Long necklaces can be hazardous particularly if you’re a fast spinner. The same goes for long hair, particularly ponytails.
When we dance it’s not only about the swift moves that we make — it’s also a lot to do with what we wear and how that helps us dance better and even makes the dance appear better. Wearing the right attire for a dance class, gathering or show is extremely important.
When we go to the gym we wear appropriate clothes. When we go for a swim we buy great-looking swimwear. Similarly, it is important while going out dancing to select and wear the correct clothing.
Ladies and gentlemen have different dancewear requirements. For ladies, when selecting an upper-body garment for dancing, it is very important that it is cut high in the armpits and not have baggy or loose sleeves that can interfere with your partner getting a hand to your back. Aside from the inconvenience, such garments can also be dangerous as a leader might be looking for a way to get around your garment rather looking to avoid other dancers. The waist and bodice should also not have excessive fabric, though it is not necessary to wear skin-tight garments nor even tight-fitting ones.
Long skirts that fly out when you spin can often be an interference. This is particularly true when they’re cut so that they fly out from higher than mid-thigh. Although it’s better to see long skirts cut to fly out from just above the knee, many ladies prefer to dance with near-to-knee skirts cut to fly from mid-thigh or higher. The shorter the skirt, the higher the fly-point can be. Long skirts provide the lovely sight of flowing fabric; they should be cut so as not interfere with the dance. Excessive fabric can create problems, so try avoiding long flowing dresses — a short flared skirt or trousers are ideal.
You should also avoid lace, especially in the areas where the partner will hold and lead you from, even jewellery that will not cut flesh can sometimes catch on lace or other loose weaves.
Jewellery, of course, should be very carefully chosen. Be sure to check your ear rings, rings, bracelets and belts for sharp edges or even small points that can catch in your partner’s clothing or his accessories. Long necklaces can also be hazardous particularly if you’re a fast spinner. The same goes for long hair, particularly ponytails, so a neat bun is the best bet.
Costume mishaps happen not just on the ramp with models like Carol Gracias, Jessy Randhawa and Gauhur Khan, they even happen on the dance floor due to the vigorous energy and swirls. Supermodel Alesia Raut who is also a professional Latin and ballroom dancer, says: “Wear whatever you like in a dance class, but be aware that there are some clothes like knee-length skirts and sleeveless tops which are more comfortable to dance in with your partner and if you are shy person then trousers are the best, but no sarees or salwar kameez please on the dance floor. And remember to always keep safety pins and clips handy; you never know when you might need them.”
For men, a simple pair of stretch trousers and a well-fitted shirt or a T-shirt is best — remember clothes like trackpants and jeans make one feel very casual about dancing. Many men have the habit of carrying many small items like pens, wallets and mobiles in their pockets and their movement, too, can interfere while dancing. Please note never to take loose change, pencils, or even pocketknives onto the dance floor.
Regardless of gender, undergarments play a very important role in dancewear; so remember to wear cotton undergarments as you will sweat profusely, especially during summers. The fit is also equally important so that it can hold the required area correctly.
Remember dance is not just fun — it is serious fun. It’s not the just the attitude that’s important in a dance class, it is the entire appearance and approach to the dance that is important. So only when you take dance seriously is when you can have all the fun with it that is to be had.
Sandip Soparrkar is a well-known ballroom dancer, a World Book of Records record holder and a Bollywood choreographer who has been honoured with the National Achievement Award and the National Excellence Award by the Government of India. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.