Inappropriate Latin Practice Wear?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by canismajor41, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. canismajor41

    canismajor41 Active Member

    Everyone - I just had the most humiliating experience, and left my studio in tears because one of the instructors said they were offended by my shorts - that they made her uncomfortable. She asked me to put something else on (an article of her clothing) or leave.

    I was wearing a long sleeve shirt with Balera dance shorts, Capezio fishnets and leg warmers. I've worn the shorts with fishnets on numerous occasions, esp. when I knew I would be working on leg lines. Does anyone here think this is inappropriate latin practice wear?

    I'm so upset about it that I'm thinking of cancelling my lesson on Thursday :(
  2. Gorme

    Gorme Active Member

    Looks okay to me.
  3. Gorme

    Gorme Active Member

    Before you mentioned fishnets, I thought you might have been a guy. That would be inappropriate.
  4. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    It depends... on the environment. I teach in a studio that is primarily adult standard and smooth dancers. Minimal children/youth, and almost no latin.

    There is now a young girl of 17 that practices her latin there, and wears what you have just shown. And for our environment it is inappropriate. It is also weird for the other students that this young girl stands in front of the mirror, half dressed, staring at herself, and making odd gestures and poses.

    There are other items of clothing you can wear that are not hot pants or daisy dukes, skirts for example, that will seem less inappropriate to the other occupants. Not that I am saying you should change... but you do have options. And shorts that barely cover your cheek line are not a good option when you are around people that are not into the youth latin scene.

    You have to consider the environment.
  5. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    At the studio I'm currently at? Yeah, the booty shorts, especially without fishnets or tights, would be a bit too racy. Like Larinda said, it's a context thing--I have wrap skirts for skating that I simply would not wear at a dance studio--they're gauzy and short and just not suitable for a ballroom environment. For skating, they're pretty normal but they don't fit for a dance studio, especially one like the one I'm at now where it's mostly an older, more social clientele.
  6. GGinrhinestones

    GGinrhinestones Well-Known Member

    Definitely depends on the environment. For the record, I think it's fine. But the studio environment you are in dictates what is and is not appropriate, unfortunately, not your comfort level. If it is an older, traditional, or more smooth/standard centric clientele, I can see how it would be seen as inappropriate for that environment.

    I know it is a difficult and embarassing situation for you, and we are hearing your side of it, but it sounds like the instructor could have been more tactful in how she approached the situation. Especially if this is your regular studio. Do you have a regular instructor/teacher at this studio? What is his/her opinion? I only ask because it is difficult to judge from what you have said so far if this was the opinion of a single instructor or if it was a policy/studio issue.
  7. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry that your feelings are hurt, canismajor. That must have been really embarrassing.

    I will add another vote to what's already been said about surroundings, though. When I was studying at a franchise studio a billion years ago, one of the trainee teachers was a ballerina who already had tons of practice clothes a lot like what you have pictured above.

    After a couple of work days in those clothes, she was told in no uncertain terms to go buy some near knee-length practice skirts. Quite a few people were offended by her clothes. Not sure why. All she was showing was legs. But her practice wear didn't fit into an environment with mostly a middle-aged or older clientele. With a group of young ballerinas like herself? Sure. With middle aged pro-am ballroom students? Not so much. *shrug*
  8. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    If there isn't a dress code posted, then what you describe was a bit harsh, but it also sounds like the instructor had a strong reaction to your clothes as well. If you had worn them at that studio many times, than clearly the studio is inconsistent in enforcing any dress code, and that is unfortunate.

    At our studio, we have a posted dress code, and I'm afraid that your outfit wouldn't pass. Shorts are simply not permitted, and skirts need to be knee length or longer.
  9. canismajor41

    canismajor41 Active Member

    Thank you everyone for your responses. To give you moe context, the studio is in a private residence and there were no other students there. I have been dancing 4 years with my pro and it was his wife who made the comment. He did not offer a comment either way. I also have to admit that I had no idea that jazz shorts would be considered inappropriate in a ballroom dance studio but I can see each your points and even though there there were no other students present, the clientele by and large is older and mostly Standard.
  10. canismajor41

    canismajor41 Active Member

    There is no studio dress code but boy do I wish there was one! I like rules.
  11. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    OK, now that there is context...

    I'm sorry, canismajor41, you were probably just in the wrong place at the wrong time, for it to come out like that. People don't normally have a dress code for their home. I would also say that your pro is at fault for not making standards clear.

    From an old fart's perspective, it was the fishnets that put you over the line. There are mental associations with fishnets that perhaps younger people don't have, but it is important to respect the customs when you go visiting another country (the country of older people).
  12. TwoRightFeet

    TwoRightFeet Active Member

    You didn't say what country you're in. I assumed when I read your post you were somewhere in the Middle East where they have somewhat different customs than in the U.S. or U.K., for example. I've seen plenty of people practicing in ballroom dance studios all over the U.S. wearing attire similar to yours, particularly for a Latin practice session. As for someone having a dress code in their private home studio, I find that a little weird, especially if they don't let you know their "rules" up front.
  13. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    From a different old fart's perspective, I have to ask. Am I the only one who thinks this may not be just about clothes?

    Eh. Whatever. Whether it's really just about clothes or not, replace the shorts with something more modest. That's my recommendation. If it's about what's acceptable clothing at this studio, that's fine. At least you know. If it's about what your pro's wife is comfortable with around her husband, even better. At least you know.

    btw I have no idea how old you are (and am not asking) but the fact that a man is twice your age doesn't necessarily make you off-limits, in his mind or his wife's. You may be grossed out, but that doesn't mean he is. And, even if he is, there's nothing to be gained by antagonizing his wife's insecurities.

    You can get a cheap, stretchy knit skirt at lots of places. Ballet stores are good. Discount stores (think Target, Walmart) are often even better. Steinmart often has nice, danceable skirts, as well, if you're willing to pay a little more. $15 - $30 for a practice skirt. Problem solved.
  14. canismajor41

    canismajor41 Active Member

    This made me laugh. Thank you for that.
  15. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    I have to say that I wore a similar outfit - fishnets under a pair of mini-shorts with a t-shirt - to a "Tacky"-themed party and won the top female outfit prize for it. So even though I see how it makes a convenient practice wear for latin, it just doesn't look very proper. Although I find the idea that a practice skirt has to be no shorter than knee-length unnecessary restrictive.
  16. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    When I said wrong place at the wrong time, this is what I was alluding to. She may have been putting up with "scantily clad young girls flirting with her husband" (not saying that's what you were doing, just how she perceived it) and your outfit was just the straw that broke the camel's back.
  17. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Why is this restrictive?
  18. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    Because it's too long. A couple of inches above the knee is not the same thing as micro-mini.
  19. canismajor41

    canismajor41 Active Member

    Your observations are similar to mine. I live in the U.S. I thought nothing of it.
  20. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    without a code, I would say it is up to your instructor...having said that, while I know that my instructor is flexible about it ("wear what you are comfortable in")...and I have seen gals show up with the lower half of their cheeks hanging out, I personally would not feel comfortable in shorts and I know of many places that don't allow them....I will wear a skort because it obscures the curve of my bum and has built in pants...I think that the best approach would have been for that instructor to have approached yours and then for yours to have asked that you make a different choice NEXT time...I do think it important to appreciate the way many folks were trained...and in many cases that meant black attire and long skirts, etc...but am sorry you were made to feel that way

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