PLAY THE GAME!
Not that I haven't learned that lesson before, but each time I go to a ballroom dance competition, I'm reminded of the obvious fact that you should play the freakin' game.
Let's say you're watching an NBA game. Go Celtics.
All the guys on the court are wearing their throwback jerseys and baggy shorts, but then some guy subs in for Kevin Garnett because Kev's on his fourth personal foul and the new dude is not wearing the throwback uniform, but has donned jeans and a t-shirt. Would you really think he's going to play? And if he did really play, wouldn't you be skeptical of his ability? Or his attitude towards the game?
If you're going to sign up for a ballroom dance competition, you are signing up to compete. You are asking to be jugded. That means several official people will rank you somewhere from first to last. For better or for worse, there's a whole lot of unofficial people who will judge you, also. But if you play the game and wear your uniform, you'll have a lot better chance at being taken seriously.
You might have the prettiest skin on the planet, but if you don't throw on some wicked tanning goo, you will look like death under competition lights. Plus, it makes you look more toned and who doesn't want that? Get thee to a spray-tanning booth, buy some Big Sexy spray-on stuff, or go all out and get this stuff (pictured at right; I couldn't love this formula more). But you must tan.
Whether it's a simple bun or an elaborate sculpture that took 100 bobby pins, do your hair. And hairspray it. A lot. You too, boys! Men, you need to use hairspray so you can avoid this...
You should not feel normal heading out the door. From across the floor, I need to see eyebrows, eyes, cheeks, and lips. Wear the false eyelashes. Get a stupidly bright color of lipstick. You are a pretty, sexy clown.
If you've spent enough money to get to a ballroom dance competition, you can afford the correct pair of shoes.
Yep, put your best one on. Meaning, you had better be in great shape when you hit the floor. You signed up for four rounds of dances? Please don't be huffing and puffing after the second of twenty heats. My favorite quote from one of my favorite coaches/judges? "Two words: tread mill." Sucking wind after a couple dances is hard to disguise, so don't think you can fool anyone into thinking you could run a marathon after your Viennese Waltz. I know the "I'm dying, but am totally hiding it by doing this" face, which is strangely similar to Blue Steel.
Nicely french-manicured nails of a decent length are so pretty and draw attention to your arms and hands and duh, fingers. If you don't often wear them painted or faked, fantastic nails also make you more aware of your fingers, so maybe you'll actually finish your lines like your teacher is always telling you.
A really great fitting dress or suit is icing on the cake. Notice I said "a really great fitting," not "the most expensive." Keep shopping or altering until someone says "wow." Then keep that ensemble forever. Make different colors or slight variations on it and then you'll have a "look," which is super cool.
Peace out, yo.