Ballroom costumes can be one of the best parts about ballroom dancing. Some might even say they make the sport. Without a flashy costume that matches and accentuates your dance, your moves could fall flat on a large stage. Ballroom costumes add a ton of flair, personality, and movement to ballroom dance routines.
History of ballroom costumes
Fashion is a vital element to social dancing, so it is not too surprising that ballroom costumes and gowns have been around since the beginning of ballroom dance. Elaborate ballroom gowns were a part of social dancing since as early as the 1700s, a time when a woman’s ballroom fashion was indicative of her standing in society. These gowns were confining and cumbersome, with ornate designs and multiple layers in addition to hoop skirts. High-class hairstyles completed the look, often bejeweled and sporting many ribbons.
As the 18th century began to end, so did the hoop skirt days for ballroom costumes. Luckily for these ladies, who were highly confined in their gowns, could wear fashionable dresses that weren’t so large or difficult to wear.
Ballroom Costumes for Competition
Dress historians claim that evening dress become a competition category in the mid-1820s. This time period also coincides with the artful influence of the Romantic Movement in arts and literature. Thus, America and Europe were producing more fabrics, the textile industry was booming, and ready-to-wear items were more accessible. It was the perfect time for ballroom fashion to flourish.
Our favorite ballroom costumes
If you have a ballroom dance competition coming up, or perhaps you’re just curious about ballroom costumes, below we’ve pulled some of our favorite ballroom costumes on the market today. This dazzling dresses will wow the judges and knock your competition out of the ballroom. From trendy to lively to classic, here are our favorite ballroom costumes you can buy today. (All photos courtesy Shall We Dance Designs).
Choosing a dance costume can be difficult, especially if you’re competing for the first time. That’s why it pays to be an Arthur Murray student—not only will we teach you how to dance, but we’ll help you prepare for your first competition, too! And competition prep means help picking out your dazzling dance costume.
Follow your dreams and finally learn to boogie. Sign up for a free first dance lesson—you’ll be shopping for ballroom costumes in no time!