reproduced with kind permission of the copyright owner

Wendy McDermott

I read an article recently via Twitter entitled Listening to your Body” (dancemagazine.com). Its focus was on the development of the dancer’s body with age.  However, there were points within that article that could apply to most of us, whether dancing professionally or enthusiastically attending a class at a local dance studio. The awareness of the difference between static and dynamic stretching is one example as are the importance of proper nutrition and rest. 
The article went on to say that, as we go through our forties, tissues don’t retain water as they used to (and therefore require more rest, stretching and strengthening). In our 50s and onwards our tissues become thinner and weaker. Warming up, therefore, is crucial. 

I’ve been to classes where warming of the body precedes barre and others that go straight into pliés etc (can this be considered warm up?). The aforementioned article reads: 
“...the older dancer must be steadfast about warming up [to]...allow that muscle to get as juicy as possible and to be able to contract and expand within its limits”. 
There are garments aplenty which help dancers keep their bodies and muscles warm. Hopefully, some of you have read my short review on the Essential Legwarmers (see Wendy McDermott Product Review: Leg Warmers 10 March 2017).

Here I review of the Capezio 27” Stirrup Legwarmers. I ordered them in Wolf Grey. The colour looks fairly true to that provided by the colour swatch on the website but the actual product is much darker in colour. Hopefully, you can see that in the above photograph.

The length was adequate, the ribbed knit stretching naturally as I pulled them on. The legwarmers are made from 44% viscose, 28% polyester and 28% nylon, which gave them a smooth, soft feel. I have only worn them over tights but I am confident that if worn over bare legs they would not itch at all. They are neatly finished at all opening points with no raw edges and the elastic ‘hidden’ within the knit.

For some time I had been considering buying this longer style but I had two main concerns:– 
  • The first was that they would slip down; 
  • The second was that the elastic would be too tight around the thigh. 
I had asked several fellow dancers if their leggings fell down during class. All of them said theirs did so I had no high expectations that mine would defy gravity. They didn’t. What I can say though is that, despite the expectation they did not fall below the knee. They took me through barre to grand allegro and also floor work (some of you might be familiar with the RAD grade 7 ‘Study in Stillness and Gravity'). By the end, I was pleasantly surprised. 

Nor were they too tight around the top of the thigh, which I was glad of, but wonder whether this ‘comfortable fit’ would prove detrimental after several wears and washes. I have now worn them three times and washed them once. After the latter, they’ve neatly returned to their original state, though likewise, it’s too soon to tell for how long this will remain. 

All in all, I can say I’m very satisfied with my purchase and, given the dangers of not keeping ‘older’ muscles warm and flexible, I consider them to be another essential part of my dance wardrobe and shall be wearing them at Jane Tucker's forthcoming intensive one day workshop at KNT Danceworks (see Le Corsaire Intensive 2 April 2017).  Maybe I shall see some of you there.

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