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Trends and Translation Part 1: Current Fashion/Runway Trends and How To Incorporate Them Into Dance

1. Bows

Bows are back! and unlike the 80s where we would typically see them at the hip on a low waisted party dress, the 2020 version of this accent is being used by designers in many different ways.

Why a bow? Here are a few reasons why I like them:

-You can change shape, scale, and dimension to evoke a multitude of ideas.

- It has a sweet, feminine allure -It can become a sexy accent depending on placement or scale.

- It can dress up/make interesting the simplest of looks on low budget and/or novice skill.

How would one incorporate a bow into a dance costume design?

Salsa/mambo:Think tail feathers, but in bow form. Using a large bow, with tails at the back of a plain leotard gives it a playful flirty look. And, fabric is generally cheaper than good quality feather trim/accents

Salsa/Mambo- Put them on your shoes! Jimmy Choo isn't the only one who can put a bow on the back of a heel! Just make sure the size and scale does not interfere with your footwork.

Bellydance: we have a little more play since we are not usually constrained by tricks and lifts. Add bows as accents on shoulder straps or on armbands. Add them as a hip accent, or as a faux tied effect on a gathered skirt. You can also do a tied back bustle effect with large bow accent. Don't forget you can tie a bow in your headband for saidi pieces.

On the dancefloor: How cute is a contrasting color back bow on a plain straight pencil skirt?! It's not in the way of any lead. Ummm and eye-catching 😉 as you move on the dancefloor, no? Low back dresses can use a small bow feature to make sure the dress stays in place but add a sexy accent/visual appeal


Flounces are different than ruffles. Both create movement and flow, but a flounce is usually circular or bias cut and attached without any gathers. When that is done the effect is looser, and larger/wider pieces of fabric can be used.

How would one incorporate a flounce into a dance costume design?

-We already do! All the time! We use flounces as arm floats in ballroom designs, as accents in Latin ballroom costumes on skirts and bodices, and bellydancers use use these all the time in skirts- we've just been calling them vertical ruffles.

Dancefloor: I caught a glimpse of a great way to wear this look without it being cumbersome on the dance floor. I recently went to the DC underground 7th anniversary salsa social, and I saw a woman wearing a similar skirt on the dancefloor. I forgot to ask for a picture, but I did a strategic internet search and found the look on What is great about this skirt is that it's essentially a straight body conscious miniskirt. It shows legs/footwork. There is not any extra fabric to get In the way of the lead/follow. In the front though, ruching and the single vertical flounce add movement and interest. In addition, the metallic silver catches and draws all light. It's a win all around.

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