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What to wear to a social dance club

At Arthur Murray, we understand that it’s important to feel comfortable with both your footwork and your outfit for your first foray onto the social dance floor, so as well as offering dancing lessons we have compiled some key wardrobe suggestions.

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Comfort is paramount

The most important criteria for any dance attire is to be comfortable. This means wearing something that is stretchy enough to allow you full range of movement – there is nothing worse than a constricted spin due to a tight shirt or skirt. As well as physical freedom, you should choose an outfit which won’t fuss you. You will be nervous enough about the dance and the steps, without having to make constant clothing adjustments because your top isn’t quite long enough when you lift up your arms, or your trousers require hitching up before a leg raise.

Temperature control

You should try to wear something light so that you don’t overheat when you get moving, however you may find the dance hall cold when you first arrive. Therefore it’s a good idea to work the layered look so that you are not shivering at first, but can easily cool down once you start swivelling.

Don’t bare all

While you might be tempted to dress skimpily to combat the heat if you intend to dance all night, it’s not very pleasant for your partner to have to touch your damp skin. A cool, but covering top is preferable to a sleeveless shirt, and low-backed dresses should be avoided. Equally, a low cut top may reveal more than you imagine with a daring dip, so try a few moves at home before you settle on something.

Fancy feet

Never try to dance in trainers or any other rubber-soled shoes; not only will you squeak and stick to the floor, but you could suddenly stop mid spin and cause a knee or ankle injury. Gents, to ensure a smooth slide, choose a leather-soled work shoe. Ladies, only wear high heels if you know that you can dance in them… all night; instead opt for a kitten heel or flat pump. It is advisable to choose shoes with a strap so they don’t fly off mid kick or flick, and likewise avoid sling backs or mules.

Hair care

Consider tying a fringe back if it’s likely to get in your eyes and tame long locks in a bun, or a style close to the head; a pony tail can still whip someone in the face as you spin around the dance floor.

Don’t accessorise

Whatever style you are dancing, it is best to keep your outfit as slimline as possible. Avoid floaty scarves, baggy sleeves, big watches, chunky bracelets, large rings, long necklaces, prominent belt buckles, or simply anything which can get caught as you turn; it might hurt you or the other person, and will certainly cramp your style. Gents, try not to have keys or money in your trouser pockets, but if it is unavoidable, keep them in the left-hand side to minimise any bruising to your partner.