The Right Look?

The Right Look?

I continue to be amazed at the number of people who come to studios to become better dancers, and the first thing that happens when an instructor starts teaching them something is, “I don’t really want to be that good”, or “That technique stuff is not for me”.  Studios then spend time effort, and even training on how to:  a) explain the many wonderful benefits of doing the technique, or b) finding ways to teach technique so it doesn’t sound like work.  I can’t think of another sport where the amateurs don’t want to at least look like the professionals, if not be able to perform like them.  It is time to cash in.

After much research and careful deliberation I have decided that it must be the clothes.  Advertising companies have successfully promoted the idea that the look comes only from the clothes.  After all entire clothing-lines are made and named after sports celebrities.  There are Michael Jordan ads promoting just about everything but learning how to play the game.  This is not to say the Mr. Jordan, himself, does not promote the game.  I am sure he supports many outreach programs and youth groups, as his reputation is one of being a complete advocate of the game.  This, along with his work ethic, is one if not the main reason; he maintains such broad admiration and appeal.  There is the Shark’s logo on golf clothes.  People who can’t tell you whether he plays right or left-handed can tell you who is behind the label.  Going through any mall and looking around at the kids and the store displays can verify that sports attire is basic apparel for our youth.

So the question comes up, why aren’t more Studios talking and selling the look.  I don’t mean the actual look of the dance.  I mean the look before you get on the floor.  The look while on the floor, and the look as you leave that night with a “sweet lovely” on your arm.  Think of the departments that can be set up in your ballroom circumference.  Those few people who actually want to learn how to do it right will have a little room left in the middle of the ballroom, and prices may come down with a reasonable return on your new line.

Men’s Shoe Department:  This often, overlooked area is essential.  After all look how many women look down when they dance.  We can only assume that these ladies need to be impressed too, so what better way than stopping in at your local studio to pick up the latest in well polished foot wear before going out for a night on the town.  All the people who look down will see you are well shod and worthy of further consideration.

Ladies Bras and Intimate Wear Department:  This can help the lady “land” the man who is too shy to look up.  Proper under garments can get a man to forget that he even wanted to go dancing.  The down side here is, that the ladies love to dance and the man has forgotten why, how, and even where he is.  So maybe if you really like dancing you should go a bit more conservative here!

Slacks:  It is amazing how many guys want to impress a lady without the proper training to actually dazzle her on the floor.  Then these same gentlemen will go out wearing pants that are six inches too short and amplify every mistake and misstep the man makes.  A good studio can offer easy to understand pictures of the actual look as seen at various locales by women of all types, so the guy sees what he really looks like as other people see him.  The same can be said about slacks that fit when you were young and in college, and don’t anymore.  Lose the weight, or buy bigger slacks.  Slacks are faster.  Business is building.  See the potential yet?

Jackets:  Often considered unnecessary in today’s casual society.  This department should be right next to the deodorant department.  If you aren’t going to take the time to learn to dance so that the girl wants to be close to you, at least try to do some things to keep her from running away.  Most men look better in jackets.  Part of the reason is American men don’t want to carry those sissy purses men in other countries still carry.  So everything we own is on our body, and having more pockets helps.  You think it is too hot.  It is going to be hot anyway.  People who don’t know the proper technique are always working too hard on the floor anyway.  So do your partner a favor, keep the jacket.

Other departments might be handy for the ladies who want to attract the “right” man, but you get the idea.  What we need is a Line of Clothes, and some models.  Whereas I am more than willing to provide my stature and prestige, Yves St. Mike or some such glamorous name, to a good line of clothes, I feel the modeling should be left to those younger models that don’t have a waist yet.  These clothes could help the multitudes of people who want the look of the dancer, and don’t want the work.  Will it help them for long?  No, the truth will come out by the second date when the partner gets stepped on, tripped or dropped.  But as long as you don’t refund on used clothes, they will keep the clothes and still know where to come to learn the rest.

Michael S. Reichenbach

Published in:

Dance Week Magazine

2709 Medical Office Place

Goldsboro, NC 27534

Vol. XXVIII,  No. 17

April 25, 2003

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