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Dress Codes by Idiots - Elizabeth Unexplained
Lots of data but no answers
Dress Codes by Idiots
Those of you who have reason to care (in other words, jcatelli) probably already know about the new USA Dancesport (formerly USABDA) rules, particularly the new costume rules. I won't link to them directly because the site is set up poorly and its a stupid pdf document. On the other hand, the Dance Forums thread covers all the folly in detail:

The cliff notes version they have made the costuming rules ridiculously restrictive for everyone, but especially for those not in open yet. Some of the existing restricions were fine, basically they levelled the playing field for those who couldn't afford all-out costumes right away. The new restrictions are beyond silly though. Adult women can't wear heels taller than 2 inches. Never mind that its hard to find heels that low (2.5 inches is the standard height sold by most major shoe makers), but arguably its more difficult to do proper latin in heels that low. The makeup restrictions are silly too: nothing beyond eyeliner and lipstick. Anyone who has seen me in comp makeup (or watched Strictly Ballroom) knows that that's not going to cut it. Even in open, which had typically been just short of 'anything goes', there are new restrictions that are at best ill-defined. Ballgowns that are low-cut are out, but what constitues low-cut isn't really defined. My current ballgown happens to show a hint of cleavage, is that too low-cut? Somehow I find it difficult to think that people will be shocked at anything my current gown reveals.

Happily, none of these rules really apply to me. I don't do USA Dancesport/USABDA competitions anymore. In fact, it was there previous bad policy decisions, not to mention the attitude of many officials, that drove me away. Most of the better competitions in the US are run by the professional body, the NDCA. I get the feeling that the new set of rules might lead some other dancers to abandon them as well. Price is still a factor. It used to be that USABDA competitions were much cheaper when it came to entry fees, etc. That's not strictly the case these days, as a number of these supposedly not-for-profit competitions have been raising their feed considerably, while NDCA competitions have remained flat, and in some cases decreased their prices for amatuers.

Current Mood: predatory predatory

8 comments or Leave a comment
twe From: twe Date: March 8th, 2005 01:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

2 inches?

but what if you have giant feet like me? 2 inches on me looks like a 1/2 inch on someone who's a size 6.... bah. (I'm not sure I've ever even seen 2 inch heels.)
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: March 9th, 2005 06:20 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: 2 inches?

Yeah, if you were to start again you'd probably have to special order shoes, only to have them look dorky on you. I'm on the larger end too, and two inches or less would look silly on me. Also my latin shoes (from when I was briefly doing latin) have 3 inch flared heels because that's what was comfortable for my high arch. I'm not even sure you can do real latin in 2 inch heels.
jcatelli From: jcatelli Date: March 9th, 2005 08:17 am (UTC) (Link)
So are they going to start measuring heels? I just paid $100 for a new pair of shoes with 2.5" heels. I'm planning on wearing them. If we get invigilated for that I'm going to protest.

I still haven't figured out the new rules. Maybe we'll have to jump to open sooner than was originally planned.
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: March 9th, 2005 10:25 am (UTC) (Link)
The expense of new shoes is a common complaint being made. You can dance in your new shoes at college and NDCA competitions though. Its just the USABDA comps that its an issue for, but you said you're considering nationals, and these rules go into effect on May 2nd, and I expect they'll be enforced at nationals, unless the dancesport council comes to their senses.

Like I said, I don't do USABDA comps anymore.
dcltdw From: dcltdw Date: March 9th, 2005 10:13 am (UTC) (Link)

laughable, except for it being pathetic

I have two questions:

1, how percentage of comps that people attend are USABDA-run? I guess you state that for you, the answer is Zero.

2, what is the likelihood that New England area comps will enforce these rules?

Wasn't it USABDA that came up with the "no same sex couples" rule? Did that get sustained and/or enforced?

And I am vaguely curious to know what they do with ballgows that have flesh-colored fabric for low-cut costumes. Curious in that same way that I like to watch slow-motion car crashes.....
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: March 9th, 2005 10:44 am (UTC) (Link)
1) I'm not sure. I think its a shrinking percentage. The MAC is still popular, and a fair number still go to Nationals, which means that they now have to go to one of the regionals as well. However, a smaller percentage of people are bothering with Nationals these days, at least from around here. I also don't know of any other USABDA competitions around here, but as I said, I've already given USABDA up as a lost cause.

2) I don't know of any USABDA run competitions in New England these days. Heck, people are still bitter about the '93 Nationals, and USABDA's recent actions are pissing off anyone likely to be interested in running competitions in the area. If by some chance Regionals are held in New England next year, they'll have no choice but to enforce the rules though.

Same sex couples: You still can't do same-sex couples in USABDA competitions last I heard. Too bad too, there was a really good all-male latin couple at MIT last year.

Ballgowns: Flesh colored fabric is also not allowed. On the good news front, Joe has personally volenteered to check to cut of every woman's bodice. In fact, he's also agreed in advance to check the contents of said bodice should they decide to disallow artificial enhancements in that area. :)

Oh, you're also not allowed to have body piercings. Joe's also signed up to check that out, especially in the more ...ah... interesting locations.

But wait, there's more. In syllabus, you aren't allowed to wear rings, with no exception being made for wedding bands.

And like I said, my current gown is questionable on the cleavage front:

dcltdw From: dcltdw Date: March 9th, 2005 01:38 pm (UTC) (Link)


So selfless of him. :) Do I know this Joe?

Really, New England quietly boycotting USABDA is probably the correct answer.

I saw the reply in the forums about wedding bands. That made me laugh. If an invigilator came up to me and told me to take it off, I would hope I would have the presence of mind to stare blankly at them and very calmly and politely ask him/her to repeat their question.

Because really, the first reply that comes to mind would be, "You want me to take off my wedding band? Tell you what: why don't you and I step outside, and we'll discuss your question." Excuse me, 'discuss' your question. Heh.
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: March 9th, 2005 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)


Hmm, I think you just missed knowing Joe. He's from the DC area. You really should know him, though, you'd like him. :)
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