Ballroom Dance > Tails or "Dokman's"

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by DanceMentor, Oct 13, 2007.

  1. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Well lets see, in the past few months alone I have been to Constitution, Cleveland, Capital, USDC, Nevada Star, Volunteer...
    I'd hardly say these are not REAL competitions... and I am not blind.
  2. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Speaking of Dockman, he is not exactly a US dancer... and since the OP is American and asked about the USABDA competitions in the US, then I assume the style trends last week at the International are not in question.
  3. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    If the guys aren't wearing their suits, it says that they don't believe those to be real competition where they need to be at their absolute best, instead it says they are just another day at the office so to speak. But that is their opinion not mine - you wouldn't see me there in anything else.
  4. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    No this is obviously your opinion since they have not said it out loud, you have. I am happy that you would only wear tails. It obviously speaks volumes about your dedication to your competitions. And when you step on the pro floor I will take your opinion as "what the pros do and think."

    Yet You can hardly speak for ALL, or any, of the Professional dancers in the US.
  5. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    If they feel they do not have to be at their best for an event, that speaks volumes about how they feel about it...

    If they felt that something other than tails represented their best, then they'd wear the something else at major events too.
  6. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    So if I buck the trend and wear standard court shoes instead of my smooth shoes I am not taking the competition or myself seriously? If I decided to not tan. Yet at the height of my professional career I went for 6 months without tanning. I went back to it because I did not like the look of it, not because I thought it made me less serious. I bucked every judge and coach that chastised me for it, and I still won, with pride.

    Come on looks and styles are changing. And tailsuits represent the tradition. Yet, thank goodness people are willing to experiment change and find themselves instead of looking like cookie cutter christmas tree onrnaments. And they are still pros and they can still win. And I doubt anyone walks on the floor as if they just rolled out of bed and onto the practice floor, just because they chose this jacket vs that one.
  7. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    No, you are announcing that you are more interested in creating outstanding quality of movement than in pointing your feet during lines...

    that the dyeing oneself brown fad is getting a little silly

    Tradition of generations, not just a decade or two. But more than that, they are by far the most practical thing yet invented for standard dancing.

    But not when it really counts... even Dockman replaced his business suit with tails for the evening rounds. (Arguably, he was the one being proper... we have to imagine it's evening when we wear our tails for a daytime event, though that imagination seems built in to the whole idea of ballroom)
  8. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Now returning for a minute to the actual topic of the thread... there was a choice to be made between a dance tuxedo and something else, for an event of a level where either would be considered proper.

    The tuxedo is more formal. It has the weight of tradition and social elegance, and even though its requirement for syllabus events is now but a memory, remains a popular choice amongst the more seasoned amateur gentlemen.

    On the other hand, sweaters and well tailored vests share the tailtsuits ability to fit a body in more dynamic dance action. For both reasons of economy as well as athleticism, these are popular choices with younger amateur gentlemen, who when ready to invest will then proceed directly to a tailsuit.
  9. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    or perhaps with a smooth shoe I have enough quality and strength in my ankle not to have to rely on a cement shoe to show me how to roll properly through my foot. And I think that the standard shoe actually is cleaner looking than the strappy smooth shoes that break the line.

    I agree.

    Yes and even my Dad says, "thank god each generation is smarter than the last, or you'd be pumping your water by hand from the well out back"

    Practical... I don't know, wearing a huge wet smelly wool suit is far from practical.

    And if you really need tails to disguise bad leg lines and a butt that breaks and sticks out, knock yourself out.

    Court shoes and mens standard shoes with no flex are designed to MAKE someones foot roll properly. Tails are padded and hung just so to hide flaws in the back and arms. Even floats on the women are there to disguise bad arm lines. Long swishy dress that touch the floor hide the girls feet very well.

