How flexible are the rules for costumes for leaders/followers in college ballroom dance?

So this might not be relevant too soon given the pandemic but I’ve been wondering. I joined the school ballroom team in January and they made it clear at the beginning that even though traditionally men are leaders and women are followers, we absolutely don’t have to stick to those. So before covid I went to 2 competitions, one as a leader and one as a follower, and someone had said as far as costumes go that we should make it clear who is the leader and who is the follower. So when I was the leader I wore black shirt/pants. So I was wondering if that is super important or if it can be flexible? Because I like leading but I also like wearing the flouncy dresses and IDK if wearing a black dress would make it clear enough that I’m a leader if my partner is in bright colors? And I’ve seen dances where two men dance together in identical outfits so then it’s not clear at all who’s leading.

  Topic Dance Subtopic
5 Months 1 Answer 485 views
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Emily Pollock

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Answers ( 1 )

  1. Short answer: wear whatever makes you feel good!
    I judged and coached college competitors for years, and I never had any trouble telling who was leading or following. 🙂 There are a lot of old stereotypes that hang around in ballroom dancing, and costuming is absolutely one of them.  As long as the judges can read your number, so they can mark you correctly, you will be fine!  The color of the costume shouldn't matter.

    The only thing I will say beyond that is that you should try to look your best for the competition - everything clean and neat and tidy.  Some people think that it doesn't matter, that only the dancing matters, and they aren't entirely wrong.  But a lot of judges believe that its disrespectful to the event if you are sloppy in costuming.  You don't have to be wearing a costume, just be neat!   Judges (especially for collegiate competitions) have to make a lot of decisions VERY fast, and if you are dancing confidently and look good you'll have the best chance of making a good first impression!  Good luck!

    Accepted UTC 2020-08-05 02:31 AM 0 Comments

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