What to wear for Bachata Dancing
“Bachata and Latin Dance addicts tend to buy “dance friendly” outfits and shoes that you can wear both on and off the dance floor.”
Students are always surprised to note that Bachata dancing is a workout! You can get hot and sweaty fast especially because you are constantly moving, turning, bending and you are dancing close to a partner who is doing the same in a room full of dancers. With this understanding, try to choose clothing that is light and comfortable and fast drying. You want clothing that doesn’t hinder your movement especially at the shoulders, elbows and knees. If you are unsure of how warm you will get just layer your clothing.
If you are attending a social or a practice you can basically wear whatever you like (as long as you cover all those parts that should be covered!). Socials are very casual so most people can be seen wearing t-shirts, tank tops, jeans, leggings, shorts, exercise clothing, etc.
If you are attending an evening out at a club or outing or party you may want to consider “club attire” but remember to keep it comfortable and dance friendly as you don’t want to feel uncomfortable. For women a recommendation is to do the “salsa check” at home which involves shaking everything that your Momma gave you to ensure the clothing stays in place.
Most Bachata and Salsa dancers are concerned with footwear. What shoes are best? If you are just starting out dancing you can hold off investing in dance shoes and just try to wear shoes that have slippery soles such as smooth leather or plastic. Once you’ve established your Bachata addiction it may be time to think about a pair of dance shoes. They can range anywhere from $60 to $200 a pair (depending on the make and materials of the shoe) but they are a great investment as they support your feet and allow for easier movement. They are much lighter then street shoes and usually have suede soles for easy spinning.
Stick to casual, easy, comfortable and lightweight clothing like tees and jeans or clothing that you would wear to a Yoga class, breathable and moisture-wicking. You may want to bring an extra shirt to change into in case it is very hot.
Most people dress up a bit more to a club with nice jeans or dress pants, dresses for women or camisoles. Again keep it lightweight, comfortable and moisture-wicking.
Most men prefer dance sneakers. Companies like Ballo and Jinga produce stylish shoes for men that resemble the look of a Puma sneaker and come in a variety of colours and styles. These shoes can have a suede or a smooth rubber sole that make it easy to spin and move on the dance floor. They look sporty and don’t have the look of a typical Latin dance shoe.
This shoe is comfortable and offers great support. The sole splits in two which allows for more flexibility and the plastic sole is good for spinning on all types of surfaces and will not get ruined if you wear it outside. Bloch and Capezio both produce good jazz sneakers.
Both very lightweight and extremely flexible, jazz slippers are made of supple leather that fits like a slipper and come in slip on or lace up versions. They come with a suede sole which is more suitable for multiple turns as well as plastic split sole which is easier to maintain but not as easy to spin with.
Most female Salsa and Bachata dancers stick to high-healed ballroom shoes especially when out at the clubs. They are the most formal salsa footwear and have suede soles. Remember that they are higher maintenance as they need to be brushed after every usage to maintain their quality. Men’s ballroom shoes are not very popular in the Salsa and Bachata community as they have a higher Cuban heel.
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