February 22nd, 2018
What kind of clothes do dancers wear? Do they use special clothes when they dance? Do the fabrics influence both their body and their movements or not? Does the shape of their costume influence their presence on the stage? I spoke with four dancers to find out what they think about it.
“It has always felt natural for me to dance. When I was a child, like five or six years old, I was watching my mom dancing through the house and I was copying every move she was making. My grandmother used to dance the tango with me in the living room when I wasn’t in the mood for food. And I loved weddings because people danced all through the night.”
Her parents wanted to encourage her passion, and when she was nine years old Bianca walked into a professional dance studio for the first time. She started to discover the basic steps, how to count dance moves. After two months, her teacher told her she would move on to the advanced class.
At the age of 16, Bianca became the coach’s dance partner and started traveling a lot for dance competitions. During that time she also discovered the importance of clothes.
For rehearsals, she wore a lot of skirts and shoes that were on the small side. For competitions, the costumes were spectacular. Fluid fabrics, fringes, silver or orange reflections, bras studded with precious stones, flowers and bracelets.
“If you compete in a normal dress, you do not attract attention. You need to seduce, to sparkle, to have brilliant make-up, hair and nails.”
Even on the street, when she goes shopping she does not go unnoticed. She has a dancing aura, both in attitude and in clothes. She doesn’t give up dresses even when it’s really cold or it’s snowing outside. She wears long nails, every month a different style. As for shoes, I don’t even know where to start.
“I have a shoe obsession, I think dancing has influenced my choices. I buy shoes that can not go unnoticed, they are themselves a kind of show – with glitter, with flowers, with prints that make me feel I have all of Africa on my feet.”
The first unusual pair of shoes she bought in 2011, when she was in America for summer school. They cost 175 $ and Bianca says they’re comfortable, despite appearances.
Her first glittery pair of shoes she bought in Manchester when she did a striptease study for school. That pair reminds her of the gogo dancers of the 70s and that made her smile. Ever since then, she can’t resist glitter and she has since bought many pairs of similar shoes.
The pair with the embroidery she got from Ebay. The woman who was selling them said she had worn them twice but the shoes were too small for her. Bianca thinks they look great, even though they have a 19 cm sole. I usually wear them when I go out with my boyfriend because he dresses just as eccentric as me, so I don’t feel weird around him.”
The golden pair of shoes are from Paris. Bianca and her boyfriend saw them through the window of a sex shop and they just said: “We need to buy those.”
The boots from Paris she bought because they had attitude. Bianca remembers when she was walking down the Champs Elysee in them: “I was a blonde girl wearing Versace boots and a red trench. Like a lady.”
The Louboutin shoes are from Paris as well. Bianca decided that she deserved to make a financial effort for a classic pair of shoes. She wore them to the college graduation ceremony.
With this eclectic collection of shoes, Bianca feels that sports dancing has taught her how to stand out in a crowd, how to move and how to be sensual in the most subtle or most obvious way possible.
Photos from Bianca’s personal archive.