Title:
DANCE TIGHT WITH EMBELLISHMENT TO FACILITATE INSTRUCTION OF JUVENILE DANCERS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Tights worn by juvenile dancers are provided with an embellishment on one of the legs to provide a visual cue and/or tactile cue which functions to assist the wearer in determining which leg is the right leg and which leg is the left leg. Thus, when the juvenile dancer is instructed to respond with their right or left leg, the embellished dance tight helps them to determine which leg to move. The embellishment (or a portion thereof) is provided on the front thigh area of one of the legs, preferably at the center of the thigh area or above. Locating the embellishment (or a portion thereof) at the middle of the thigh area (or above) advantageously allows the wearer to readily see the embellishment, with or without the aid of a mirror, without the need for the wearer to bend at the waist and without the need for the wearer to raise their foot. Alternatively, or in addition, the embellishment (or a portion thereof) may be provided at a knee area of one of the legs. Alternatively, or in addition, the embellishment (or a portion thereof) may be provided at a top of a foot area of one the legs.



Inventors:
Rubin, Michael (Colts Neck, NJ, US)
Miller, Abby Lee (Pittsburgh, PA, US)
Application Number:
12/234846
Publication Date:
03/25/2010
Filing Date:
09/22/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/244, 2/239
International Classes:
A41B11/04; A41B11/00; A41D27/08
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Primary Examiner:
VANATTA, AMY B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STRAUB & POKOTYLO (TINTON FALLS, NJ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A tight comprising: a) a trunk section; b) a first leg adjacent to the trunk section, the first leg having a front portion, a rear portion, and a thigh portion; c) a second leg adjacent to the trunk section, the second leg having a front portion, a rear portion, and a thigh portion; and d) an embellishment at least a portion of which is provided on a front portion of the first leg at the center of the thigh portion or higher such that a wearer of the tight can readily see or feel the at least a portion of the embellishment without the wearer bending at the waist and without the wearer raising their foot.

2. The tight of claim 1 wherein the at least a portion of the embellishment is readily distinguishable from the rest of the tight by touch such that the wearer can readily feel the at least a portion of the embellishment with their hand when the wearer extends their arm straight down, without the wearer bending at the waist and without the wearer raising their foot.

3. The tight of claim 1 wherein the tight is made from stretchable fabric and wherein the embellishment includes a plurality of embellishment pieces individually affixed to the tight fabric such that when an underlying portion of the dance tight is stretched horizontally or vertically, the embellishment pieces can move independently of one another.

4. The tight of claim 3 wherein the embellishment pieces are adhered to an exterior of the tight by a heat transfer process.

5. The tight of claim 3 wherein at least some of the embellishment pieces have a first height and wherein at least some other of the embellishment pieces have a second height different from the first height.

6. The tight of claim 5 wherein the first height is between 0.05 and 0.10 inches, and the second height is between 0.10 inches and 0.20 inches.

7. The tight of claim 3 wherein the tight fabric of the first leg has a thickness, and wherein at least some of the embellishment pieces have a height which is at least twice the thickness.

8. The tight of claim 3 wherein the embellishment has an unstretched width of at least 1.0 inch.

9. The tight of claim 3 wherein the embellishment has an unstretched width of at least 3/16 inch.

10. The tight of claim 1 wherein the embellishment includes at least one of plastic pieces adhered to the tight, stone pieces adhered to the tight, fabric pieces adhered to the tight, fur pieces adhered to the tight, metal pieces adhered to the tight, feather pieces adhered to the tight, and a change in knitting from the rest of the tight.

11. The tight of claim 1 wherein the trunk section, the first leg and the second leg are continuously knitted and tubular.

12. The tight of claim 1 wherein the trunk section, the first leg and the second leg are knit from a blend of Nylon and Spandex.

13. The tight of claim 1 having unstretched dimensions of 16-18 inches total length, 10-11 inches leg length, 2-3 inches leg width and 12-14 inches waist opening for use by juvenile dancers about 30-38 inches tall and 25-39 lbs in weight.

14. The tight of claim 11 wherein the at least a portion of the embellishment is provided between 6 inches and 9 inches down from the waist opening.

15. The tight of claim 1 having unstretched dimensions of 18-20 inches total length, 11-12 inches leg length, 3-4 inches leg width and 14-16 inches waist opening for use by juvenile dancers about 39-49 inches tall and 40-60 lbs in weight.

16. The tight of claim 15 wherein the at least a portion of the embellishment is provided between 6 inches and 9 inches down from the waist opening.

