Countdown to The Royal Ball: 2 Weeks – Dressing for the Occasion

Does anyone know where February went? I saw it coming, but then it seems to have come and gone while I was in the other room or something. Or more likely while I was busy learning a new style of dance, and writing and managing my beta release of the Solo Practice Guide. It seems a little rude to not say hi to me, but whatever, hello to March!

The start of March also marks the start of my 2018 competition season. First up is the Royal Ball. It’s a new one-day event, and Teacher and I decided to just dance Smooth. Between learning Standard and trying to figure out what I would wear (Standard has a different dress style than Smooth), the stress level was steadily climbing. Teacher is awesome about doing whatever he can to reduce my stress, so he said let’s just do Smooth and you can just wear the pink dress you already have (this year, we were aiming to get a new dress for Smooth too). *sigh of relief* Ok, that works.

I did something else I’ve never done before. I registered for two competitions instead of just whatever was coming up next. The Royal Ball’s entry deadline was just a few days apart from Ballroom Beach Bash’s early bird deadline (which comes with a discount!). I plan on doing Beach Bash next, so I submitted my entries for both competitions. It feels a little strange to be planning ahead like this, which is funny because I’m a big planner. Finances are always so up in the air that I don’t know if I can enter a competition until I know if I can afford it. At this point though, I have a good-sized tax refund sitting in my bank account, so I’m able to plan and commit further ahead. It’s nice and a little scary! I think I liked having just one competition at a time to worry about. Having the logistics of two on my brain is a different feeling.

These two comps are less than a month apart though, so no time to waste! That’s another weird feeling – signing up for two competitions that are so close together. It’s like I entered a new world in 2018! I also committed myself to both Smooth and Standard at Beach Bash, so I have about a month to figure out what I’m going to wear. I already have some possibilities! Social media can be a beautiful thing. Just today I posted a request for recommendations for finding a dress suitable for Standard. Thanks to all the wonderful people who replied, I’ve already put in orders to try on a few rental dresses and contacted an individual looking to sell or rent. I feel better already.

I’m not the kind of girl who likes shopping, so hunting for a dress is not a fun, relaxing time for me. It’s a necessary task. Once I do find the “right” dress, I feel excited and happy, but I dread the search leading to that moment. I go through the same thing when I need to buy dress pants. Fashion designers do not make clothes for small-waisted-but-still-curvy women. I know I’m not the only one with this problem. Shout-out to my hour-glass and pear-shaped ladies!

If I continue to compete in Standard, it will be more cost-efficient in the long run to buy a Standard dress (at a reasonable price), instead of rent. It will also be less stressful because it’s one less thing to worry about. Renting is a good way to try some different options though, and I won’t need to fork over a hefty sum of money right off the bat. So unless I try on a dress and get that “this is the one!” feeling, I’ll probably rent for a couple comps. Thankfully, all I have to do is ask and my ballroom peeps jump up to help me. You’re all awesome!

March is going to be an interesting month, that’s for sure. Royal Ball will be a fun way to get back into competing, but then studying two styles to prepare for Beach Bash will require new focus and organization of my solo practice. The sooner I answer the pesky question, “what am I going to wear?”, the better!

What about you?  Do you enjoy picking out your costume for competition or would you rather be put through hours of tedious technique drills than go shopping? Let me know in the comments!

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5 thoughts on “Countdown to The Royal Ball: 2 Weeks – Dressing for the Occasion

  1. BCBallroomdancer says:

    I hate shopping, so I am with you on that!!

    Because of my size, custom-made is pretty much the only option for me when it comes to dresses. I am not too artistically creative, but for some reason I have a knack for dress ideas–at least when it comes to one for me! I really like the process of designing a dress and then seeing it come to life.

    If I didn’t have my dresses designed, I would be extremely stressed out trying to shop for one, and it is not something I would consider fun at all!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bosch says:

    I feel your pain! In fact, I don’t know of many dancers who don’t have similar experiences; even the ones who “appear” to have the “perfect” dancer bodies have areas they aren’t comfortable with, or that they feel aren’t proportional.

    I’m a pretty solid mid-range size, but I’m short (5’2″) so smooth/standard gowns are almost always too long or not proportioned correctly for my short legs and long torso. I was lucky enough to have a studio owner who is also an incredible magician with fabric and crystals, and he custom designed a dress for my first comp and I’ve been wearing it ever since. It’s time for a new one, and we’ve been struggling to compromise on a concept. I’ve got five months before my next comp, so at least there’s time.

    And truly, if you think it’s hard for us adults, my poor preteen dancer has it bad. She is finally old enough to dance in the Junior I category, but try finding a Latin costume that fits a twelve year old who wears a ladies’ size medium AND is also age-appropriate. So it’s another custom design there, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amber says:

    I have completely relied on the style talents of my instructor’s pro partner when it comes to what I wear to competitions because thinking about my appearance sends my anxiety through the roof. I try things on that she suggests, I’ll say if I absolutely hate something but in the end basically just go with what she tells me looks good on me. Makes me feel so much less stressed about the whole process! Make up and hair gives me almost as much anxiety. Sigh – being a girl is hard sometimes huh?!

    Liked by 1 person

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