With competition season just around the corner, we’re working hard to train technique, rehearse choreography, cultivate connection, feel musicality and relax into personal expression. When these elements come together, it is magic – and champions emerge on the dance floor. But, there’s something more too. Champions also command a certain look – of confidence, ease and individuality. These qualities are immediately visible through perfect posture, impeccable grooming and, of course, a striking costume.
What do you wear for a dance competition? When dancers first walk onto the floor, judges’ attention and spectators’ eyes fix on the couples – even before a bar of music invites the starting step. First impressions really do count, so it’s important to look the part. By this, we mean it’s important to not just look like a dancer, but to look like a champion.
Hair should be fixed away from the face, sleek, smooth and unbelievably shiny. This involves using layer, after layer, after layer of professional hairspray. Makeup should be precise and defined, with an emphasis on the eyes and a skilled use of highlighter. False lashes are a must. Exposed skin on your arms, back and legs should glow with a golden tan. If you are not naturally dark, this may be achieved through professional fishnet stockings, self-tanning products and body shimmer. And, your competitive dress, of course, must be a knockout! Forget about looking like everyone else. This is not a time for uniform mentality. You want to shine. You want the attention. You want to be the best dressed on the floor.
A champion’s dress stands out from competitors because of its superb quality and richness. Champions’ dresses are like runway couture – individually designed, handmade and hand-stoned by professional designers in their ateliers. They are unique works of art and never mass-produced. A champion’s dress looks beautiful in a static position, but movement makes it explode with life. A champion’s dress becomes more interesting through her dance.
The dress and the dancer become symbiotic. The dress extends the dancer’s movements and allows her body to shape its positions. The dress communicates the color and light of the dancer’s body and works with her to breathe the music. Fabrics and special stitching are carefully chosen to offer maximum stretch, firm support, ease of movement and radiance under the light.
The devil is in the details, for sure. A champion’s dress has a hallmark of rich and abundant adornment – stonework, beaded drops, structured trims, silky feathers, dense fringe, diaphanous floats and stunning appliques – with each element lovingly applied to create striking visual texture and to enhance key areas of movement. Stonework is breathtakingly beautiful and special. Rather than just displaying a scatter of stones across the dress, a champion’s costume typically contains thousands of Swarovski crystals. These often include three different tonal variations of color, as well as size variations for maximum reflection and shine. Quality stonework not only twinkles white, its bright sparkles paint pictures with highlight and shade. Its light may be warm or cool,
Always be beautiful – inside and out.
— Written by Traci Dutton Ludwig