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9: Standards of Dress for
Not infrequently, social ballroom dancers do not consider
their appearance affects those around them, those with whom they have
share the space and who contribute to the overall sense of
occasion. The younger age
groups especially, often don’t dress to complement the
event. They have become individuals attending an event
sharing the event and collectively contributing to it – even when there
is an advertised dress code!
Why is this? Can't be
bothered? Don’t have the appropriate clothes in their
wardrobe? Value comfort over apperance? I don’t
know. So far as I am concerned, being properly turned out is
integral part of the game, just as much as is having the right shoes,
anyone who doesn’t (even a very social dancer) is letting the side down.
back to the Forties and Fifties, and every man at a dance would have
been in full suit and tie, and stayed like that all night – that was
the standard of the day, and expected.
so social dancing then was more a shuffle around the floor elbow to
elbow with the other couples, but I wonder how effective the deodorants
of the day were! Competition dancers, even at modern levels
exertion, still compete in high collars and tail suits – how do they
Modern ballroom dancing expects more movement and energy,
so clothes need to be less restrictive (and less hot!) – but that’s no
excuse for an untidy appearance*. And ladies in trousers are
doing nothing to compliment the dance when a flowing dress or skirt
will flare out with the movement (and is intended to).
Dancing is not a gender-neutral pursuit (men and women have equally
important roles to play, but they are different roles – and vivre la différence)!
In times gone by, strict dress codes were expected and enforced by
dancing clubs and public dances. It is practically impossible
enforce a dress code in this day and age, but take time to consider:
how respectful is it to your companions, and even your own partner, not
to take the time and care to dress appropriately? Let’s
face it, these days how often do you get the chance to dress
up for a night out? When you look good, you feel good
too. Make the most of it!
Except at a ‘practice’, where it is commonly acknowledged you are there
to work on your technique and stamina, and clothing has become (almost)
optional! But if you are practising to compete, don’t you
need to make sure your dancing works when fully attired???