Dressing for ballroom dance is a lot like getting ready for the prom. You have to find the perfect dress (or suit and tux if you’re a guy), perfect shoes, and coordinate your hair and makeup for a complete look. However, getting ready for an evening of ballroom dance is slightly more complex than dressing for the prom. While the concept is the same, a lot of factors need to be taken into consideration when choosing ballroom dance clothing and shoes.
First of all, there is really no set dress code for ballroom dancing, which leaves you with the freedom to choose your attire to your comfort and practicality. Whether you are dancing a slow dance such as the waltz or an upbeat dance like the jive, you need to choose attire that you can move easily in and won’t get tangled up around your partner. For example, consider choosing a dress made of silk; it flows easily and doesn’t tangle.
Remember that although ballroom dancing is a formal and elite event, your dress doesn’t have to be covered in heavy sequins, jewels, or feathers. Choose a dress with a moderate amount of accents, as overbearing decorations can easily get in the way and cause discomfort to both you and your partner. Fashion is definitely an important factor, but not as important as your level of comfort while dancing.
Choosing shoes for ballroom dancing are just as important as choosing the dress. However, the shoes you wear largely depend on what type of dance you will be performing. There are special shoes for jazz dances, jive dances, swing dances, etc. Therefore, advance preparation is the key for choosing the right shoes. Most ballroom dance shoes are lightweight – heavy-soled shoes can greatly obstruct your dancing and leave you with extremely sore feet. The maximum height for ladies’ shoes is three inch heels, whereas men’s shoes are around one and a half inches.
Like choosing a dress, shoes for ballroom dancing should not be based on appearance alone. Again, you will have to jump, twirl, and kick in these shoes, so you need them to be comfortable and supportive of your feet. Most ballroom dance shoes are open-toed, although this may not be the best choice. This easily exposes your toes to be stepped on, so consider going with a close-toed shoe. If you find that the heel is too uncomfortable, you can purchase insoles designed specifically for women’s high heel shoes. The last thing you want to do is damage your feet, legs, or back because your shoes did not fit properly.
Finally, beware of shoes with tight back straps or are heavily decorated. This can cause undue rubbing on your feet, which in turn leads to nasty blisters. Shoes that are too busy could easily damage during dancing, so try to keep accents to a minimum when choosing your ballroom dance shoes.
By following these tips to choosing your ballroom dance dress and shoes, you will not only be fashionable but comfortable – the most important factor in any type of dancing!