One of the biggest attractions of ballroom dancing has to be (as well as learning to master those steps and float or spin across the dance floor) the utter glamour of it all.
It’s an opportunity to dress up and put on the best makeup and add as much sparkle as you can possibly find. Did I mention fake tan? Don’t forget the tan! So from shoes to costume, makeup and themes here is your guide to getting show ready.
What shoes should I wear to ballroom dance?
It’s a good question and obviously, there is a huge difference between rehearsal and showtime. What we would always advise is that you practice in the shoes that you will be wearing when you perform. You may wonder why this is so important. When you are dancing, your posture and movement are dictated by how you travel and that is directly linked to your footwear. Heels will tilt your body forward and so you have to adjust your weight to accommodate that. Footwear will also be dependent on the dance you are learning and the costume you have chosen.
If you are performing a traditional ballroom dance like the waltz and there is no theme as such then ballroom heels are a must. The open-toe sandal style is usually classed as Latin shoes whereas the covered toe ones are the traditional ballroom but choose a style that suits your feet and you are comfortable in, you want to be the best you can be. For the quicker styles like the jive or the Charleston, you might want to go for a soft jazz shoe or trainer style footwear. These will give you the confidence to move quickly and be more athletic for lifts or jumps. So, choose your dance, theme and footwear early on for the best possible benefits for your fantastic evening and practice in them as much as you can.
What shall I wear?
The costumes and outfits can be as out there as you want or simple and subtle. What you wear should be the right style for the dance and the music but above everything else, it should be something you are happy with and comfortable in. How you feel and look will build your confidence.
People who have taken part in our events have used several resources. Here are a few of them:
- Bought from Cancer Research UK charity shops.
- Purchased from specialist shops.
- Made their own costumes.
- Hired them out.
- Simply worn something they already had
The options are endless.
People love a theme and often that comes directly from their music choices. Over the years we have been wowed by the incredible lengths people have gone to so their music dance and costume can all show their individuality and style. We have had Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book and Shrek has also made an appearance! The Jive and Charleston dances which some cities have danced give endless opportunities to dress up and really go for it.
Makeup and hair
In professional Ballroom competitions, the fake tan can never be too much! The requirement is to get noticed as there are often upwards of 10 couples on the dance floor at any one time. In our events, you have the chance to shine on your own (with your partner of course) but even then the tan and makeup should not be underdone. Eye makeup must be bold and daring so the judges can see your expression and the hair should be immaculate and in keeping with the style and theme of your dance.
Hair accessories including hats should be very well secured so they stay in place throughout your dance and are not a distraction but add to your dance. Sometimes the hats will be fixed in place but also they are used as part of the dance – prop work adds another element to your dance and another skill learnt.
We are constantly delighted with the ideas and imagination that everyone who takes part in the Ultra Ballroom events have, for them it’s a sense of pride in what they have achieved and the desire to make an entertaining evening for all their friends and families who come along to cheer them on. There is nothing like the buzz they get from having achieved a lifelong dream, learnt a new skill and raised money for CRUK. The sky is the limit on how you dress for your dance, it can be subtle or outrageous but the one thing we can assure you of is that you will be a star on the night!