Kilogear CUT uses weighted gear to help Irish dancers and other young athletes train their entire bodies, especially preparing female dancers for competing in heavy dresses.
The stunning Irish dance dresses that competitors sport as they take to the stage for their sometimes once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to wow the judges are one of many people's favorite parts of the Irish dance world but could they be working as a hindrance to the dancers when they come to compete?
For anyone who has any knowledge of the training involved in Irish dancing, they’ll know that Irish dancers don’t generally practice in anything like the costumes they put on when they take to the stage, often practicing in shorts and a sports bra when they're putting in the all-important hours toward perfection.
What happens then when competitors put on a heavy, diamante-encrusted dress when they get to the competition? How can they compete as well wearing a heavier outfit then they did when they were practicing and how can this affect their dancing?
A new weighted gear company is now looking to give Irish dancers the tools to become “full-bodied athletes” that will help them not just deal with this added weight when they are competing but to improve their strength and carriage, in general, to further their abilities as dancers.
Kilogear was originally developed by husband and wife team Megan and Trent Brown, allowing wearers to turn any activity into muscle-toning events.
Kilogear CUT, however, is focused specifically on Irish dancers and young athletes, endorsed by both Chloey Turner and Kincaid Stringer, dancers of the Grammy-award-winning international Irish dance phenomenon “Riverdance.” Turner is currently the Principal Lead Dancer in Riverdance and has overseen strength and conditioning training for the Riverdance summer school.
“The hallmark of Irish dancing is to have perfect dancing legs going 90 and upper body a statue, especially at the top level,” Stringer told IrishCentral.
He feels that for many dancers their carriage is terrible, however, and that the biggest fault is in the arms where dancers just “don’t have the strength” to maintain their carriage.
In an attempt to fix this, Kilogear CUT will introduce “sleeves that will physically weigh their arms down” as well as “sports bra that will keep their back up.” Turner is also developing workouts to partner with this new gear to help promote the all-around strength of Irish dancers.
Completing hip mobility warm up drills in #KILOGEARCUT 💪🏻 next level performance gear! • • • • • #irish #irishdancing #irishdance #irishdancers #irishdancenationals2018 #irishdancefitfam #irishfitfam #irishdanceconditioning #irishdancefitness #irishdancestrong #irishdancetips #irishdancexercises #irishdanceblog #dance #dancer #dancers #clrg #feis #oireachtas #irishdancelife #irishdancetraining #athlete #IDM #dancing
You “wouldn’t believe the health benefits” states Stringer, explaining how it wasn’t until he joined Riverdance that he started going to the gym. For many dancers, the story would be similar, with teachers not wanting to lose out on their income by encouraging students to take time off classes to go workout elsewhere.
Stringer believes, however, that especially in the US, the Kilogear CUT could benefit Irish dance teachers by allowing them to use their studios during the day to run classes for non-Irish dancers using the gear and the simple workouts.
You’re “doing full body exercises to build upper body and strengthen the core and all kind of stretches” Stringer continues, explaining how dancers could be placing themselves in much better condition to compete.
In no other sport, he adds, would you train in a more than idyllic condition, explaining that other athletes would make conditions harder for themselves when training rather than easier so as to prepare themselves for difficulties on the day. Irish dance is doing the opposite until this point, he believes, training in lighter conditions than they will be on stage.
You can see more Kilogear CUT products here.
Are you an Irish dancer? What do you make of the weighted gear and would you practice with it? Let us know in the comments section, below.