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Latin Dance Dressing what to and what not to wear while dancing

When we dance it is not only about the swift moves that we make it’s a lot to do with what we wear and how does that help us dance better or even make the dance look and appear better. Wearing the right attire for a dance class, gathering or a show is extremely important.

When we go to the gym we wear appropriate clothes or when we go for a swim we buy great looking swimwear, so similarly it is important while going out dancing its essential to select and wear the correct clothing.

Ladies and gents have different dance wear requirements. For ladies, when selecting an upper-body garment for dancing, it is very important that it is cut high in the arm pits and not have baggy or loose sleeves that can interfere with your partner getting a hand to your back. Aside from the inconvenience, such garments can also be dangerous as a Leader might be looking for a way to get around your garment rather looking to avoid other dancers. The waist and bodice should also not have excessive fabric, it is not important to wear skin-tight garments nor even tight-fitting ones.

Long skirts that fly out when you spin can often be an interference. This is particularly true when they’re cut so that they fly out from higher than mid-thigh. Although its better to see long skirts cut to fly out from just above the knee, many ladies prefer to dance with near-to-knee skirts cut to fly from mid-thigh or higher. The shorter the skirt, the higher the fly-point can be. Long skirts provide the lovely sight of flowing fabric, they should be cut so as not interfere with the dance, excessive fabric can create problems so try avoiding long flowing dresses, a short knee length flared skirt or pants is ideal.

You should also avoid lace, especially in the areas where the partner will hold and lead you from, even jewellery that will not cut flesh can sometimes catch on lace or other loose weaves too.

Jewellery, of course, should be very carefully chosen. Be sure to check your ear rings, rings, bracelets, and belts for sharp edges or even small points that can catch in your partner’s clothing or his accessories. Long necklaces can also be hazardous particularly if you’re a fast spinner. Same goes for long hair, particularly pony tails, so neat bun is the best bet.

Costumes mishaps happen not just on the ramp with models like Carol Gracias, Jessy Randhawa and Gauhur Khan, it even happens on the dance floor due to the vigorous energy and swirls. Super model Alesia Raut who is also a professional Latin & Ballroom Dancer says ‘Wear whatever you like in a dance class, but be aware that there are some clothes like knee length skirts, sleeveless tops which are more comfortable to dance with your partner and if you are shy person then pants are the best, but no sarees or salwar kameez please on the western dance floor. And remember to always keep safety pins and clips handy, you never know when you might need them.’

For men a simple stretch trouser and a well-fit shirt or a T shirt is best, remember clothes like track pants, jeans make one feel very casual about dancing. Many men have the habit of carrying many small items like pens, wallets and mobiles in their pockets and their movement too can interfere while dancing. Please note never to take loose change, pencils, or even pocket knives onto the dance floor.

Regardless of the gender under garments play a very important role too in the dance wear, so remember to wear cotton undergarments as they best while you sweat, specially during the summers. The fit is also equally important so that it can hold the required area correctly and no unwanted movements are created while we are absorbed in dancing moves completely

Remember dance is not just fun it is serious fun. It’s not the just the attitude that’s important in a dance class it is the entire appearance and approach to the dance that is important. So only when you take dance seriously is when you can have all the fun with it.

Sandip Soparrkar

 Artscape

(Sandip Soparrkar is a well known Ballroom dancer, a World Book of Records holder and a Bollywood choreographer who has been honoured with National Achievement Award and National Excellence Award by the Govt of India. He can be contacted on sandipsoparrkar06@gmail.com.)

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