    The freedom of a vest or jacket or even smooth shoes makes one accountable for their lines and actions. And perhaps that is why Smooth dancers are criticized for being less technical, because we are not hiding behind our costumes. We are there with it all hanging out for everyone to see and critique.
  10. Angelo

    Angelo Member

  11. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Except that a tailsuit is by far the smallest of any of the jackets commonly worn.

    Don't let the tails fool you... it's really quite short.

    Frock coats are obviously a lot more coverage, and while commonly believed to be otherwise, when you really look at it, tuxedo jackets cover and constrain more as well.

    Their true purpose is to show movement. The auxiliary purpose is to let the body of the suit be extremely short (originally for riding a horse, now for moving) without being what a previous generation would have considered indecent.

    The necessary stiffness is that which is required to stabilize the heel height. For men's standard shoes, that's low enough that the requirement is practically nill, and reflects a lot of the shoes now on the market. For women's, it's a different story. Both genders have been rather unispiring of late in terms of widespread disinterest in achieving and benefiting from full foot action, but it shows more on the ladies, because proportions and postures being what they are, it interferes more with the flow of a forward feather than a backwards one.

    They may be, but they do not have to be.

    Or accentuate good ones.

    I don't believe there are any serious standard dancers who have not been seen doing shows in alternate costumes. Most have recorded teaching presentations in what are essentially practical street clothes. We've seen, and we know.
  12. Angelo

    Angelo Member

    I have a hard time beleiving this is the true underlying purpose. I can however understand it being a secondary purpose that is constrained by the primary purpose which is more aesthetic tradition than anything else.
  13. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I know its nice, but stop fighting over my tail. :)
  14. White Chacha

    White Chacha Active Member

    Ah, comic relief at last :)
  15. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    Good design endures.
    One might consider the tailsuit to be symbolic of a bygone era, but I wouldn't discard it as an anachronism just yet.
    After all, it has survived this far.

    National costumes aside, there are very very very few things that make a gentleman look as elegant as a tailsuit.

    True, a well-made tailsuit can work as effective camoflage, it is also unforgiving of bad posture.
    But done right, it presents the gentleman in the most flattering proportions, and makes him look lean and symmetric (a highly desirable trait in the animal kingdom).

    Of course, there can be a downside too: an international adjudicator I know looks at the tail during a hover corte, when it should drape strait; because if crossed or spread it indicates forward or backward lean--bad.

    There are other advantages of course.
    There is the (secondary) reason the tail tips are loaded with lead.
    No sensible couple will come near you when you're doing standing spins--too painful.

    I've danced in a nehru-style coat, and for me, it was a bad caliente experience.
    IMO it looks 60's and ridiculously dated.

    Waistlines rise and fall, lapels go wide and thin.
    But good STYLE endures.
    Give me a well-tailored tailsuit any day.

  16. Laura

    Laura New Member

    In a away, one could think of the tailsuit as being the national costume of the English. Like, The Scottish have their kilts, and the English have their tailsuits.
  17. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Chris is right--the tailsuit probably has the same amount of fabric as a tuxedo jacket, and less than a frock coat. The front is much shorter than any other type of jacket, which is one reason that the other jackets cause the crease/bunching in the back when the body is flexed. Well-made tails also actually have very little padding. There's some interfacing in the front, and a little in the shoulders, just to keep them from wrinkling.
  18. JoepiE

    JoepiE New Member

    Hi ballroom gents,

    I you could buy a brand new suit right now, would you choose the good-old tailsuit or the new jacket suit (or Dokman's)

    I myself have a jacket suit for some time now and will never go back to the IMO old fashioned tailsuit, but love to here your opinions and thought through reasons to stick with the tails.
  19. NonieS

    NonieS Well-Known Member

  20. NonieS

    NonieS Well-Known Member

    but on a more serious note, I prefer tails bc the tails fly around like the lady's skirt and floats when the couple spins and turns so it's a very matched look...

    but I am not a ballroom gent.... i am a ballroom lady so i guess you were not technically asking my opinion lol

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