Ballroom Dance > Tails for American smooth?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by billman, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. billman

    billman Active Member

    Is it proper to were tails for American smooth?
  2. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I you can move effectively in them, yes. But in general if they are made to not allow for movement of your arms... kinda the antithesis of smooth style. Make sure you get a set specifically for smooth.
  3. billman

    billman Active Member

    So if a tailsuit were made with extra room to allow for the open arm work of American smooth... It would not be frowned upon by judges? I love the classy look of tails.
  4. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    You are talking about dance tails right? Not formal wear tails...
  5. suburbaknght

    suburbaknght Well-Known Member

    A few years ago I saw a gentleman with a dance vest that had been made with tails. The vest was cut so it blended beautifully with his black shirt, very cool look but one that I don't know everyone can pull off.
  6. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    I'm not going to say "absolutely not," but... realize you'll be making a very strong statement if you wear tails in Smooth, and it probably won't sit well with a lot of people.

    Full disclosure: I would be one of those people. I don't think the hanging tails and the slightly baggy high-wasted pants look good unless you're dancing in frame. Dancing Smooth choreography in Standard tails reminds me a little of a dancing penguin... :p
  7. jump'n'jive

    jump'n'jive Well-Known Member

    with the current flashy who can out do one another in american smooth jackets colors and patterns, i do not think tails would fit in at all.
    j_alexandra likes this.
  8. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    You must really loathe Fred & Ginger movies.

  9. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    No, I don't. First, I didn't say I "loathe" or hate the look (and I certainly don't loathe penguins.) That's not appreciated.

    Second, there are all sorts of reasons that Astaire pulls off a tails when the average (or even above average) Smooth dancer does not:
    • despite his influence, he's not usually doing what we consider ballroom dance;
    • the movies took place decades ago, where tails were less of a costume;
    • his tails are much more fitted than modern Standard tails;
    • he's in a movie, not being judged by a panel of judges;
    • there's no typical uniform for what he's doing, nor is he surrounded by ten other couples more appropriately dressed;
    • and ultimately, he's Astaire - not an average Smooth dancer.
    debmc and XL_PT like this.
  10. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Which could be a GOOD thing, but only if you've got the chops to back it up. Standing out and attracting attention is great, but not if you're not already pretty good.
  11. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    tails in smooth no thank you

    jackets without tails in standard no thank you

    you shouldnt wear your taco bell uniform if you work at burger king
  12. jump'n'jive

    jump'n'jive Well-Known Member

    i know of one male who dances pro/am in tails and smooth and it looks so awkward and out of place it is NOT a good thing.
  13. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    I agree that tails would stick out, but I don't think that color is exactly de rigeur in high end pro smooth men's jackets. Sure, there's some, but black is still a pretty danged popular choice.
  14. dlliba10

    dlliba10 Well-Known Member

    Travis Tuft's maroon jacket/pants in the Embassy 2011 Pro Smooth final has always looks very strange to me. Even Mazen's white jacket at USDC this year stuck out too. Black / grey / midnight blue are definitely dominant, though I love seeing weird jacket cuts.
  15. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    That is so funny. The current consensus that "tails look awkward" in smooth or wearing them "wouldn't sit well". You all do realize that vests and jackets are a recent development... and tails used to be the norm??!! It is only with baby eyes that you can't conceive that someone dancing smooth in tails actually looks appropriate. It is interesting, perception of history only goes back as far as facebook and youtube.

    The whole shift away from tails was started by David Hamilton. He would wear a vest suit (I still have one of his first sets) in the preliminary rounds. He did that so the baby dancers wouldn't feel the pressure to buy a tailsuit right away... and thereby save them from buying a BAD tailsuit out of desperation. But the time the big boys were on the floor together, we were all in tails. When I first made the open final... you wouldn't be caught dead NOT wearing tails.

    The whole thing about a vest or jacket was so that men could have stepping stones to the real deal, the tails. But there were so many men that bought the vests and never moved up to something more appropriate, and that is how it became the norm. The upper echelon of smooth still was wearing tails until 2002. When that generation moved on there were all of these guys that had never been taught the value and appreciation of a beautiful set of tails. And now we have young dancers actually saying tails don't belong in smooth, or look out of place!! That's what happens when newer people come in a make declarations about what is right for a whole industry, but base it on a beginners observation.
    tsb, Warren J. Dew, debmc and 8 others like this.
  16. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Stephen loved color. I was just cleaning out my closets and found suits in cream, hunter green, maroon, and blue. He was knocked pretty hard for wearing them, but he loved them.
  17. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    I actually think it's a bit of a shame that tails are out of style in the style. Since I'm moving to smooth in pro-am after Starz and am in no danger of being able to compete in open in am-am (and have a partner young enough I'm pretty much never going to be able to compete in senior I with her), I'm going to have to hang my tails up in just a few weeks. Sad Jude is sad. Or at least somewhat wistful. But not so much so that I'd try and play trend-setter. :)
  18. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    Awww. :hug:
  19. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    NP passes along his condolences, Larinda.

    And HE keeps threatening to bring in his old Smooth costumes on men aren't my thing, and I think it stays in his closet because he doesn't want his young teachers giving themselves a hernia laughing at it. I'll take a tailsuit any day. Yes, you probably have to have one cut to fit for Smooth rather than just an off-the-rack standard model, but frankly if Fred Astaire (who was doing things a lot closer to Smooth than Standard) can rock the tails in a position other than stick-up-the-rear, I think some people could. But again, like any other attempt to buck a trend, you better dance well.
  20. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Please return my thanks DOI :)

    Michael and Toni - Tails

    David Hamilton Pro-Am - Tails

    Attached Files:

    dlliba10, smidra86 and Mengu like this.

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