Today I was reading the Amatuar dance publication I receive every month.
There was an article from a judge who had judged the USABDA regional in Seattle.(sp)
She had a write up on many of the couples that she judged. She spent a great deal of time talking about the ladies costumes...to pale for the floor, mens costumes... collar was to high and had an effect on the frame.
I thought about this quite a bit today. We all spend so much time developing our top lines, swing and sway, and months or hard work to get ready for a regional. We will compete in Atlanta in October for the 2005 national qualifier, and I began to wonder.... Please do not tell me after all this hard(and much enjoyed ) work, will it all come down to grooming???
Hey, if thats all it takes, buy a new gown, make a hair appointment and I am all set...This article kind of put me back. Yup, not exactlly a size two, and now I really wonder....
The higher up in the levels you go, the more important grooming seems to be. What I mean is, if you're new and are dancing at a lower level, then the judges cut you a lot more slack than if you are dancing at a higher level.
I have a tape where about a dozen judges talk about what they look for when they judge. And every single one of them brought up "grooming."
The most important thing is to make the most of who you are and what you have. Don't be down on yourself for not being a size two, but rather make sure that you gown fits properly and is flattering to your age, shape, coloring, and the way you dance. Make sure you wear the right kind of shoes (satin, dyed to match your leg color, and clean), have your hair done with no flappy bits, and wear sufficiently applied makeup (most newcomers wear far too little).
Laura is absolutely right. the judges look at the "whole package". Dancing is an artistic endeavour and how good a couple is depends on so many factors - movement, musical interpretation, passion... - many things, and of course looks and clothing are a factor. Judges are human - they all have their own views and likes and dislikes.
It doesn`t stop with how you look on the floor. Even as you walk through the front door is just as important. I once saw Marcus and Karen arriving for a competition as competitors. The immaculate way they were dressed imediately caught the eye. Which brings me to. Did anybody see the suit pop star Cliff Richard was wearing at Wimbldon. Arrive dressed that way and you would be noticed. Even the tie and the Carnation were a perfect match. I`ll put my foot in it now. Maybe i have been looking at the wrong clips. But i have seen when there are shots taken within a class that the dress is pretty awfull. Some look as if they are dressed more for a run around the park than a dance class..
I think people are showing a general disregard for their appearance...period.
I have to say that I agree about the way people come to class. I think its reflected in the way they dance. Sloppy dress, sloppy dance. My pro thinks so as well. All of his advanced students have a dress code. It is 'suggested' but he really means it and enforces the dress standard in a nice way but we all know what is expected and we all perform.
I think its smart...it sets the mood for your body. It also protects me and gives him the ability to work with my legs and core and hips and arms without clothes getting in the way. So for him, depending on whether your latin or standard, you wear the appropriate length skirt, black of course, a tight shirt, again black of course. We must also wear dance panties so we don't get distracted and nervous about any movement showing too much and leg warmers to keep us from cramping as he runs us through the paces.
I appreciate that he holds us to a standard. I think more teachers should! If they don't people ought to have enough sense to do it for themselves. Besides who wants to get their good clothes all stinky and sweaty? You shouldn't want to wear street clothes.
I was trained in the UK, when coat and tie were mandatory for class and teaching,, but,, times have changed,and the more casual approach ( in states like Fla for e,g, ) has taken away the image, that all studios are comp. oriented .
The many chain studios I have worked in, as teacher and coach , also relaxed their approach to dress code ( not T shirts etc ) and one can see how much this is reflected, in a much younger clientele.
Now that may be co incidence but it has taken away the intimidation factor for the newer student .
It seems to help if you start experimenting with your hair and makeup early in your newcomer days. It's not such a big deal if you're a newcomer and your makeup looks a bit off, and your fake hair bun falls off and lays on the dance floor like a small dead rodent. You will know to use stronger pins and hair spray next time. It all looks like cute "Oops" in newcomer. It doesn't ruin the picture as much. If you happened to not compete in your early dancing days and you are emerging into Novice or higher level right away, I suggest you try out your hair and makeup in practice session. Ask your coach's opinion. Videotape yourself.
As for Amateur Dancers Magazine (which you will be receiving for free if you register with USABDA as an Amateur Competitor) I found it a liiile "pointed" in some places. Don't get discouraged. For example, I was reading an article in the same mag by a woman describing her experience in first two competitions. She says that the first comp she didn't know what to wear, and she wore a department-store dress. So she went to vendors at the same competition (!) and purchased a ballgown. It initiated all sorts of thoughts for me: "Are they saying that she is an example to follow? I can't do it because I'm a college student and can't afford a brand-new ballgown from a vendor. She may be a good example but I simply can't do it! Are they discouraging me from dancing?" "There is nothing wrong with a department store dress for a newcomer level. I've seen enough competitions to know that." " I would never buy my first ballgown without consulting a bunch of people" But then I realized, it's just one person's view. Different people have different opinions. And different budgets.
No, this is not all it takes "buy a new ballgown, get a hair appointment" Actually, you DON'T want your ballgown to look better than your dancing. If you're dancing Novice, you don't want a championship dress on you. There is a reason why costumes are not allowed in syllabus levels. You are setting yourself up for expectations by your costume. If you come out on the floor in astonishing, fabulous, heavenly dress from the best dress designer on Earth and can't show the quality of dancing that matches your dress people will be disapointed. Hair is different though - make it as good as possible.
I would say yes unless you can glue them to your face. You would be shocked at what comes off when you are competing. You dance harder, your movements end up being more crisp and sharp.
You just aren't going to look good chasing them across the floor or cringing as someone steps on them.
So for example you glue your earrings to your ears, your hair should feel like shellac...and I wouldn't even suggest contacts. I've known people who lost those. Practice dance without your eyes. You'll find that they aren't necessary. For example in Argentine Tango...the woman doesn't even dance with her eyes open :~} That is not a suggestion for ballroom. You aren't as balanced without being able to see.