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The Right Stuff to Wear: What about Recreational? (Part 2)

Our future - Recreational Division

It’s such a pleasure watching dancers in the Recreational division on the comp floor and seeing how the numbers have grown and continue to do so since DSA’s P5000 was introduced.

Recreational competitors are the future of DanceSport; it is from these ranks that tomorrow’s Australian champions will come.

Both Recreational and Amateur divisions have three grade levels:

Progression through the grades in both  divisions is achieved through earning points. More information on this is available at:

Differences in Recreational and Amateur Divisions

There are major differences in the two categories. In Recreational there is a restricted syllabus and - the subject of this series - competition attire.

Every dancer who walks out onto a comp floor wants to look his/her best.

In the Amateur division, for Ballroom and New Vogue the ladies wear gowns and the gents wear formal ‘tails’, lounge suits or simpler vest and tie, while for Latin the ladies wear costumes and the gents wear Latin pants and shirts.

Day wear

In Recreational, competition wear is restricted to ‘day wear’. The intention of this is to ensure the focus is on the dancing - technique, line, artistry, musicality and floorcraft - and that the costs of competing are kept to a minimum.

The definition of ‘day wear’ has become somewhat elastic, but basically it means that no competition attire is permitted and ladies may not wear slacks (tailored or business-style pants) or after-five wear.

Fabrics and finishes

It is not uncommon to see Adult and Masters Recreational competitors in skirts, tops or dresses purchased from dancewear shops. These are fine provided they are practice wear and not formal gown/costume as worn in the Amateur division, shiny/metallic fabric is not used and there are no sequins, crystals, feathers, fringing or floats.


Jewelry is to be kept to an absolute minimum and must be unobtrusive – just simple gold or silver studs. No big earrings, necklaces and chokers.


Ladies’ and girls’ hair styling is to be neat and very simple. This means no elaborate hair-dos and no hair embellishments, i.e. combs, feathers, flowers and ribbons. Long hair should be pulled back into a neat, secure bun or French twist, or a simple ponytail held by elastic, rubber band or plain scrunchy.


Gents are always to be dressed in neat day wear, i.e. trousers and shirt, with or without vest, and Latin-style trousers are acceptable. Jeans, casual baggy pants, t-shirts and singlets are not permitted. For boys and gents, normal day wear or dance shoes are to be worn, and the heels and soles must be in good repair to ensure dance floors are not damaged in any way. Not permitted on the comp floor: sneakers, joggers, sandals, thongs, boots.

Keep it simple

So there you have it! The key points to remember when deciding what to wear for your Recreational comp events are:

The Restrictions on Competitor Dress can be found here

The Right Stuff to Wear: What about Recreational

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