Ballroom Dance > Amateur costume question

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by fire_dancer, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. Merrylegs

    Merrylegs Well-Known Member

    Will you be able to take a long enough stride in the dress? Full liength dresses that work for parties and weddings often don't have a big enough opening for actual ballroom dancing. I would do a test run before getting onto the competition floor.

    Practice wear would seem to be the best option if you can afford it.
  2. middy

    middy Well-Known Member

    I've been using it for a while and it's worked fine... well, after quite a bit of hemming since it used to be a train practically. I used to step on the back like crazy, haha.
  3. TinyDancer109

    TinyDancer109 Well-Known Member

    This may have been addressed in a previous thread, but I am an pro/am dancer so i am curious... why the difference in rules? dressing up is half the fun of competing!! :)
  4. Ithink

    Ithink Active Member

    It's hard to say for sure but I think in a way it's done to equalize the field and place the focus on the dancing and the learning not on who can afford to buy the flashiest costume. At the sylabus level, you have more things to worry about than adding to them the worry of where to get a costume. It's to keep things simple. This is just a guess though...
  5. TinyDancer109

    TinyDancer109 Well-Known Member

    That makes sense, Ithink, but then why not implement the same rules in pro/am to focus on the quality of dance there as well??
  6. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Because the focus of proam isn't quality of dance, it's to make money? :D
  7. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    Maybe it's based on the assumption that if you can afford to compete pro/am, you can afford a sparkly costume? There are some real problems with that logic, but it's a guess.
  8. Ithink

    Ithink Active Member

    Because pro/am is ALL about the money. You can't tell pro/ammers NOT to spend money, lol...

    I am only half-kidding though.
  9. My partner bought something along the lines of a prom dress from sears that looks all shinyish. Is that ok?
  10. and123

    and123 Well-Known Member

    Sheesh, why not just make everyone dance in plain sweats and remove the ambiguity? Chris is right - these rules make it very difficult to buy non-dance clothes that meet all these requirements.
  11. Me

    Me New Member

    Anything with a light effect could be problematic. If it's just very sheer and shiny, it should be okay.

    If there is glitter on the fabric or if there is metallic thread woven into the fabric, it could be a problem.
  12. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Because amateur and pro/am comps are governed by two separate and distinct organizations.
  13. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    As someone who dances in both--though primarily AM--I think we want to tread carefully in this territory.

    USADance wants to make the price of entry affordable, so that more people can get involved in this activity. And that is simply not the #1 priority of the NDCA (or the #2, or #3.)

    The dress vendors have to be able to make a profit. Selling to pro-am women enables them to sponsor more top am and pro couples. Without that, far fewer couples would be sponsored. If pro-am women at all syllabus levels were allowed to wear practice wear, this would not be good for the economics of dancesport. And most pro-ammers are willing to buy dresses. (I am currently mostly a renter, but then I have only done 5 pro-am comps and am not the kind of person who drops $3000 lightly.)
  14. TinyDancer109

    TinyDancer109 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for clearing that up Joe!

    ChaChaMama, i wish $3000 was the kind of money i was dropping.. it really is a sin the amount of money they charge for pro/am comps. To be honest though, I didn't even know am/am was an option until i joined DF.
  15. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Honestly, if I had to follow the USA Dance costume rules, I wouldn't even bother competing. They make the Byzantine unwritten style "rules" of the hunter ring (Should I wear a brown hunt coat on a chestnut horse? Answer: no. Could this affect my placing? Officially, no. Unofficially? You betcha.) look lenient.

    I can't and don't make a habit of dropping $3000 on a dress. But if I had to just wear practice clothes, I'd stay home and pracitce. Sparkle is fun, and fringe hides a multitude of sins. I've competed (and won) wearing a cocktail dress in Bronze and I did one Smooth compeition in practice clothes that I stoned, but now I have proper costumes and vastly prefer them. I'd no more want to dance in street clothes than I'd want to show up to ride at at a rated show in a t-shirt and jeans, or have gone to skate a dance test (*that I knew already I would likely fail*) at the Skating Club of Boston in a warmup suit.
  16. TinyDancer109

    TinyDancer109 Well-Known Member

    I agree with you, danceronice. I can't afford $3000 for a dress when im paying more than that just dfor the pro/am comp, but i def enjoy dressing up with the resources i have... it's part of the experience.
  17. and123

    and123 Well-Known Member

    would much rather drop $3000 on lessons....
  18. GinaM

    GinaM New Member

    For collegiate comps we usually took our newbies shopping at the cheap-o, euro-ish stores for stretchy colorful regulation-appropriate clothes: H&M, Forever 21, etc. And I recommend supplementing boring/un-rhinestoned clothing with lots of sparkly jewelry, hairpieces, etc. Not usually any rules on that!
  19. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Given how many department store dresses have banned decorations or effects, I suspect complying with NDCA's more relaxed am/am costume definition (that USA dance used to share) is cheaper.

    Well, actually this nice soft stretchy stuff I found for 1.99/yd on 39th street is cheaper...
  20. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    To be clear, you CAN wear fringe at USA Dance comps. Nicer practicewear is just one option. (And even some nicer practicewear is illegal b/c of light effects.)

    Once you are either accomplished (master of syllabus/novice/prechamp/champ) or "old" (i.e., 36+, if dancing "Senior" events) you can wear costumes at USA Dance comps.

    The idea is to level the playing field for entry-level players. If you are 20 and might want to compete newcomer, USA Dance doesn't want you to feel like you have to go up against someone wearing a $3000 dress. I appreciate that sentiment, even though I didn't take up dancing until my 30s and being paid a real salary.

    That said, I agree w/Chris: it is a bummer that people can't wear off the rack, clearly non-costume cocktail dresses. Heck, I have a blouse from Ann Taylor Loft that would be illegal. I think the idea is to eliminate any possible slippery slopes, but...yeah, it can be a pain.

    That said...I love USA Dance comps!!! My favorite comp of the year is MAC. Extremely well-organized competition, big fields, including most of the top US competitors, great location. Cost of entry very reasonable. NO extra cost to get into the ballroom on top of entry cost. Costume optional (for my age group); make-up doesn't have to be as extensive. Hotel price reasonable. Reasonably priced restaurants in the area. If you want to go VIP, they treat you like royalty with front row seats, a reception, coat check, and re*fresh*ments all night long. The organizers are very responsive and always accommodate my husband with a spot from which he can take photos.

    Your mileage may vary, but that is MY idea of a good time.

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