What Not to Wear

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Costumes seem to be a bit part of ballroom dancing events. I know we don’t call them costumes but one definition is “an outfit worn to create the appearance characteristic of a particular period, person, place or thing.” Somewhat broad and vague but the goal is to create a certain look. Call it attire if you’d rather but a lot of those clothes are only worn on dance floors.

Aside from dance wear, I’ve worn a lot of strange things at Showcases. I find it more fun when you can wear something that helps tell a story or fits the music. I mean I’ve still got a Mad Hatter costume that I wore to do a Peabody many years ago. (My dance instructor was Alice and the song was related). Those are the fun ones. It does mean I’ve got quite a collection of costume pieces that aren’t going to see the light of day ever again.

We have two routines for the upcoming Showcase. One will be easy and I’ve already got some things that will work. The other is going to be more of a challenge but since we haven’t really started on that one, we haven’t started talking about costume ideas.

There is now always a theme to the Showcases. It gives you an opportunity to wear something besides boring business wear to the evening portion. Sometimes, it is easy to fit the theme. We had a recent one that was “all that glitters” so I found a cheap Gold shiny jacket to wear. No problem.

The one in May is “under the big top” and presents challenges. Have done some looking for circus themed things and it all seems to come down to (a) ringmaster, (b) clown, or (c) strong man. Well clowns are right out. I’ve never liked clowns. I never thought they were funny. I suppose you could just strap on a red nose and call it a day but it would still be a clown.

Same with the strongman because to really sell it you likely need some kind of fake barbell to carry around. Which just means you’ll have a thing that has to be dealt with during dinner. It isn’t going to fit on the table and there isn’t much room under your chair so it will just get in the way. Besides, once you put it down (to dance for example), then a part of the character is removed.

Ringmaster is a possibility although I kind of feel that like is where everyone is going to go. Well except I don’t think they’ll be wearing the types of costumes I found from doing a simple search. The Halloween costumes of today are not the ones I grew up with. OK, I know these are for adults (women in particular). Then again, some of those costumes are actually tame compared with the Latin dresses you see.

Lion tamer is another possibility except I think it also requires a prop (whip) to really sell it. Then you’ve got the same set of issues.

See the tough things you have to deal with as a ballroom dancer.

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