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How does your teacher feel about adults wearing solo dresses?
By SlipjigSuperhero
On Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:49 PM
Edited by SlipjigSuperhero (255373) on 2013-12-24 23:50:20
Edited by SlipjigSuperhero (255373) on 2013-12-24 23:50:53

Hi again, guys! At my class a few weeks ago, my teacher said that solo dresses and big curled wigs look "silly" and "wrong" on adults. Even if we end up doing solos at the Oireachtas when they allow adults, she will have us wear our school costumes. Because I'm still in beginner, I haven't thought too much about having a solo dress of my own but it made think a bit and I'm pretty sure I disagree with my teacher.

So here are my questions for you guys:
1. What's your teacher's solo dress policy?
2. What do you think of adults wearing solo dresses if they're competing in the adult category?
3. How do you feel about people competing in adult novice/adult prizewinner wearing school dresses? I'm hoping to make novice soon and if I go by my teacher's philosophy, I'll be competing in novice and prizewinner wearing my school dress.

41 Replies to How does your teacher feel about adults wearing solo dresses?

re: How does your teacher feel about adults wearing solo dresses?
By Mariel4444
On Wed Dec 25, 2013 07:16 AM
My teacher is ok with adults wearing solos in Adult prizewinner level and we can wear them in shows etc. But we all keep ourselves in check by wearing simpler, less blingy solos and we don't wear giant wigs, So I think we look nice!
re: How does your teacher feel about adults wearing solo dresses?
By Hop_123member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Dec 25, 2013 08:38 AM
1)Our TC was fine with us wearing solos. But you had to be in novice or better. My TC was fairly adamant about wearing tights, and preferred no wig for adult, though I might have been able to convince him otherwise, if I had really wanted to wear a wig.

2) I'm all for adults wearing solos. Why shouldn't we have fun too! But I do think it is a good idea to wait until nov/PW. It's more special if you have to "earn it"

3) I competed in adults in my school dress into nov, until I made my solo.

Here is what I wore when I danced in adults. I made myself a 3 panel when I was in nov adults (a few years ago now!). I changed it to a soft skirt after that. I definitely was not trying to look like the kids dresses. Less blingy for sure. The last picture is was my school dress which was the same as the kids dresses.
re: How does your teacher feel about adults wearing solo dresses?
By AutumnLily
On Wed Dec 25, 2013 09:11 AM
My teacher was very strict about not wearing solo dresses and wigs until higher level but once you reached intermediate level (I'm from Europe) you should "look the part".
I see no reason why adults couldn't wear solo dresses but I think the dresses should be appropriate for the age group (like less bright colors, more simple and elegant etc...)
re: How does your teacher feel about adults wearing solo dresses?
By highlanddncr
On Wed Dec 25, 2013 01:07 PM
1. We have to have at least one dance in PW before getting a solo dress.
2. The policy is the same for adults.
3. The first time I competed years ago (in adults) I wore my school dress into Prizewinner. It was normal in my area for school dresses. I did run into a few people with solos but most had school dresses years ago. My old school's policy used to be all dances in PW and I didn't have my hardshoe in PW so I couldn't get a solo.

This time competing I've been wearing the school dress (although not the adult velvet version, but the kids version) through Novice. I was excited that my new school allows it with at least one dance in PW (I am all PW in softshoe now that it's almost Jan). I have noticed more adults wearing solos in Nov/PW in my area now years later. Chevecheval (I know I spelled that wrong!) has a beautiful new solo and there's a few other dancers I've seen with solos. So more than before. Also I noticed that the "and over" dancers who are adults all are wearing solo dresses of all "blingyness". Can't wait to see Hop123's new skirt on her dress!

I am so excited to wear my first solo dress this next year at age 35. I tried to have it be classic, celtic and adult appropriate. I'd love a total bling/sequin dress but I know it would stick out in adults so I went non bling. I do wear a wig (have stick straight long hair that gets in the way) and socks (since I hate tights).

Hopefully your teacher will change her mind and let you get a solo dress in a style that you like :)
re: How does your teacher feel about adults wearing solo dresses?
By GannTheGloriousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Dec 25, 2013 04:23 PM
I'm not sure where my TC stands because I'm only advanced beginner, so it doesn't apply to me yet. I know we have novice dancers in school dresses, and I've seen a lot of other novice adults in school dresses too.

My personal opinion, though, it's your dress, knock yourself out. I would advise against looking like "mutton dressed as lamb," so cutesy looking bright colored dresses with huge wigs are probably a poor choice for anyone who's not a young-looking "&over" dancer. There's a fine line between good standing out and bad standing out!

