How to Choose Your Ballroom Dance Costumes

Ballroom dancing is more than just about the dance itself – it’s the overall presentation that includes the pair’s musicality, dance technique, presence, and yes, costumes. The first three mentioned take years of practice and require skills and mastery. The last one, on the other hand, may be the easiest thing to nail – that is if you know how to choose your ballroom dance costume.

Whether you are dancing for a social event or competing in a dancesport competition, you know that what you wear in your routine makes a big difference to your performance. It is perhaps for this reason that stylists and costume designers recognize the importance of rhinestones for dance costumes. 

In this post, we’re not just going to focus on rhinestones but on the fundamentals of a ballroom dance outfit that you should know about before you choose or have yours tailored:

The Elements of a Ballroom Dance Costume

Both professional and amateur ballroom dancers know that what they wear on the floor matters. Without the proper outfit, you cannot call it a ballroom dance performance. 


Perhaps stricter and more important than other dance attire elements is the dancer’s footwear. Men are required to wear ballroom shoes that look like dress shoes. These typically have an inch-high heel. Women’s dancing shoes, on the other hand, need to be comfortable and should either be a pair of open-toe sandals or court shoes which look like closed toe pumps with two to three inches of heels. They need not be expensive but they should be safe and sturdy for all the beating they’ll get. 

Standard Ballroom Outfit

There is a certain dress code that is followed in ballroom dancing, especially if you are competing in dance competitions. The dress code will be determined by the regulation body, but there are general guidelines that you can refer to. 

For men, it largely depends on the program or type of dance performed. For instance, men dancers joining International Standard competitions wear a tail suit and their pants are pure black and straight legged. Some wear vests or waistcoats and finish the look with a bowtie. For International Latin programs like cha-cha-cha, jive,. Paso doble, and Samba, among others, the outfit tends to be more open and sexy compared to the International Standard. The shirts have full-length sleeves but sit open down to mid-chest and tight on the man’s body. The shirt is often adorned with light reflective rhinestones, too. 

The style of a female ballroom dancer’s outfit also depends on the style or type of dance being performed. For instance, you’ll often see in Latin and Rhythmic dances dresses or skirts that are shorter, sometimes asymmetrical, accentuating the legs and the movements. The skirts are decorated with fringe or ruffles to help highlight the movement of the hips and lower body. The dress is also decorated with lots of sequins and rhinestones to make the outfit look really luxurious. 

Standard and New Vogue, on the other hand, calls for a more classic and traditional style where the skirts are long and flowing. That said, the top is often still adorned with intricate designs of rhinestones and sequins. Gloves may also be worn by the dancer. 

It’s worth noting that it’s not only the style that needs to be considered but more importantly the comfort of the dancer and how well she can move without risking injury. 


No ballroom outfit is complete without rhinestones. Rhinestones for dance costumes can vary, too, and you need to consider factors like brands, colours, size, amount, pattern, and more. Of course, you need to determine if rhinestones and other embellishments are allowed in your competition as there are strict Dancesport regulations for certain levels and competitions. If they are indeed allowed, you can choose to add rhinestones to make your outfit look more luxurious and stylish. This is especially important if you’re doing a Latin dance which often requires intricate and heavily embellished outfits. 


No matter what type of ballroom dance you’re performing, one thing stays true – you need to be beautifully dressed for your performance! You can make yours sparkle with rhinestones for dance wear to elevate your look on the dance floor. You should also choose the right pair of shoes and the right style of dress that would make it easy for you to move and that would emphasize your movements. Costume is an important part of ballroom dancing so you should not play down its significance and pay attention to what you are going to wear to your performance. 

Zahira Crystals can provide you with the highest quality rhinestones for dance costumes. We have an assortment of other embellishments, too! Check out our gorgeous rhinestones that you can use to jazz up your ballroom dance costume!

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