Can A Ballroom Dance Costume Make a Difference In How You Dance?


Can a ballroom dance costume make a difference in how you dance? Absolutely! There are 2 big ways that a costume can help or hurt your dancing. Through emotion and through science.

It is absolutely fascinating to watch dancers as they come out of a change room with different costumes on. You can generally see by their body language whether they feel good in what they are wearing or not.

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Your emotion toward the costume is critical.


You will likely see one of three different emotions when someone tries on a new costume:

1. “The Ex-Girl/Boyfriend” – It might have looked good to you at one point, especially from a distance, but it clearly has to go back on the rack.

  • This is where your inner chemistry is physically rejecting this costume. It just is not compatible with you.
  • Put this one back no matter how great it might look on the hanger or even on you. Just do not get too upset if it is great for your friend, remember it did not work for you.

2. “The Unforgettable Blind Date”– You were not so sure about it at first. Someone else picked it for you or made you try it on, but it feels amazing, and you are not even sure why!

  • The costume has taken you a bit outside of your comfort zone, but there is something about it that makes you feel adventurous and fabulous.
  • This is a great costume to give you a spark on the floor with a fresh inspiration.
  • You absolutely need one of these every once in a while, especially when moving to a new level or taking on a new challenge.

3. “The Damn Right!”  – All you can think is, WHERE IS THE CAMERA?

  • You feel amazing, confident and beyond gorgeous! Actually, you are really thinking you need an HD camera, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and CNN to show the world how you look.
  • This is a great costume to make a statement about who you are on the floor. It is strong, elegant, edgy or dynamic. Whoever you are, it is you!

Now, how do you figure out which costume gives you which emotion? It may not be as easy as you think.


TIP 1:  Pay attention to how the costume makes you feel. Really pay attention.

  • It is often not immediately clear which of the 3 emotions you have because you might be thinking too much. — It is a great costume; Something like that would look great on floor; Is it not the right color for me; My coach/partner/friend/whoever says I should find something different… — Forget all of that for now!
  • If it doesn’t feel great to you on a very personal level, it will not give you that confident look of a champion on the floor.

TIP 2: Bring a friend or go to a designer who will pay attention to which of the 3 emotions you have, when you come out of the change room, not just whether the costume is nice.

  • It is more important that the costume makes you feel great, than whether it has more rhinestones on it than on another costume.

TIP 3: If  you don’t believe what you get from TIP 1 or 2 , have someone videotape you in each costume that you try, as you come out of the change room.

  • Look at your face and body language closely. You will see for yourself whether this costume feels right for you.

The science behind the construction of costume should support you in every possible way.


  • Ballroom costumes are designed with both structural precision and physics in mind. Or, they should be!
  • The fact that the costume must never restrict a movement is just the start. It should enhance each movement and how each movement looks on you.
  • To understand the importance of these points to your dancing, think about what could happen when structural precision is missing. “Wedgies” or “Double DD explosions” will most certainly create enough distraction in your mind to potentially put you back at least one placement, if not more.
  • Now, think of what happens when the physics of a costume really works. The costume amplifies your movements and makes you look powerful and feel in control. It is like having the most technically awesome partner, who never argues with you.

This emotional test is essential for setting the right direction for a custom made costume, or any kind of costume decision that you make.  Of course there are many other points to consider, such as price, quality and other factors, which cannot be overlooked. See 5 Tips On Choosing Your Ballroom Dance Costume for reference.

Author: Miss P
Exclusively for Dance Comp Review