How Has Competitive Ballroom Dance costume evolved Throughout the History of DanceSport?
(2017) How Has Competitive Ballroom Dance costume evolved Throughout the History of DanceSport?, no. 45.
This project investigates the development of costumes worn by ballroom dancers; tracing the evolution of modern ballroom dance from a social activity to competitive sport and the effects this had on ball gowns. Research is presented on the history of ballroom dancing and the styles of dress worn; from corsets and crinolines to the influence of celebrities such as Irene Castle and Ginger Rogers to Christian Dior's 'New Look' silhouette and finally to todays form fitting performance wears. This study highlights the effect of dance on fashion and fashions effect on dancewear the results of which have produced stylish yet practical costumes enhancing the look and performance of a dancer. The study focuses primarily on dresses worn for the Standard category of DanceSport. The practical element demonstrates the development in fabrics and production techniques through the creation of two ball gowns - a 1950s recreation made from woven non-stretch fabrics and a modern gown produced using four-way stretch fabrics. The contrasting styles demonstrate the impact of developments in dancewear fabrics and construction techniques specifically the use of stretch fabric and elastic to create performance wear costumes that provide the athlete with a greater range of flexible and athletic movement.