Clothes Make the …

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Showcase is on Sunday. I’ve avoided doing a lot of posts on that because I find that grinding through lessons doesn’t lend itself to interesting posts. I do have my last two lessons tonight which are really just for additional comfort. The reality is that you reach a point where you’ve really done all you can to prepare and all you can do now is let the day unfold as it is going to.

One thing I never really like about these events is when the dancing is over and the socializing begins. Well, it isn’t so much that I mind the socializing – I’ve got a couple of people I only see at Showcases and it is nice to catch up. It is just that the after event is a “dress nice” event and that part is always a problem. I’m not one of those who enjoys putting on the fancy duds and trying to look stylish.

Yes, some of that is required for the actual dancing. But when I’m dancing, I’m not really me. I mean I’m always me but it is a different me that is out there on the floor. Its like you turn off the day to day person and become a dancer for that time. The clothing is just the costume and to play the part, you need to dress the part.

But then you get to the after part and I’m back to being me. Except I’m in clothes I don’t normally wear and that I really don’t like to wear. It isn’t the right fit for me. I’m much more into comfort vs style. And, let’s be honest, you need a certain body type to really pull off looking good in certain clothing. That, I don’t have.

To be clear, I’m not walking into the studio in ratty jeans and a t-shirt. I do have my own definition of studio casual so I’m typically in khaki type pants and a shirt with buttons and a collar. But they aren’t stuffy dress shirts – I wear stuff with colors and with more comfortable fabrics. And stuff that fits a little looser than an average dress shirt typically would. Again, I’m not built for slim fit stuff. It is what it is.

It was like when OwnerGuy was describing the Big Dance Event and talking about how there is the semi-formal dinner on Saturday night after all the students are done dancing and before the pros go. He was talking like this was a bonus. To me, a lot of it is stuff I could pass on. Big banquet hall food often leaves a lot to be desired and I’m sitting in the uncomfortable clothing. If the conversation is good, then it can partially make up for it. But it is still something where I end up checking my watch hoping it is over soon.

Does it sound like I’m more nervous about the dinner than the actual Showcase dancing? That’s not really the case. I like the hit of nerves you get before you take the floor for the first time. Kind of makes you feel alive. I just know the fun meter takes a big hit when the dancing is over and all that is left is the social hour and dinner.

And, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more and more willing to define my own level of “dressing up”. The tie used to be mandatory (even though I hated it) but I’ve gone without for the last two events. Still end up wearing a boring dress shirt. The funny thing is that I feel self conscious no matter what I’m wearing at these things. Get dressed up and I feel uncomfortable and out of place. Without the tie, I can look around and see that I tend to stand out but, over time, I kind of stop caring. Comfort rules over conformity.

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