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The Glamour Machine
Many people are captivated by the glamour that is Ballroom dancing, in particular Dancesport competition, so much so that Julie McMain wrote a whole book about it called Glamour Addiction.
In the book she calls Dancesport, the ‘Glamour Machine’.
Glamour, defined as “an attractive or exciting quality that makes certain people or things appealing” and has Scottish origins meaning “magic, enchantment and spell” has always had links to Ballroom dancing, but never so much as on the competition floor.
But what exactly makes Dancesport so glamorous?
Dancesport is an intoxicating mixture of art and aesthetics, gender and the body discipline of an athlete. In stark contrast from other ‘sports’, Dancesport is glamorous because of the fashions and costumes covering and highlighting bodies, as well as the ritual and spectacle of performing and competitions. Glamour is the work of art and effort, Julie McMain writes, artfully concealed under the floor length ball gowns and tuxedos worn by the Standard and New Vogue dances, and in the figure hugging sparkling costumes of the Latin American dances. In fact, if we can see the effort of Dancesport athletes underneath the costuming, it becomes no longer glamorous. And how do dancer’s achieve that effortlessness? Through an intimate knowledge and understanding of physical movement, and with time, patience and practice, which unfortunately is sometimes not so glamorous.