Ballroom Dance > Ladies social dancing outfit: latin or standard?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by Kitty, Jun 29, 2004.

  1. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    Girls, how do you pick an outfit when going social ballroom dancing? I can never pick something that would perfectly suit both latin and standard. Do you try to pick something that would suit both, or do you wear somethng that would suit one style best and put up with it not being so perfect for other styles? For latin I'd like something shorter and preferably tighter around hips, so that hip movement can be seen, for standard I'd rather have a longer skirt, knee length is good, and good if the skirt is full or bell-shaped.
    In my opinion short skirts look ugly when dancing standard, but knee and below knee lenght fuller skirts conceal all the latin movement and make it boring looking too. Pants look good with any type of dancing, but what is everyone's opinion of girl wearing pants to social ballroom dancing?
    I was thinking one solution could be to wear a long tight (not full) skirt with a slit?

    What does everyone think?
    Guys, what do you like to see on girls at social dances (when there is a standard/latin mix)? Girls, how do you solve this problem, what kind of outfit do you choose?
  2. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    I certainly enjoy seeing a woman in a nice standard-length skirt, but pragmatically there are practicality issue for multi-style dancers. Quite a few ladies seem to be wearing slacks at less formal socials. We could argue about this... or we could try to promote occasional dress-up socials where both genders wear classic clothing, perhaps enabled by focus on a specific style.

    And don't even get me started on the popularity of latin sandals for general social dancing... (the black coaching shoes are a tolerable compromise of looks for versatility around here)
  3. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    I usually compromise: wear latin shoes for half of the evening and standard for another half. How is that?
  4. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Hmm, get the DJ to play sets by style and you can change clothes, too.

    Then we can add someone to assign a comfortable number of couples to the floor for each dance, and split people into groups so you are only sharing the floor with others of moving at about the same rate. We could even have some of the people watching give out ribbons to the best dancers!
  5. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    What I like to see:

    Most important, a tasteful, attractive outfit. It doesn't have to all match perfectly, but it would be nice if it didn't clash and was suited to the person wearing it.

    Ankle length skirts are nice. For the afternoon, mid calf is okay. Knee length is okay on girls who are obviously primarily latin dancers. I'm happy to see the hip movement in the movement of the skirt rather than directly.

    What I like to dance with:

    Full skirt. Closed toe shoes with nonrubber soles. The elegant look and other features above are still nice, but not quite as important. Of course, most important is how good a dancer you are.
  6. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    Guys, do you like a long non-full skirt with a slit?
    And how do you feel about pants?
  7. jon

    jon Member

    I prefer my partners to wear clothes they like, can move comfortably in, and don't have dangly or spiky parts that can interfere with the connection or get caught.

    Don't often see skirts on women in ballroom or swing social dancing around here, with the exception of Asian women who, perhaps, come from more traditional cultural backgrounds.
  8. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    What's the fun in dancing if you're not wearing a skirt that you can feel swish? :shock: :lol: I like anything knee length-ish with a full skirt. Longer skirts are a bit of a hassle to deal with, so I save them for special occasions.

    Just wait until the end of season evening wear clearance at Macy's, Dillards, Burlington Coat Factory, or even JCPenney. Don't buy it unless it's cheap and danceable. It's pretty easy to find dresses that are both.

    Also nice are the evening pants with the chiffon overpants. The move really nicely, especially for a dance, like hustle, that moves.
  9. Sania

    Sania Well-Known Member

    I usually go with black pants so I can wear my black practice shoes with them. (Latin shoes are awful for dancing standard, I don't own any purely social shoes, and I usually wear my court shoes only on the competition floor.) Top varies from extremely dressy to casual depending on the occasion. One of my pairs of black pants is black velvet, so they stand up to formal occasions pretty well.
  10. dancin_feet

    dancin_feet New Member

    Social? I definitely feel more comfortable in pants, though occasionally will feel a bit girly and put on a swishy skirt around knee length.

    The difference in outfits between latin and standard doesn't really matter to me, other than when performing.
  11. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    I couldn't agree more!

    Tailsuit = "swish" for guys

    (please read the vowels in the above carefully)
  12. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member

    I wear a midcalf skirt with an asymetrical hem and a healthy slit. 8)
  13. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    Narrow skirts with a slit are great for looking at, but a bit of a challenge to dance with. They don't flow the way a full skirt does, instead pulling asymmetrically, which can throw the dancing off subtly.

    Nice looking pants, but not jeans, are okay to dance with in a casual situation. With few exceptions, pants don't cut it visually for me.
  14. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth New Member

    I guess this is one of those cases of different people liking different things. I adore ankle length skirts. If anything, I find that shorter skirts are more of a hassle. I guess its just what you're used to. If you're going to have a nice swishy skirt, you may as well go all the way and have it swirling around your ankles. :D Besides, that way a guy has to dance with you in order to check out your legs. :twisted:
  15. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    LOL! I like the way you think.

    The mid-length skirt also fits both Latin and standard. That's why it works for me. Plus, my "skirt styling" is still in the developmental stages. :oops: :roll:
  16. Victoria

    Victoria New Member

    Dont go for the long tight skirt with a slit. I tried this once thinking it was a good idea. Dancing standard/Ballroom is a complete nightmare - my partner could'nt get his leg through between mine in the swing movements! So the skirt was banished to workwear!
  17. Sania

    Sania Well-Known Member


    Where do you find ankle length skirts? Do you have them made? They must be reasonably wide at the bottom in order to be suitable for standard...
  18. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    Good point. Thank you very much for the advice.
    I very much like the look of long skirts with slits. I have one, but it is old now and not dressy enough to wear to dancing. So I never tried.
  19. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Guess it's time to have another discussion of circle skirts.

    The basic idea for standard/smooth is to have a skirt made out of a few sectors of a circles sewn together. If you have exactly one circle worth of fabric you could spread the skirt out in a circle on the floor with the waistband in the middle. A conical shape consisting of about 3/4 of a circle is near the lower limit for completely free movement in partner dancing, though a half circle might work for small social steps. At the other extreme, 2 or even 3 circles worth of fabric have been popular in smooth at times.

    Some people dislike the way a circle skirt bunches as it drapes over the hips, since it's a lot bigger than it needs to be there. So there is a variation that is fitted over the hips, and the panels only flare out towards (or beyond) a circle closer to the hem; this can also be accomplished with narrower panels and inserts called godets that start part way down. These dresses are okay for dancing provided there is enough freedom of movement in the upper thighs for the wearer and her partner in closed position.

    When this came up a while back, pygmalion posted this link to instructions for making circle-derived skirts:

    (the costume pictures are goofy, but the basic skirt diagrams look sound)

    You should also be able to find circle-like skirts at a ballet or liturgical dance suppliers. And of course there are spiffy versions from ballroom dancewear outfits like Chrisanne, which comes out with a new style of 'practice' skirt each year.
  20. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    Warren, Elizabeth and Chris both answered that they like to see an ankle length full skirts. Keep in mind though that they are primarily standard dancers :D :D :D

    My boyfriend who prefers latin would like me to wear a shorter and/or more narrow skirt (note that I'm not going to just do what my boyfriend would want me to, but rather what I want for myself :D )

    As much as I like full skirts I'm afraid they would completely conceal a hip twist... for now that is actually it is good thing :oops: :)

    So does anyone have any more ideas for something that would look good in both latin and standard?

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