No one is more serious about keeping warm than dancers. A chilled muscle can lead not only to discomfort but to injury.
"Dancers are like grandmas and grandpas about the cold," says dancer/choreographer Louis Falco. "They get positively kvetchy in terms of their bodies, making sure everything is kept the proper temperature." Falco admits the big appeal of the ankle warmer is not so much to keep warm the ankle -- the thinnest part of the leg -- as to boost the appearance of the foot to make it look more pointy.
It's no wonder dancers' warm-ups have caught on so quickly for cold weather. Leg warmers, chest warmers, tights, pull-on knitted body suits, sweat clothes -- all provide sensible measures of warmth and color to wear when it's cold.
So even if you don't know a pli,e from a pliss,e, it's fun to dress like a dancer. CAPTION: Picture, Kimberly Brown chooses a maroon knit empire warm-up by Capezio ($24.50) at Artistic Dance Fashions, black knit leg warmers with magenta pattern ($13) by Flexatard at Stein's Capezion Dance Theater Shops and teal sweat shirt ($32.90 with matching sweat pants) at Klein's Four Seasons.
Andrea Austin warms up in layers of sweats, including magenta sweat pants ($24), blue sweat shorts ($15), teal sweat vest ($22), blue sweat shirt ($26) and magenta hooded sweat shirt ($32), all at Bloomingdale's.
Renee Littlepage starts the day in a purple knit roll-down body warmer ($29) by Capezio; underneath, gray, turquoise and purple striped cotton-blend leotard ($33) by Sizzle, both at Stein's; blue wool-knit high leg warmers by Hot Sox ($16) at Klein's.
On Roxanna Young: purple high leg warmers by Danskin ($9.75) with purple-tone poodle-knit leg warmers ($26) by Danskin, all at Klein's; pink surplice top by Capezio ($22) at Artistic.
Lisa Johnson wears a green parachute-cloth V-neck top with elastic bottom ($19) by Capezio with blue pull-on pants with elastic ankle ($18); green and gold Afghani leg warmers ($18), all at Stein's.
Jorge Mendez prefers black- and- gray-striped professional-weight leg warmers ($6.50) at Parklane Hosiery; deep magenta sweat pullover with black stripe ($24) and black sweat pants ($13), both at The Gap.