I think every dress shown in this thread looks very nice! As a seamstress, I LOVE dress pics, keep 'em coming!
re: How does your teacher feel about adults wearing solo dresses?
By DayOver30member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Dec 25, 2013 09:46 PM
I don't know where my teacher stands on solo dresses for adults, because I'm the only adult. The novice and prizewinner dancers wear school dresses for performances, so I am really hoping to get a school dress this year :)

At my old school, which had an adult class and quite a few adult dancers, almost everyone wore a school dress. I think there was just one adult dancer who had a solo dress and that's all. Not sure how much of that was because a lot of the adults competed only a couple times a year, or because some of them were beginners, or if the school frowned upon it. I've been dreaming of solo dresses ever since the first feis I went to as a spectator. After I got my first places in adult novice/prizewinner hornpipe and treble jig (my softshoe dances were in the combined adult novice/prizewinner level, but I hadn't gotten firsts with 5 or more people in the competition), I wanted to wear a dress I had gotten from another adult dancer. However, my teacher wanted me to wear a school dress :( I will admit though, I went to a feisanna last summer in the city where my old school was located, and I think out of the 25 or so adult dancers, only 1 wore a solo dress. Plus, most of the school dresses had black as a main color. It's not unheard of for adult prizewinner dancers to wear just a black leotard, black skirt, and black tights, so it might be dependent on what the others feising in your area wear. Good luck! I hope you can convince your teacher that adults can wear solo dresses, too.
re: How does your teacher feel about adults wearing solo dresses?
By tinydancer1988
On Thu Dec 26, 2013 08:55 AM
highlanddncr wrote:

Also I noticed that the "and over" dancers who are adults all are wearing solo dresses of all "blingyness".


I'm in the "and overs" category, and I may be wrong, but I've heard that you're not allowed to wear a school dress to a major (you aren't supposed to give indication of which school you attend).

I'm not sure if that's just someone exaggerating the rule that says that you can't have your school name on your solo dress... If anyone can shed some light on this, that'd be cool.

The official rule that I could find states: "All forms of dance school identification, be it by sign, shape, colour-piece, logo or symbol be banned from all solo costumes worn by any competitor in any competition."

It doesn't say anything about school dresses at the Oireachtas, and I couldn't find anything on paper about that. Like I said, not sure if that's just a rumor, or actually a rule.

But you would definitely stick out if you wore a more traditional dress in the &overs competition. Most of the girls who are in that competition have been dancing all along, and they all just have changed with the times. I felt totally weird when coming back after a 2-3 year break, and showing up at an oireachtas in my 3-panel solo dress, and everyone else's costume was wildly different from anything that I'd ever worn.

After wearing a leo and a skirt for a while, I made a solo dress that looks a little bit more modern, but I will definitely be ordering something professional when I get a chance. When you get to championships, I know that it's not the dress that makes the dancer, but judges sometimes are biased toward a neater, more professional dress, and in a level where the slightest mistake can rocket you from placing to last place, it can't hurt to look your best.
re: How does your teacher feel about adults wearing solo dresses?
By highlanddncr
On Thu Dec 26, 2013 09:57 AM
Just to clarify- I was referring to the novice/pw and overs which is where most adults drop down to. I would assume that most adults who dropped down and made it into prelim or oc would have an up to date dress so as not to stick out.
re: How does your teacher feel about adults wearing solo dresses?
By Hop_123member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:27 AM
Slipjig superhero, currently there are no adult solos at the oireachtas. I haven't heard any rumors of them even considering offering them. Some are starting to offer traditional sets. . At the southern region O some adults were wearing school dresses and some were in solos in adult trad set.
re: How does your teacher feel about adults wearing solo dresses?
By tinydancer1988
On Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:43 AM
Hop_123- same deal in the Mid-Atlantic. My school has an adult class, and I think 2 out of the 10-ish ladies who did trad set wore solo dresses.
re: How does your teacher feel about adults wearing solo dresses?
By colgate
On Thu Dec 26, 2013 03:07 PM
I have a few adults who compete. For beginner, they wear an 'adult' costume of a dress with tights & hair in a bun (my beginner costume for the kids is a leotard & skirt with socks). For primary, a few of the adults have solo costumes. The 'younger' adults in their 20s wear 'blingy' solo dresses ... tights are optional but they all wear them! the dancers 30 & over want to wear for confidence & that is fine with me. Their solo dresses are normally not blingy, more elegant & mature ... they all have soft skirts with their dresses & bunwigs are optional. They all love their solo dresses & are just as excited (& just as deserving) to wear them as the kids!
re: How does your teacher feel about adults wearing solo dresses?
By hannicamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:46 PM
Well I am the only adult dancer in my school ever to compete, so my teacher had to decide the rules with me.

1) Adult dancers must wear tights in shows and feis, poodle socks are only for class.

