Amateur costume question

#1
I recently started dancing with an amateur partner for standard, and conversation has turned towards thoughts of competition. Naturally…. I was curious about what I could wear. J

I have a regular (Dore w/ Swarovski) dress for my pro/am competitions, but I know the rules for the USABDA amateur partners is much different than what is allowed with normal pro/am. I’ve heard several conflicting messages from different people on what is/isn’t allowed on the dresses, and have looked through the USABDA Amateur rulebook without really getting it cleared up.

My partner is 22 and I’m 27, which I believe puts us in the Adult category. As a girl, am I allowed to wear dresses with swarovskis and rhinestones on them (or anything sparkly)? What about jewelry?

I’m such a sucker for the glitter….. *grins*
 
#4
Sorry, no sparklies for bronze, silver, and gold. ;)

From the USA Dance rule book:
Materials Allowed for Syllabus Dresses/Costumes for Pre-Teen through Adult Age Categories:
If the dress/costume material is matte or low-sheen it is allowed. If the material of the dress/costume is high-sheen or reflective or material like twinkle organza it is not allowed.
• Examples of allowed material are: velvet, chiffon, crepe, satin, menswear fabrics, and stretch fabrics.
Materials Not Allowed for Syllabus Dresses/Costumes for Pre-Teen through Adult Age Categories:
• High sheen and/or reflective fabrics, including fabrics with metallic flecks or threads.

Foil, beads, sequins, rhinestones, glitter, metallic thread or anything that may give the appearance of glitter or sheen, or anything that may give the appearance of the above but is not mentioned here is not allowed on any syllabus dress/costume for Pre-Teen through Adult age categories.

Decoration with light effects are not allowed (Decoration without light effects are allowed)
Floats are not allowed
Basic materials with light effects are not allowed

Decoration jewelry with light effects are not allowed (Decoration jewelry without light effects are allowed)
Jewelry that looks like it is actually part of the dress/costume are not allowed (e.g. Bracelets or Necklaces made from the same or similar material as the dress/costume)
You'll have to wait until you reach Novice. Or if you don't mind waiting 13 years until you're both eligible for Senior I... :razz:
 

Standarddancer

Well-Known Member
#5
TC's research is so accurate and detailed!!! but you don't must wait until you place out of bronze to dance silver, you could dance multiple levels as well, or if you are already comfortable enough to dance open (from your experience dancing pro-am), you might just start with novice too so you can wear your stoned Dore dress and no need to worry purchasing new costume for syllabus. You could dance up, not down in am.
 

Mandicraft

Active Member
#7
Keep in mind that the costume rules that Terpsichorean listed above are for USA Dance sanctioned competitions. Here is for NDCA:
Ladies. Standard and Smooth Divisions: Cocktail dress without excessive adornment. No ball gowns.
Also, check each competitions rules out because some collegiate comps that you could compete at have a lot more relaxed guidelines and you would be able to wear your stoned gown.
 
#8
Wow, thanks Mandicraft!

Guess I'm now in the market for two dresses. I'm assuming "cocktail" dress refers to the length and shape (i.e. right at the knee, perhaps a little past or above), and not formality.
 

and123

Well-Known Member
#9
and check (and ask about!) the particular rules for each comp, regardless of whether it's collegiate/USABDA/NDCA. They don't all go by the rulebook. Stinks to find out you could have (or could NOT have) done something differently after it's too late.

I don't think I've ever seen anyone compete in a cocktail dress (for Standard/Smooth anyway)
 
#11
Decoration jewelry with light effects are not allowed (Decoration jewelry without light effects are allowed)
What does decoration jewelry mean? Do they refer to regular necklaces and bracelets or do they refer to something crazy like chains of rhinestone hanging from the dress? ie. I'm asking if regular rhinestone necklaces and bracelets are still allowed...
 

Standarddancer

Well-Known Member
#12
I don't think I've ever seen anyone compete in a cocktail dress (for Standard/Smooth anyway)
I've never seen either. I think no one is wearing that because cocktail dress is not stretchy, you need stretch type of fabric for dancing, also need a big skirt for swing dance, most cocktail dress doesn't have big enough skirt for standard and not sexy enough for latin:( plus there are a lot of nice practice dresses available online so the movement is much more freer in nice practice dress than stiff cocktail dress.
 

Daphna

Well-Known Member
#13
"What does decoration jewelry mean? Do they refer to regular necklaces and bracelets or do they refer to something crazy like chains of rhinestone hanging from the dress? ie. I'm asking if regular rhinestone necklaces and bracelets are still allowed..."

Decoration jewelry are those items that look like they could be part of the dress, so, if your dress is a red velvet material and your wrist bands and choker are also red velvet material with rhinestones then they would be considered decoration jewelry and not allowed. However, if the choker and wrists bands were just a plain choker necklace and bracelet without any red velvet material, they would then be considered jewelry and allowed. The short answer is, yes a regular rhinestone necklace and bracelet would be allowed.

Hope that helps
 
#14
A friend of mine converted a stretchy cocktail dress for her first rhythm competition. The dress was above knee length, so she added a lacy skirt for some movement. She used it for several pro-am comps and then she went to USA dance comp and did some rhythm with her husband there. I don't remember how she decorated it, but she is over 45, so she never did events where she could not wear a decorated dress.
 

middy

Well-Known Member
#17
Tangentially related question - I've noticed that a lot of ladies will wear unstoned gowns that were obviously made for dancing in syllabus when costumes aren't allowed (which is technically following the rules). But do you think wearing a store-bought dress (about ankle length, very bright color, but less full skirt) would put you at a disadvantage?

I think I might go for the nice practicewear...not sure. Thoughts?
 
#18
Check out your local dress alteration shop. They are sometimes not that expensive. Latin pants for my son would have cost 200.00 at the ballroom dance store. I had some made for him for only 60.00. It was a small local business.
 

Daphna

Well-Known Member
#19
Tangentially related question - I've noticed that a lot of ladies will wear unstoned gowns that were obviously made for dancing in syllabus when costumes aren't allowed (which is technically following the rules). But do you think wearing a store-bought dress (about ankle length, very bright color, but less full skirt) would put you at a disadvantage?

I think I might go for the nice practicewear...not sure. Thoughts?

Nope, don't think that it will put you at a disadvantage, as long as it moves nicely and you dance well (always the ultimate catch :)) you should do just fine.
 
#20
Most department store evening dresses have decorations such as tubular beads that can't be seen from a distance and used to be allowed when it was no rhinestones, but run afoul of the new tighter rules... demonstrating how the changes have the exact opposite of the intended effect and push people towards undecorated but purpose made costumes.
 

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