17. A tight comprising: a) a trunk section; b) a first leg adjacent to the trunk section, the first leg having a front portion, a rear portion, and a knee portion; c) a second leg adjacent to the trunk section, the second leg having a front portion, a rear portion, and a knee portion; and d) an embellishment at least a portion of which is provided on a front portion of the first leg at the knee portion such that a wearer of the tight can readily see the at least a portion of the embellishment without the wearer bending at the waist and without the wearer raising their foot.

18. A tight comprising: a) a trunk section; b) a first leg adjacent to the trunk section, the first leg having a front portion, a rear portion, and a foot portion; c) a second leg adjacent to the trunk section, the second leg having a front portion, a rear portion, and a foot portion; and d) an embellishment at least a portion of which is provided on a front portion of the first leg at a top of the foot portion such that a wearer of the tight can readily see the at least a portion of the embellishment without the wearer bending at the waist and without the wearer raising their foot.

Description:

1. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1.1 Field of the Invention

The present invention concerns dance tights. Specifically, the present invention concerns dance tights provided with an embellishment specifically adapted to assist juvenile dancers to distinguish between their left and right legs or left and right feet.

1.2 Background Information

Dancing is a healthy recreational activity that has become increasingly popular with children. Juvenile dancers typically wear tights when receiving dance instruction and often when practicing. Although many children are enthusiastic and eager to receive dance instruction, even at a young age, teaching dance to young children has a number of challenges. One challenge is that children are often eager to receive dance instruction before they can distinguish left from right. Since dance instruction includes many references to left foot, right foot, left toe, right toe, left heal, right heal, left knee, right knee, left kick, right kick, left lunge, right lunge, etc., a child's inability to distinguish left from right can cause an otherwise enjoyable activity to become a source of frustration and sometimes embarrassment for the child. This can also be a source of frustration for dance teachers, especially in a group instruction setting.

As can be appreciated from the foregoing, it would be useful to provide a means to help young children to distinguish left from right when dancing.

2. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

When tights consistent with the present invention are worn by juvenile dancers, an embellishment on one of the legs provides a visual cue and/or tactile cue which functions to assist the wearer in determining which leg is the right leg and which leg is the left leg. Thus, when the juvenile dancer is instructed to respond with their right or left leg, the embellished dance tight helps them to determine which leg to move.

In at least some embodiments consistent with the present invention, the embellishment (or a portion thereof) is provided on the front thigh area of one of the legs, preferably at the center of the thigh area or above. Locating the embellishment (or a portion thereof) at the middle of the thigh area (or above) advantageously allows the wearer to readily see the embellishment, with or without the aid of a mirror, without the need for the wearer to bend at the waist and without the need for the wearer to raise their foot. In this way, when the wearer is instructed to respond with their right or left leg, the embellishment serves as a visual cue of which leg to move. Alternatively, or in addition, the embellishment (or a portion thereof) may be provided at a knee area of one of the legs. Alternatively, or in addition, the embellishment (or a portion thereof) may be provided at a top of a foot area of one the legs.

In at least some embodiments consistent with the present invention, the embellishment is readily distinguishable from the rest of the tight by touch. Such an embellishment may be thought of as a tactile embellishment. Locating the embellishment (or a portion thereof) at the middle of the thigh area (or above) advantageously allows the wearer to readily feel the embellishment without the need for the wearer to bend at the waist and without the need for the wearer to raise their foot. In this way, when the wearer is instructed to respond with their right or left leg, the embellishment serves as a tactile cue of which leg to move.

In at least some embodiments consistent with the present invention, the tight is made from stretchable fabric and the embellishment includes a plurality of embellishment pieces individually affixed (e.g., adhered) to the tight fabric such that when an underlying portion of the dance tight is stretched horizontally or vertically, the embellishment pieces can move independently of one another. In at least some of these embodiments, at least some of the embellishment pieces might have different heights. Alternatively, or in addition, in at least some of these embodiments, the tight fabric of the first leg has a thickness, and at least some of the embellishment pieces have a height (thickness) which is at least 1 to 7 times the thickness of the first leg.

3. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary tight consistent with the present invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates the exemplary tight of FIG. 1 as worn.

FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary visible and/or tactile embellishment consistent with the present invention.

FIG. 4 illustrates a portion of the exemplary embellishment of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 illustrates the independent movement of embellishment parts when an underlying portion of the dance tight is stretched horizontally.

