Dance is an art as old as any form of human expression. The body moves through time and space with or without music. It has traditionally been linked with grace and elegance or fun and frolic.
Dance might tell a story in a ballet. It might pay tribute to a culture of origin. It might be the center of a ritual or ceremony or even make a political statement. Or, it might convey emotions.
But, dancing can also be competitive, highly competitive at that.
What does it take?
Competitive dancing takes dedication to irregular hours, constant travel, and a great deal of commitment. You may work seven days a week on choreography, rehearsals, and performance.
You will workout to maintain health and flexibility because every performance puts you at risk for damage to muscles, joints, and bones.
Dedication starts early. Although most childhood dancers drop out before they reach middle school, they do develop poise, balance, and self-confidence. But, if they get the bug for competitive dancing, they have a challenging road ahead.
They will start early and continue steadily. It’s surely possible, but very few dancers start later in their lives. They must develop the fluidity and coordination and, then, hone those skills with repetition and instruction from dedicated coaches.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Indeed.com, and other resources consider competitive dance as a career. And, there is some movement to make it an Olympic sport.
The World Dancesport Federation “has set its aims high and campaigns persistently to bring DanceSport to the future Games of the Olympiad.”
You may not get a shot at TV’s Dancing with the Stars, but you can make a living dancing. Because age catches up with dancers, most dance team members have regular jobs to support them now and in the future when they hang up their dancing shoes.
According to ThoughtCo.com, “In a DanceSport competition, couples dance together on the same floor while being judged on their speed, elegance, body action, and dramatic movements.”
Couples compete in a series of dance styles that may include waltz, tango, foxtrot, quickstep, and more. Judges, former professional dancers themselves, vote on their appearance and performance.
Whether pursuing a career in dancesport, in entertainment, or in teaching dance, participants have a list of needs in terms of clothing, costumes, and more. Starting from the bottom up, you need shoes.
There are ballet slippers, hip-hop sneakers, tap shoes, and character shoes. Character shoes are built for dancing on wood floors. Used in dance routines and auditions, they are indispensable and stylish.
Dance pants come in harem, hip-hop, capri, and classic styles like the Alexandra collection Tricot leggings – a high waistband atop the fitted and tapered silhouette.
A selection of bras prepares dancers for all occasions. The Body Wrappers have adjustable and detachable straps to wear under tank tops, halters, or cross-back tops. Matte nylon and Lycra, it has a clear and removable back band.
The Under Armour Dance Twisted Dance Twisted Tech Zip is a soft top with a ¼ zipper in the front. It comes in other colors, and is perfect for workouts and rehearsals.
Any career or competition in dance requires scores of accessories. You’ll need bags for clothes, shoes, and equipment. There are leg warmers, socks, belts, hats, and cosmetics.
If the dancer in your life is a little girl, a high school teen, a member of the college dance team, or a competitive ballroom dancer you’ll want them prepared, in style, and ready to go.