You've come to the right place!
Of course you want to look amazing, feel confident, and dance your best. A good competition dress should help you achieve all these things.
First, consider your body type. Is there an area you want to show off or an area that you would rather keep covered? Latin dancers typically like to show off their rockin' legs or shapely back. Some are ok with showing some midriff. Once you know the type of dress you want, we move on to number 2...
Color. Sometimes people fall in love with a dress for the style, but the color completely washes them out, even with a spray tan. Know what color works best for your skin tone and hair color. You want to attract attention for all the right reasons! This also applies to patterns and fringe. These will draw attention to different parts of the body. Fringe will emphasize your core body movement, and rhinestones will help attract attention when the light hits them!
Fit. Most dresses stretch several sizes because they are made of Lycra material, and the straps can often be adjusted. The tricky part is usually cup size and often you need to adjust straps or use lingerie tape to make sure everything stays in it's proper place. If you don't feel secure in the top of the dress, how are you going to nail that wicked shimmy in mambo? Also, straps should be secure, but not digging into your skin and the skirt should be of a length that covers your booty and doesn't ride up the front. You don't want to show too much! It is often a good idea to wear fishnets to help keep things in place and make your legs look amazing.
For smooth and standard dancers, make sure that the dress length is appropriate. You should be able to see your entire shoe, from the ankle down, at a minimum. This also helps prevent you from tripping over or stepping on the dress when you lower through your moves. Always try the dress on with your competition shoes!
Standard dancers need floats, while smooth dancers generally wear some kind of embellishment, such as bracelets or gloves, but floats are not necessary. If you need to wear floats, make sure that they move freely, so as not to hinder your frame!
Another point to consider is your level of dance. Newcomer? Bronze? Silver? Open?
Newcomers can get away with a more simple dress, while Silver and up need to be wearing a properly fitting ballroom dress in a current style to complete their look. If you think you are being judged solely on where you place your feet, you are mistaken! You need to look like you belong, as the judges will see you long before they watch you dance. This is also when it is important to feel confident in your dress, so you can walk out onto the floor with perfect grace.
Trying on the dress prior to the competition is important! Always try the dresses a 6-8 weeks before the event so you can try different colors and styles. You will also have a wider selection to choose from, as more dresses will be available the earlier you book. A good rule is to book a dress the same time that you put down your deposit for that competition. Also, if you lose or gain weight, that dress might not look the same as it did last time and scrambling for a dress days before a competition is stressful. Plus, it's kinda fun to try on those sparkly, gorgeous dresses! ;)
Other things to consider include accessories (bracelets, earrings, necklaces, fishnets, hair, shoes, makeup, etc).
Do you have questions about what dress to wear? Please contact me and I will be more than happy to help you! From suggestions on color to fit, I will give you personal recommendations to help you look your best.