Ballroom dancing has a long history that dates back to the ages of European settlements in America. Originally, this dance style developed in Europe and the earliest knowledge of these dances come from 16th century records. Since then, it has evolved to a great extent, by drawing influences from Latin elements.
Modern ballroom dance comprises of 5 standard and 5 international Latin styles. These different styles greatly vary in their technique and expression. Hence, it’s vital for a dancer to wear the appropriate ballroom dresses to symbolize the dance style appropriately.
Dance dresses for the two genders
It’s a common notion that a ballroom dress isn’t as important for men as it is for women. However, it’s a couple’s dance where the male dancer complements the female perfectly. Thus, the complexity of a man’s ballroom dance dress should match with that of the woman.
A shirt is a leotard with a built-in vest to keep it tucked in always. Additionally, a trouser meant for ballroom dancing will have a looser fitting and a flaring profile. While traditional style calls for standard white buttoned-up shirts, Latin dances require a man to flaunt elaborate designs. Shirts made of see-through materials with intricate solid designs and open collars till the waist, work well to spice up the setting by revealing just enough of a man’s physique.
Why choose a dance dress with the utmost care?
An appropriate dance dress serves many purposes and can help the dancer in many different ways.
Here are a few ways a dance outfit matters –
- Material matters –
First and foremost, when choosing ballroom dresses, one must consider the material. These dresses are made of a variety of materials like chiffon, lycra, angleskin, velvet and cotton.
If the costume a dancer is wearing features many splits and is open in places like the back and waist, it need not be highly stretchable and can be made of chiffon and velvet. However, dresses with long sleeves and highly covered in general should be made of stretchable materials like angelskin and cotton-lycra. Wearing a ballroom dance dress of the right material is crucial for unobstructed and free movement.
- Affects comfort –
It’s important that a dancer feels comfortable at every moment throughout the whole dance performance. Hence, he/she must choose dresses of appropriate designs. Some design may make a person feel uncomfortable and cause distractions during the performance.
Rhinestones are commonly used to make ballroom dresses attractive. However, they may weigh down the dress and eventually become a reason of discomfort to a dancer. Furthermore, a dancer should consider the duration of his/her dance routine when selecting a dress. A heavy dress will have less breathability and cause one to sweat heavily, which can be discomforting to the partner. Thus, for long duration performances, light and comfortable costumes are the best choices.
- Draws the attention –
A dancer’s dress coveys a strong message to the audience even before the performance starts. Sombre or joyful, fast or slow, elegant or seductive, the audience creates an image in their minds just by looking at a dancer’s attire. Additionally, the colour a dancer wears also influences how the audience perceives the whole performance.
Thus, it’s quite clear why a dancer’s attire is crucial. Wearing the right dress for any performance or dance competition can greatly help augment the whole performance.