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The Right Stuff: What Will I Wear?
It's fun but never easy to decide what to wear for competition. You want to walk onto that floor feeling confident not only in your technique, but also in how you look. So how can you be sure you've got it right?
I constantly hear mothers say they're confused about what their child(ren) should wear for competition, so let's address not only this but the older age groups as well, in all categories and all styles. Armed with understanding of just what is and is not OK to wear in each Division, we next need to make sure we’re choosing appropriately for age, body type and dance style. And that’s what this series is all about.
Each article in this series will address a different division, age category and dance style so dancers and parents will have a very clear idea of just what to look for and buy, whether the dancer is male or female.
First and foremost, we need to stay within the guidelines of DanceSport Australia's dress regulations, and coverage of these will be woven through the text under this heading in each newsletter issue.
So let’s begin with a brief overview looking, in this introductory article, at the big picture: what are the basic differences in dress for the two main competitive styles: Recreational and Amateur?
In the Amateur Division, across all styles (Standard, New Vogue and Latin), ladies wear competition dresses that can be quite simple or very ornate, and which can be embellished/decorated with, for example, crystals, sequins, beads, pearls, feathers, lace, and more. These gowns can be made to order, purchased ready-to-wear or pre-worn. For Standard and New Vogue styles, Ballroom shoes are worn, and for Latin, Latin sandals, designed specifically for that style, are worn. Street and practice footwear is not permitted, and shoes/sandals must be clean and in good repair.
Gents wear a tails suit with all accessories (dress shirt, bow tie, studs, etc); lounge/dinner suit in either black or dark grey, with conventional shirt and tie, or black trousers with a conventional black or white long-sleeved shirt, tie and black vest. For Ballroom, men’s ballroom shoes with low heels (which must be in good repair) are worn.
In the Latin style, gents wear black trousers and a shirt or top in any colour, with men’s Latin shoes (which have a higher heel than the men’s Ballroom shoes). Heels and soles must be in good repair.
In the Recreational Division, there are dress restrictions which must be complied with – no exceptions – and these apply across all competition dance styles.
Ladies may not take the floor in competition wear, slacks or after-five wear. No metallic fabrics, sequins, diamantes/crystals, pearls, feathers, fringe, etc. Neat day or practice wear – dress or skirt and top.
Gents wear neat trousers and shirt (Latin-style trousers may be worn). No jeans, baggies, t-shirts and singlets.
More to come
These are the broad-brush, basic differences – but in future issues we’ll break it down to help you decide what’s going to look great on you, whatever your age, division, style and personal preferences!
For now, happy dancing!