All the right moves will look all wrong when improperly dressed
When a man competes in ballroom dancing, how he is dressed will affect his score. Well-fitting clothes will benefit a man's dancing and will advance his score. This guide points out some key insights to custom clothing in competitive ballroom dancing.
Men all over are finding ballroom dancing to be a great hobby. They can exercise, improve self image, meet new people, bond with their mate, and achieve a sense of accomplishment in the same place doing one thing, dancing.
Some men even go on to compete in ballroom dancing, an activity called dancesport. Various rules exist as to what men may and may not wear for competition; such as only white or black shirts in smooth dances; or no jeans – at all.
A man readying himself to compete in dancesport will find ample help in abiding these rules from his dance school or coach, both of which should be thoroughly familiar with the dress code. However, just because the man's clothing falls within the organization's rules, that doesn't mean he will look like he ought.
If he strolls onto the floor to compete in a waltz, his lady in tow, and his trousers break incorrectly or his dress shirt collar is too big, he will simply not be perceived as favorably to the judges as a man wearing a custom suit.
Here we will examine some elements of custom clothing and how a man can use them to look his best on the dance floor and achieve that high score.
Three Keys to Great Custom Dancewear: Style, Fit, and Color
Dancesport regulates dress code pretty strictly in some categories, and less so in others. It is important that a man wears clothes that don't blend him in with the crowd. The man who has made minor tweaks to his outfit will grab the judges' eyes more than a plainly dressed man.
For example, if dancing a waltz, add a pocket square to your jacket pocket. This kind of little adjustment will make you stand apart from the sea of tailcoats spinning about. If a latin dance, pleated pants will add unnecessary vertical lines to the male figure, and should probably be replaced with straight front pants.
Because latin dances work the hips opposite each other, unpleated pants will draw attention to the hips, not the pants. Because smooth dances work the top half of the body against the lower half, pleated pants would work there. Keep style in mind when considering which clothes to wear with which type of dance.
- A dancer's Jacket
Not many dances will have a man wearing a suit jacket, usually only a necktie, and sometimes a vest. When you do where a jacket, anything less than custom fit is a gamble. Even slightly too big or small will hamper movement. A jacket that's too big will also hide your natural lines, lines that the dances are intended to express. Too small and you look sophomoric and you won't move or hold a dance frame well.
A custom-made jacket is truly the male dancer's best option, as he will have room where he needs it (for example, in the sleeves and shoulders), and it will display his natural lines where they should show (for example, in the torso).
- A Dancer's Shirt
The most obvious disadvantage of an off-the-rack dress shirt is that, unless you were measured by that company for all of their shirts, it won't fit you well in at least one important place if not more. If the collar is right, the sleeves might be wrong. If the shoulders feel good, the dress shirt's body might be baggy. The last is the most problematic for a dancer.
With a baggy dress shirt, your lady will have problems following you because she may not be able to judge the distance between you as well as if you were wearing a shirt which conforms to your body. Let's say she does a turn – she also won't return to the right place if your shirt resembles a tent. If sleeves are too long, you may have problems connecting with your left hand.
A custom made shirt will allow not only your lady to follow better and help you to connect, but your natural lines will be visible and not hiding under a sea of fabric. Also, your vest or cardigan, if you're wearing one, won't hang properly if the dress shirt underneath is bunched.
- A Dancer's Trousers
A full-length pant, rather than shorts, is standard for male dancers. Costuming for a particular dance may create a unique circumstance for trousers; perhaps bell bottoms for a hustle. In general, be sure that you won't trip over the bottom of the trousers. When dressing formally for a smooth or standard dance, trouser break is a worthy consideration. The medium break is likely the safest; it shouldn't affect how tall you look and though outside the dance world it isn't the most formal, it will keep your ankles from becoming too exposed.
Naturally the trouser waist should be a good fit. Costume choices may dictate the use of a belt over suspenders, or vice versa; nevertheless, do not use clip-on suspenders – they are not formal. Custom trousers will give a better overall fit than pants from a clothing store, thus making your look more refined, elegant, and professional.
- A Dancer's Shoes
If ill-fitting shoes don't work when walking; much more will they hinder a man's ballroom dancing. Never compete in shoes that don't fit. The wrong size, large or small, even in rehearsal won't allow you to perfect your technique. You will develop habits to compensate for shoes that don't fit and that take away from correct dance technique.
If that means going to different dance supply stores all over town to find shoes that fit, then start driving. If that means sending shoes back to the online retailer over and over until you have shoes that fit, keep doing it or find another company.
Here also dress code heavily guides choices in some dances and much less in others. If dancing a quickstep, why not opt for a silver tie, vest, and pocket square, if the rules allow? If all the other men are going to be in white, this little change will make you stand out. Keep color themes balanced with the style of the dance and feeling your steps evoke.
Ask yourself if you should wear cool or warm tones to accent your dancing. A rumba (the dance of love) or tango would look better with warm tones, tying in with the romantic feel of the dance, while cool themes would go with swing, a fun, hip dance. Be sure your colors are coordinated within the outfit properly, too.
A Dancer's Confidence
Every woman dancer dreams of dancing with a man who is confident. A professional lady dancer would be delighted to dance with a beginner man, dancing the same three basic steps, if he is confident in his attitude and strong in his lead.
When a man goes to a dancesport competition wearing custom clothing, he will automatically have a sturdy measure of confidence; he will be wearing it. There will be no faking that cool poise as he glides across the floor with his lady because he will know that his clothes are making him shine.
When it comes to dancesport, a man's only option, if he wants to perform his absolute best, is custom clothing.