Good dance clothing makes it easier to dance, and move with others. Bad clothing and accessories are uncomfortable, and might even injure other dancers around you.
Not sure which is which? Fear not! I'm loading you up with 5 of the most important rules of social dance clothing and accessories, so the evening is a success for both you and your partners. Because as we know: Happy partners are repeat partners.
Hi guys! My name is Ian Crewe. I'm an instructor at the Joy of Dance Centre in Toronto, Ontario, and the creator of Social Ballroom Dance: Where you can learn your dance, at your place, on your schedule.
What we wear says a lot about us as a person, and being on the dance floor is no exception. There is however, the added dimension of not only wanting to be a snappy dresser but a conscientious one as well. Let me give you some examples by using two imaginary couples: the Joneses and the Jacksons.
The Joneses made sure to remove any long or sharp-edged jewelry before they left for their evening. Heck, Mr. Jones even wore a thinner wallet just to make sure there was no risk of anybody getting hit while they are moving around on the floor.
The Jackson's by comparison wanted to look extra posh with their bling, and now Mrs. Jackson is scraping up mr. Jackson pretty solidly with all that jewelry, especially when she makes a turn - kind of like a bladed wheel on a Roman chariot, am I right?
The Joneses wore clothing that was fitted above the waistline; this made it a lot easier for them to move around and connect with each other. But Mrs. Jackson chose to wear a shirt that was baggy, and with large holes for the armpits, and now Mr. Jackson is having trouble connecting with his partner's back without getting his hand caught on her shirt.
Mrs. Jones wanted to wear a skirt that was light and flow-y, but not TOO light, so she chose some heavier material. Mrs. Jackson on the other hand, wore a skirt that was so light every time she turned it flew up, and now everyone's getting a free show of her thighs from every spin she makes - it was a bad day to choose to wear that thong your husband likes Mrs. Jackson!
The Joneses wore proper dance shoes - they wanted this evening to go perfectly, so they made sure to get one some nice suede leather soles with heels no higher than 1.5" inches for the leader and no more than 3" high for the follower.
But the Jackson's sadly, did not think it through. Now, Mr. Jackson is crushing his wife's toes with his heavier work shoes, and she's returning the favour with her 5" high stilettos. Oh your feet are gonna be bruised tonight, Mr. Jackson!
Finally, the Joneses wore clothing that was light and breathable, and Mr. Jones brought an extra shirt just in case it ended up being a little warmer at the club than they expected.
But Mr. Jackson simply brought his heavier work shirt, and now both it and him look like they've just been through a car wash. Oh, those Jackson's!
As you can see, it only takes a few simple accessory choices to make the difference between a really lovely evening out, and a nightmarish one. So let's recap:
- Don't wear clothing that is long or sharp-edged, or really anything else that could fly out and injure either your partner or those around you.
- Make sure that your clothing is fitted above the waist line, so that it's easier for you to connect with each other and less risk that you're going to end up getting caught on each other's clothing.
- If you choose to wear a skirt, make sure it's of heavier clothing, so that you're not giving everyone a free show of your thighs every time you make a turn - unless you're into that. I don't know, I don't judge.
- Wear proper dance shoes! I cannot stress this enough - suede leather soles heels that are no longer than 1.5" for men and 3" high for women. It makes a big difference: You're much less likely to injure your partner, and it's just so much easier to dance in them once you get used to them. It's well worth the investment.
Assume that it's going to be a warm night out, even if it's wintertime (dancing can get hot fast), so wear light breathable clothing, and seriously consider bringing an extra shirt.
Keep those tips in mind, and you can ask me questions about this by messaging me on my Facebook fan page, Ballroom Dancers Anonymous, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Again that's email@example.com.
Next week, we're going to be interviewing a fellow ballroom dance instructor, Steven James. Steve has experienced competitive ballroom dancing, dancing at social dance halls, at West Coast Swing clubs, at Latin nightclubs, and he has some very useful tips on what you might want to wear, depending on the venue you're at.
So we'll look forward to talking to you about that next week, and until then, happy dancing!