CDA believes in minimizing financial barriers to new dancers, real or apparent. In support of that, CDA offers this set of guidelines to define what constitutes a dancesport “costume” with these ends in mind:
- to improve clarity across the dancesport community
- to avoid conflicting definitions across participating collegiate competitions
- to be objective, simple, and easily assessed
- for the definition to encompass dancesport-specific items, especially expensive ones, which might grant advantage to wearers through visual appeal
- for the definition to minimally impinge on possible everyday-wear clothing options
CDA offers the following guidelines to define a “costume”. Note that the levels at which costumes are restricted vary from competition to competition, and actual adjudication will be made by competition officials.
- Jackets of any kind, including tail suits, tuxedo jackets, and off-the-rack suit jackets, constitute a costume.
- Floats, streamers, scarves, cords hanging from sleeves, sashes, or any other non- structural material that flows behind while a dancer is in motion constitutes a costume.
- Shirts or tops that are open to below the breastbone constitute a costume.
- Skirts or dresses with more than two layers in the skirting constitute a costume.
- Any article of clothing incorporating rhinestones, gemstones, sequins, or actual lights constitutes a costume. “Articles of clothing” include shirts, pants, vests, skirts, socks, ties, pocket squares, belts, suspenders, etc. (Jewelry items, as distinct from articles of clothing, may include stoning, etc. These include: rings, necklaces, belt buckles, tie pins & clips, bracelets, earrings, other piercings, hair pieces, cufflinks, watches, and lapel pins.)
- The heavy feathering, glitter, metallic fabric, metallic threading, and related decorative effects constitutes a costume when more than 10% (cumulative) of the area of the article of clothing is covered by these effects.
- The heavy use of fringing constitutes a costume when more than 25% of the total area of all clothing is covered by fringe.
Shoes are excluded from these costume guidelines since they present an unavoidable expense regardless of their appearance. Nevertheless, dancers are expected to honor the
spirit of costuming restrictions and not augment (e.g. add stoning to) shoes for levels of competition in which costuming restrictions apply.