Dance clothing

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What is it for

Dance is an art that is simply based on body movements. All you need is your body and musical accompaniment that awakens your sense of rhythm. And given that the body is in the foreground, it is normal that clothing plays a fundamental role in accompanying men and women in this extraordinary discipline. Dance clothing has two functions. First of all, it was born and developed to be a type of comfortable and comfortable clothing, which allows the body to move agilely and without any impediment. Freedom of movement is, in fact, the fundamental requirement when talking about a discipline in which the body is the only instrument of expression. Dancers must always feel comfortable in the clothes they wear and need to maintain high concentration, which cannot and must not be interrupted by issues related to problems such as ill-fitting shoes or annoying seams. Secondly, this type of clothing responds to an aesthetic and communication need towards the beholder: clothes, carefully chosen, can help the body express itself at its best. In this way clothing helps the communication already inherent in the dance, embellishes and underlines the movements. Furthermore, clothing serves to give a precise connotation to the style you want to follow. For this reason, sometimes we just need to look at dancers' clothes to understand what type of dance they practice. In belly dance, particular costumes are specifically designed to best show the pelvis area. In classical dance, tutus and pointed shoes give grace and lightness to the dancers, who sometimes seem to fly. In hip-hop, street clothing finds its way into dance, and so urban culture influences the music and dance world.

History

We don't seem to be wrong if we say that dance was born with man: dance is a set of natural movements of the body, which has always been important in the life of the individual and of the community. Real art, closely connected to music and the innate sense of rhythm that exists in each of us. Anyone can dance and you can dance anywhere, to express joy or to participate in a ritual. Over time, it has developed in many directions, expressing the different cultures of the world and following different musical trends. Clothing has also followed these evolutions, and has become identifying the different eras and different types of dance. Already in the theater of ancient Greece, dance had a fundamental role: the choir, which danced and sang, wore everyday clothes because it represented the inhabitants of the community. And so dance developed through the Middle Ages up to the present day, and clothing has always been a witness of the various eras, and at the same time there has been an improvement in fabrics, increasingly lighter, elastic and breathable, and in shoes, increasingly suitable for wrapping and supporting dancers' feet. Popular dances are handed down over the years with passion, without being lost: the traditional clothes used in these dances tell the story and the vicissitudes of society, keeping the memory of the origins alive. Nowadays, if we talk about dance, in the most canonical sense of the term, probably everyone will think of the gracefulness of a classical dancer with her hair gathered in a chignon, who twirls on her toes wrapped in a flesh-colored bodysuit that opens in a gorgeous tutu. But today, there are many different types of dances. And clothing is an important trait in identifying the different branches of this discipline. In each style, clothing is designed to accompany the movements in the right way, emphasizing the right parts of the body.

Characteristics

Over time, there has been an evolution in dance clothing. An evolution that has focused above all on the development of better fabrics, with more technical characteristics, created specifically to better respond to the needs of dancers. A lot of work has been done on the concepts of lightness and elasticity of materials. We also focused on the development of breathable fabrics. The idea is to accompany the movements without hindering them, providing the body with the benefit of "breathing" through clothes. The seams are designed not to be visible and annoying. The garments must also be resistant to frequent washing and not deform as a result. Today we know that freedom of movement depends largely on the fabric's ability to expand and shrink: for this reason synthetic fabrics are preferred. For example, if we are talking about bodysuits, it is better to choose stretch fabrics such as microfibre, stretch cotton or fabrics with elastane. The same goes for leggings. A very important place among the fabrics that meet these needs is occupied by Lycra, the first synthetic fiber that was created and which, thanks to its main characteristic of elasticity, responds well to the needs of dance clothing. It is often used in fabrics mixed with cotton and combines lightness, elasticity and wearability. Underwear (which is not worn in some types of dance) is also very important, because it must support without being too visible. For bras, the important thing is that they are not rigid: it is better to choose a supportive type, but ultra-light and which absorbs sweat; you can also use sports tops. For briefs, many prefer the thong; otherwise seamless ones are fine. For socks, microfibre socks (mostly flesh-coloured or black) are usually used, or leggings, and sometimes wool leg warmers.

