So, the thing I have been thinking about lately is… built-in underwear.
When looking at what I’m supposed to be wearing for this competition coming up, we were perusing items online to find something for me to wear during the rhythm categories. I noticed that many of the shirts had that tag in the description – built-in underwear. It came as a bit of a surprise to me. First off, I never knew such things existed. Who has ever heard of a shirt with the underwear attached to it? Certainly not me, and not in any of my wildest mind conjuring would I have dreamed up such a combination. And secondly, how comfortable can something like that possibly be? It seems… confining, to put it mildly.
Sure, I understand the thought process behind it. During a competition, the last thing you would desire is to have to stop and adjust your shirt all the time, to ensure it stays tucked in. This is not a huge problem during the traditional ballroom-type numbers – you are most likely not going to be throwing your arms around during a foxtrot, pulling your shirt out in the process. The same cannot be said for rhythm dances. As Sir Steven put it when I made a comment about this style of clothing in his presence, you do not want a wild New Yorker in your cha-cha to be your undoing (literally). So, the combination shirt and underwear item was created. It makes sense, if you think about it. I’ve been trying not to think about it too much.
What I was told to wear is pretty simple – all black for the rhythm sections and a suit with a white dress shirt for the smooth sections. My partner recommended that I get the rhythm outfit from the same place she ordered her dresses. When placing the order, I opted for the non-rhinestone variety. Based on the sheer amount or sequins and rhinestones on her outfits (and the number of sequins and rhinestones that I cleaned up off the floor just after she had shown me the outfits), I don’t think we will be lacking in the opulence department. Maybe at some point, in competitions in the future, I will feel brave enough to be shiny like that. For this first time, I’m going to be much more subtle. That’s a personal choice. After seeing what other male dancers do during this event, I may reconsider that stance.
At this point, we are counting down the days to this first competition. All of our routines are in place now, having finally put down the last pieces of the mambo bit. Now it’s just a matter of running through them over and over to let the muscle memory sink in, and then (if there is time) to screw up on purpose so we can figure out how to recover from unforeseen circumstances. There hasn’t been much practice so far this week, since my dance partner has been out of town, but I’m sure we will hit things hard when she gets back. Hopefully the clothing that I ordered will come in before the competition, built-in underwear and all. If not, I’m going to have to come up with a back-up plan. I’m really not sure what a good back-up to something like that would even be…