Dance Articles > Can a Dress Help You Dance Better?

Discussion in 'Dance Articles' started by BallroomSparkle, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    Yup, in addition to the practical benefits mentioned in the OP, the signs and symbols of costume have tremendous power!

    I even get dressed up to go to dance class - it's like 'the method' in acting: though, being a bloke, that doesn't amount to much, compared to what women can wear... <gazes enviously at red or purple, satin, swishy dresses... scowls at shirts and trousers...:p>.
     
  2. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Great article. Dress can help conceal flaws and enhance strengths. Also, I find that what I wear affects how I feels about myself, attitude, hence definitely helping me dance better.
     
  3. roxie333

    roxie333 New Member

    I wish I read that article prior to me going shopping for several dresses to wear for various dance parties/events for the upcoming holiday season!

    I used to always think the most important thing for a dancer from a technical perspective was her footwear and the dress was more cosmetic, like makeup but now I see it differently.
     
  4. ballroomdance201

    ballroomdance201 New Member

    I think a good dress can help a lot to improve confidence and movement. The better you look, the more confidence you'll exhibit, the better you'll dance
     
  5. roxie333

    roxie333 New Member

    Speaking of dresses, how long a skirt do most people here prefer dancing in?

    I am new to the ballroom dance scene. I have danced salsa for a while and for that scene, I typically like to wear mini skirts to mid-thigh along with nylons. I find that that the shorter skirts tend to allow me to better show off my footwork but I rarely see females wear such short skirts for ballroom.
     
  6. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl Active Member

    Most skirts that short are too tight to really allow movement in the travelling dances. I had a funny experience wearing a straight, short skirt for practice once. Things just weren't working right and we couldn't figure it out. Turns out the skirt was blocking my partner from moving his leg forward between mine.

    I wear skirts anywhere from above the knee to ankle length. We generally look for movement in the skirt, whether for latin or ballroom, so you'll see lots of fuller skirts, handkerchief hems, etc. I find I get more dances if I'm wearing a twirly skirt.
     
  7. Stagekat

    Stagekat Member

    Great article! I don't compete at all but I know what will and will not hinder my dancing. I did learn that a Smooth pro wearing a brand new dress at Ohio said she loved it because it felt like nothing when she danced, and she and her partner got their best results yet! So there must be something to it!
     
  8. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    Most important is to wear some dance panties, or at least some granny panties that aren't white (unless it's a white skirt) so that you don't flash your butt when the skirt twirls. :)
     
  9. roxie333

    roxie333 New Member


    haha ..... that is funny how your skirt blocked your partner's leg from moving in between yours. What dance were you two trying to do that time?

    Regarding the longer skirts that go from below your knee to your ankles, do find that they obscure your legs thus take away the beauty of some of your dance moves? ........ It is because of this that I have tended to stay away from the longer skirts yet I often see women wear longer skirts for ballroom.
     
  10. roxie333

    roxie333 New Member

    This is where a pair of opaque nylons, black, suntan or other colours can help dramatically so you never have to worry about others seeing more then they should :lol:

    Besides, a good pair of dancers nylons will also give you some padding when dancing in heels which is a big bonus.
     
  11. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    A full flowing skirt in traveling dances like waltz or foxtrot can actually enhance the movement. In those dances, it's not what the legs are doing that is really that beautiful; it's the effect of that foot and leg action on the shape of the body and the curving movement across the floor. So a long flowing skirt really emphasizes that by continuing to move even after the legs are done. For latin dances like cha cha, etc., we want to show off pretty leg lines and quick intricate actions, so a short skirt makes sense there. At social dances, I'll generally be dancing a variety of dances, so I'll probably wear a skirt around knee-length. For competition or performance, though, hemlines adjust depending on the dance style.
     
  12. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl Active Member

    Yes, actually in some of the smooth/standard dances, what the legs are doing isn't always pretty. I hate to see a tango in short skirt. The prettiness comes from what the leg movement creates in the whole body.
     
  13. roxie333

    roxie333 New Member

    I love your description Bia, it does sound very apt for certain dances like the tango as Waltzgirl pointed out.

    I'm going to have to do some updating of my wardrobe. For the salsa social scene, I had a lot of tube tops, tank tops, colourful tights and mini skirts. I should get some dresses with longer skirts and more tights.

    Are the brighter, flashier color dresses/skirts better for ballroom dancing or as a beginner, should I go with the more subdued earth tones until I get better?
     
  14. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    Go ahead and wear whatever colors look good on you. A lot of advanced dancers tend to wear a lot of black for practice and social dancing (we've got some threads on that around here somewhere), but I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that a lot of the manufacturers of nice practicewear don't bother to make things in other colors. You're already paying attention to what people wear in your local ballroom community, so just fit yourself in with those norms, with tweaks for your own taste and personality.
     
  15. roxie333

    roxie333 New Member

    At my first ballroom dance social, I wore an outfit I would be very comfortable wearing when I go to a salsa social. However, I got a lot of quizzical stares. Now I am wondering if perhaps my skirt was too short for ballroom. I might need to go and purchase some new ankle length skirts for ballroom instead of skirts that go to mid-thigh or to my knees ..........
     
  16. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl Active Member

    My guess would be the boots caught the most attention. Ballroom dancers like to be able to feel the floor when they dance and articulate their feet and ankles, so their shoes reflect that.
     
  17. TangoRocks

    TangoRocks Member

    Agreed. I've seen many ladies with shorter skirts at ballroom venues (since most ballroom venues have latin/rhythm dancers, it's not all standard/smooth) but your famous furred boots from the other thread would be the eye-catching unconventional element.

    Longer skirts for smooth sound good to me, however, but make sure they don't restrict your movement, and, at higher levels, restrict your partner's movement since with full body contact, the leader does step between your feet as he provides the forward momentum to your body, and it's very hard to do that with outfits which prevent this from happening. I once danced a Tango (American style) with a friend who had a long but tight skirt, and was amazed at how much we couldn't do, just because of the movement restrictions her outfit imposed on both of us. (I had danced with the same lady many times before with no issues, hence my pointing the finger at the dress)
     
  18. Cedrick

    Cedrick New Member

    Hi BallroomSparkle,
    Very informative article and must be helpful for beginners especially.
    Thanks for collecting all the tips under one threat.
     
  19. sambanada

    sambanada Active Member

    I think confidence is very important. If you feel extraordinary, you will dance better.
     
    MultiFaceted Dancer likes this.
  20. Ray Sison

    Ray Sison New Member

    +1 :cheers:
     
    MultiFaceted Dancer likes this.

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