Ballroom Dance Practice Etiquette & Fashion...

Ballroom dancing is a beautiful expression of body movement to gorgeous music.  As dancers we strive to always look our very best and portray proper behavior, manners, and etiquette not only to ourselves and our dance partners but also to our fellow surrounding dancers.  Historically, ballroom dancing was a pastime only dedicated and practiced by the elite and aristocrats of high society.  Gentlemen and ladies would dress in their most elegant attire to portray a class of elegance and sophistication.  Through the course of many years ballroom dance practice fashion has witnessed dramatic changes to represent and encourage each era’s ballroom dancing mood and flavor.   However, despite such changes in fashion a dancer’s etiquette should always remain the same.

Looking back at the history of ballroom dancing one would always see photos of men in beautiful suits or and ladies dressed in long elegant gowns.  Ballroom dancing gives a wonderful opportunity for men to look like “Prince Charming” and ladies to look like “Cinderella.”  This is especially true for women as ballroom dancing is just not complete if a woman isn’t wearing a beautiful dress when performing!  Fashion is a very important element in social dancing as well.  When it’s practice time or a dancing party we always want to wear dancing clothes that can help make us look and feel better.  It's very important as we feel and behave differently when wearing different styles of clothing and, therefore, we will ultimately dance with different feelings.  Beautiful long flowing silk skirts and elegant blouses will make any woman feel extra feminine making her more aware of her dance movements and gestures.  Satin elegant shoes with slim high heels will make her glide across the floor and dance lighter and more effortlessly.  When a man wears a shirt with beautiful cufflinks and an elegant tie he feels more masculine, refined, and distinguished.  By wearing a beautiful suit a man will be more encouraged to behave like a gentleman when dancing.  Adopting the habit of dressing up for your practices or lessons will help you develop the sense of beauty and elegance and ultimately improve your dancing. 

No matter how fashion changes and what direction it takes us we should always bear in mind the manners and culture of ballroom dancing…beauty, elegance and glamour…this will never go out of fashion!Over the course of many years ballroom dancing was predominantly viewed as an elegant and classy pastime, however, in the past few decades dancing started to adopt an element of sport.  This development brought new fashion into the practice apparel.  Nowadays this change is especially evident in men’s practice wear.  The practice shirts have become much more stretchy and tighter to allow more dynamic and flexible movements.  It is not a surprise to find a dancer practicing in a regular fitted T-shirt giving him complete freedom during practice.  More and more ladies are wearing pants and stretchy tops to practice in to have that same freedom.  In addition, many ladies now practice wearing teaching shoes making their balance more stable and allowing them to respond to a man’s actions more sensitively.  This could be a great help to some couples who are looking to add more dynamics and enhance the physical aspect of their dancing. 

However, as in life everything we do should be in balance especially with our practices.  When we are dancing a competition or show this is the time when every lady will try to look her best.  She will want to be noticed as the most beautiful woman on the floor, in the most gorgeous gown, and with the most elegant pair of shoes.  In addition, a gentleman will want to wear a magnificent tail suit and a handsome bowtie to complement the lady.  Let’s not forget that as casual as the practice clothes are becoming it is still important to practice occasionally in clothes that will allow you to feel the same elegance and grace as you would in a show or competition.  No matter how fashion changes and what direction it takes us we should always bear in mind the manners and culture of ballroom dancing…beauty, elegance and glamour…this will never go out of fashion!