FIG. 6 illustrates the independent movement of embellishment parts when an underlying portion of the dance tight is stretched vertically.

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional portion of embellishment parts on a tight.

4. DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary tight 100 consistent with the present invention. The tight 100 includes a right leg 110r, a left leg 110l, a trunk portion 120 and a waistband 150. The ends 115r and 115l of the right and left legs 110r and 110l, respectively, may be stitched. Similarly, the front and back (not shown) of the trunk portion 120 may be stitched 130. A gusset 140 may be provided in the crotch area between the tops of the leg portions 110r and 110l and the front stitching 130. A top opening 160 may be provided at the top of the trunk area 120, at the waistband 150. A visible and/or tactile embellishment (referred to generally as an “embellishment”) 170 may be provided on the right leg portion 110r as shown. As shown to the right of FIG. 1, the tight 100 may include a waist and hip area 180 (roughly corresponding to the trunk area 120), a thigh area 182, a knee area 184, a shin area 186 and a foot area 188. FIG. 2 illustrates the exemplary tight 100 as worn by a juvenile dancer.

The tight 100 may be manufactured, for example, using a continuous knitting tubular knitting machine such as described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,047,571 (incorporated herein by reference). The tight 100 is preferably a stretchable, washable material, such as a blend of Nylon and Spandex. In one embodiment consistent with the present invention, the tight is about 88% Nylon and about 12% Spandex. The gusset 140 may be made of nylon having good moisture management characteristics. The waist band 150 may be thicker (e.g., double knitted) than the rest of the tight 100.

A first exemplary tight might have (unstretched) dimensions of 16-18 inches total length, 10-11 inches leg length, 2-3 inches leg width and 12-14 inches waist opening and may be used by juvenile dancers about 30-38 inches tall and 25-39 lbs in weight. In such an exemplary (unstretched) tight, the embellishment (or at least a portion thereof) should be provided between 6 inches and 9 inches from the waist opening, such that the embellishment (or at least a portion thereof) is provided on a thigh area 182 of the tight. A second exemplary tight might have (unstretched) dimensions of 18-20 inches total length, 11-12 inches leg length, 3-4 inches leg width and 14-16 inches waist opening and may be used by juvenile dancers about 39-49 inches tall and 40-60 lbs in weight. In such an exemplary (unstretched) tight, the embellishment (or at least a portion thereof) should be provided between 6 inches and 9 inches from the waist opening, such that the embellishment (or at least a portion thereof) is provided on a thigh area 182 of the tight.

In the exemplary tight 100, the embellishment 170 is provided on the front thigh area 182 of the right leg 110r. In the exemplary embodiment 100 illustrated, the embellishment 170 is provided in the center of the thigh area. In other embodiments consistent with the present invention, the embellishment 170 may be provided above the middle of the thigh area but below the trunk portion 120 (although portions of the embellishment might extend below the center of the thigh area 182 and/or into the trunk area 120).

Locating the embellishment 170 (or at least a portion thereof) at the middle of the thigh area (or above, but below the trunk area 120) advantageously allows the wearer to readily see the embellishment, with or without the aid of a mirror, without the need for the wearer to bend at the waist and without the need for the wearer to raise their foot. In this way, when the wearer is instructed to respond with their right or left leg, the embellishment serves as a visual cue of which leg to move. Such readily visible embellishments 170 may be thought of as visual embellishments. The portion of the visual embellishment serving as a visual cue is preferably at least 1 inch tall and at least 1 inch wide.

In at least some embodiments consistent with the present invention, the embellishment 170 is readily distinguishable from the rest of the tight by touch. Such an embellishment 170 may be thought of as a tactile embellishment. Locating the tactile embellishment 170 (or at least a portion thereof) at the middle of the thigh area, and preferably above the middle of the thigh area but below the trunk area 120, advantageously allows the wearer to readily feel the embellishment with their hand when the wearer extends their arm straight down, without the need for the wearer to bend at the waist and without the need for the wearer to raise their foot. In this way, when the wearer is instructed to respond with their right or left leg, the embellishment serves as a tactile cue of which leg to move. The portion of the tactile embellishment serving as a tactile cue is preferably at least 1 inch long and at least 1 inch wide (unstretched). In some embodiments of the present invention, the stretched width of the portion of the tactile embellishment is at least ⅜ inch wide, which roughly corresponds to the width of one of a juvenile's three middle digits. This corresponds to a width of 3/16 inch to ⅜ inch when the tight is unstretched. In some embodiments of the present invention, the stretched width of the portion of the tactile embellishment is at least 1¼ inch wide, which roughly corresponds to the width of a juvenile's three middle digits. This corresponds to a width of ⅝ inch to 1¼ inch when the tight is unstretched.

FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary visible and tactile embellishment 170 consistent with the present invention. This exemplary embellishment includes faux (plastic) gemstones which may be adhered to the exterior of the tight 100 by a heat transfer processes, such as a standard heat transfer process. FIG. 4 illustrates a portion 300 of the exemplary embellishment of FIG. 3. Although not shown, the faux-gemstones may be faceted, thereby advantageously enhancing their tactile response.

As shown in FIG. 4, the portion 300 of the exemplary embellishment may include different faux-gemstones of different widths (and heights). In this exemplary embodiment, faux-gemstone 320 is wider (and taller) than faux-gemstones 310a-310d. This advantageously enhances the tactile response of the embellishment. FIG. 5 is a cross sectional portion of embellishment parts 510a and 510b, 520 on a tight 530 illustrating the relationship between the heights 515 and 525 of the elements 510 and 520 and the thickness 535 of the tight fabric 530. In one exemplary embodiment consistent with the present invention, the height 515 of the lower elements 510 is between 0.05 and 0.10 inches, the height 525 of the higher element 520 is between 0.10 and 0.20 inches, and the thickness 535 of the tight fabric 530 is between 0.03 inches and 0.05 inches. Having at least one of the elements of the embellishment with a height which is at least twice the thickness 535 of the fabric 530 advantageously enhances tactile response.

Although it is not necessary, the embellishment should stretch with the tight fabric. For example, the exemplary embellishment 170 may include faux-gemstones individually affixed (e.g., adhered) to the tight fabric. FIG. 6 illustrates the independent movement of embellishment parts 310b and 310d when an underlying portion of the dance tight is stretched horizontally. Specifically, embellishment parts 310b and 310d move to positions 310b′ and 310d′ when the tight fabric portion 300 is stretched to dimension 300′. Similarly, FIG. 7 illustrates the independent movement of embellishment parts 301a-301d when an underlying portion of the dance tight is stretched vertically. Specifically, embellishment parts 310a-310d move to positions 310a″-310d″ when the tight fabric portion 300 is stretched to dimension 300″. Such independent movement of embellishment parts advantageously reduces stresses on the adhesion between the embellishment 170 and the tight fabric when the tight fabric is stretched.

Although the exemplary embellishment 170 included faux-gemstones affixed (e.g.,adhered) to the tight, alternative types of embellishments can be used instead or in addition. The embellishment should provide an easily identifiable visual cue, a readily identifiable tactile cue, and preferably both. The embellishment should be economical, and should remain in place. Alternative embellishments may include, for example, at least one of, stone pieces, plastic pieces, metal pieces, fabric pieces, fur pieces, feather pieces, a patch, a change in knitting (e.g., a jacquard type of design) etc. Fabric pieces should be of a different texture than the tight fabric to enhance tactile response.

Although the exemplary embellishment 170 included pieces that can move independently of each other as the underlying tight fabric is stretched, alternative embellishments may be unitary in design.

Although the exemplary embellishment 170 was shown on the thigh portion 182 of the right leg 110r of the tight 100, it may be provided on the thigh portion 182 of the left leg 110l of the tight. Indeed, two visually (and/or tactilely) distinguishable embellishments may be provided on the two legs 110r and 110l of the tight 100.

Although the exemplary embellishment 170 was described as being on the thigh portion 182 of one of the legs of the tight 100, it may be provided on another readily visible portion of the tight, such as a knee portion 184, a top of a foot portion 188, etc. If the height of the embellishment is such that it protrudes to an extent to make it readily visible, it may be provided on any front portion of the tight.

Although the exemplary tight 100 was described as including foot areas 188, other embodiments consistent with the present invention need not include foot areas 188. Indeed, some embodiments consistent with the present invention need not include shin areas 186 or foot areas 188. The ends of the legs 100r and 110l of such alternative embodiments will be open.

As can be appreciated from the foregoing, embodiments consistent with the present invention provide a visual and/or tactile difference in the legs of the dance tight, thereby allowing the wearer to better distinguish their right and left sides (even without bending at the waist or lifting a foot). Embodiments consistent with the present invention may be conveniently and economically manufactured. Embodiments consistent with the present invention may wear well even with repeated use and repeated stretching and relaxing of the tight fabric.





 
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