Shoes

We thought we would dedicate part of this guide to dance shoes, as footwear is a very important element in dancers' clothing. The feet, in fact, are the true protagonists of dance: movement is born from the feet, and then think about jumps, landings, turns. The well-being of the feet is fundamental and the shoes must be comfortable, flexible and with a structure capable of supporting the foot. If we talk about classical dance, the first shoes we come across are demi-pointes, from which we start practicing and with which the foot can train to get used to the particular posture thanks to pads. It is essential to become very expert before moving on to actual pointe: actual pointe are shoes that contain a special support for dancing on pointe. Externally they are made of satin, mostly pink, and often have ribbons, also in satin, to tie around the ankle. The tips make you dance by bringing all the weight of your body to fall on your toes, giving impetus to the dancer's figure. Then there are the shoes for Caribbean dances, for tango and for ballroom dances which are generally made of leather. Very often colored and with glitter, they can be found with heels of various sizes, closed and open. They are not easy shoes to wear while dancing, but they have an essential role in giving elegance and sensuality to the movements. Perhaps more than other shoes, they must offer comfort and stability, and offer the possibility of sliding without risking falling. For hip-hop and modern dance, shoes with special reinforcements are needed, capable of withstanding the continuous stress of jumping. Very often normal sneakers are also used, preferably with shock absorbers and lightweight.

Types of dance and related clothing

Even if we have already mentioned some dance disciplines, it seems correct to make a brief excursus among the most popular dance styles and the clothing combined with them. Let's start with classical dance, which is perhaps still the best-known discipline. For the dancer, we find leotards, stockings, leg warmers, tutus and pointed shoes. Underwear is not recommended. For the dancer, however, leggings and shoes are mostly used. Modern dance, born in the 19th century. in contrast to classical ballet, it developed in many forms and ushered in an era of experimentation. Experimentation which involved the dancer's relationship with space and rhythm, but which also led to a new concept of clothing, bringing the use of multiple and different costumes onto the stage. In contemporary dance, originally, we find the prevalence of black elasticated suits, often with long or three-quarter sleeves: this is to highlight the expressiveness of the body and underline improvisation. With Latin American dances, however, we encounter a world characterized by an explosion of colors and costumes created specifically to emphasize the hip movements of samba, rumba and cha cha cha. Among the dance disciplines born from street culture we find breakdance, which has spread especially since the 1980s and which has its roots in America. In breakdancing, clothing does not remain confined to the dance, but becomes a symbol of a lifestyle and belonging to a group: jeans, personalized t-shirts with writings, peaked or wool hat, sneakers.

Marche

Dance clothing, nowadays, has become very popular even among those who do not practice it. It happened thanks to the widespread diffusion of dance on television, through programs and reality shows that are based precisely on the passion for dance. Dancing has become a lifestyle, influencing fashion and new trends with one's clothing. This has led some brands of clothing dedicated to dance to be accessible to everyone and not just to experts in the sector: normal people, of all ages, have begun to want to dress in this type of clothing in their free time, even though not dedicating himself to this sport on a professional level. Some brands have become famous and prices have skyrocketed. If we take now famous brands such as Freddy, Dimensione Danza, Dhea, we find collections that change every season, very beautiful, functional and fashionable garments, but also expensive. Deha, sponsor of the television program Amici, offers clothing for men, women, but also boys and girls. It offers a choice of basic garments and targeted collections for classical and modern dance. For Freddy, we highlight the brightly colored tops and trousers. Freddy also created the Dance Academy line, which combines fashion and wearability. Dimensione Danza specializes in the lightness of clothes that dress the body like a second skin. Many brands that produce sportswear also have a branch dedicated to dance. For hip-hop and breakdance the reference brands remain Nike, Adidas and Puma. These sports brands offer a valid collection of tops and garments in breathable technical fabric.

Published: 2011-03-16From: Redazione

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