2) no wigs EVER for adults because she said it looks weird

3) My school has different school dresses for beg and novice. Then you get a solo. However my teacher ruled that the school dress does not work for me, so I have a different school dress to all the others. So I guess it is practically a solo lol. It will be my dress all the way through, but when I reach PW I have no idea what will happen. When designing my dress my teacher didn't want any rhinestones or sparkly material, so the dress maker and myself decided that embroided knot work in the school colours on a black dress. She is making it for my second feis in January.
re: How does your teacher feel about adults wearing solo dresses?
By chevrechevalmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Dec 27, 2013 08:20 PM
my TC is very supportive of adults in solo dresses. They are earned. In my area, there are usually not many adult level novice or pw dancers. My placements were considered and the decision was made. My TC is very involved in the solo dress and feis vest process. My new solo dress, bun wig, and look are all approved by my TC. Dress, hair, makeup, etc is all approved, with different versions tried before final approval. The same process applies to every dancer.

highlandncr, your new solo dress is so lovely. As is your soft shoe! Congratulations on getting all of your soft shoe into PW.
re: How does your teacher feel about adults wearing solo dresses?
By PogMoGilliesmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:14 PM
All dancers at my school, regardless of age earn their solo costumes when all dances are in novice.

Some of the adults wear less blinged out dresses, but most of the competing adults have dropped down to & Over competition now, so we try to fit in as best we can with the 15 or 18 year olds we compete against. Some wear full wigs, some wear bun wigs, it's all a matter of personal choice.

Our adults wear the same school costume as kids, so there is no difference there.

The fist picture is my first solo dress, circa 2008. I was in Adult Novice/Prizewinner at the time, and it was very fashionable. The second picture is my current look, now that I dance in the & Over Novice (1 dance)/Prizewinner category
re: How does your teacher feel about adults wearing solo dresses?
By AinetheDragonPremium member
On Tue Dec 31, 2013 11:29 AM
Ultimately, I think people should wear what makes them happy.

However, if you were to take into account what makes me happy... I think adults should wear "solo costumes" if they are equal to the level required for kids to wear "solo costumes". I don't think a solo costume for a person over the age of 21 should be the same style as for child under 12. Take your inspiration from formal wear appropriate for your age. Little girls party dresses with ruffle skirts and bows are great inspiration for little girls solo dresses, women's formal gowns with feminine styles, sequins, beading etc are great for grown up solo dresses.
re: How does your teacher feel about adults wearing solo dresses?
By Kirvin3member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Jan 03, 2014 07:48 PM
Here is a picture of me in my solo at the MAO this year. I talked to my teachers about style. I wanted a soft skirt that still had the feel of panels. It has a little bling, but nothing like the open champs!

I have 2 wigs. I wore the bun wig for the Oireachtas as I didn't want to stand out TOO much and I don't like to wear my hair down for competition - it never does what I want when I need it a certain way and gets too stringy quickly when I sweat. I have the smaller but still full wig that I used to wear and will still wear for shows (fewer adults dance in some of the shows, so I blend in with the kids better that way). My wigs match my hair color near perfectly (I dye it the day before a feis!)

I have competed for 8 years and was in my school dress until this Oireachtas. I dance in Open/Prizewinner and have for several years. I just finally found a dressmaker who I liked and was very willing to work with my budget and design.
re: How does your teacher feel about adults wearing solo dresses?
By sarahrID
On Sun Jan 05, 2014 09:29 AM
1. My TCs fully support adults in solo dresses, provided they are at an appropriate level (I dance at the same school as GanntheGlorious, and am now at the point where I'm looking at solo dresses). Like many schools, our TCs are involved in the selection (and if ordering custom, the design) process in order to ensure that a dancer looks clean and polished (and for adults, age and dance level appropriate). I think this is entirely appropriate, given that the dancers represent the school.

For wigs, my TCs don't really want adults in big, full wigs. They would prefer adults in bun wigs or in the more mature looking wigs (like the Roisin wig, from Celtic Curls).

2. I currently dance in the adult category, and will be getting a solo dress, so I'm all for it! In my experience, the Southern Region has a good mix. Some of the adults wear solos, others are in school dresses or skirts.

3. Same as #2.
re: How does your teacher feel about adults wearing solo dresses?
By cillista
On Sun Jan 05, 2014 09:43 AM
I compete in the UK and didn't start till I moved here (just did it for fun at a pub in the states) and as far as I know i'm the only adult my teacher has ever had compete (although now one girl who's been competing since a kid is now 20 so i guess she counts?). My teacher has never treated me any different than the kids. I wear whatever I want and my dress was entirely my choice, my choice to wear a wig and what kind of wig to wear was entirely my choice. Apart from when we compete in teams and in performances we're never told how to do our hair, makeup or what to wear. When we are told how to style ourselves, it's all of us not just me. That's one thing I will always respect about her, she's more concerned about our dancing than telling us how we should look, apart from obvious faux pas. I don't think adults should be treated any different from the younger students, if they want to wear bling (and my dress is super sparkly with swarovski crystals and glitter velvet etc.) then they should be allowed to. Is it any worse than kids wearing neon leopard print??? It's your solo dress, you're paying for it, and you worked your butt off to have the right to wear it. Maybe in some ways even harder cause getting older means harder to keep up stamina and more age-related injuries etc. It would hurt i think to be told you can't wear this or that cause you're 'old'. Anyway this is my solo and my wig is a full length Idanceirish Danielle wig (similar to a Ann long from Camelia Rose) and I love wearing it. Also she doesn't really have any rules about when you get your solo, you just follow CLRG rules and are only allowed to wear it in Intermediate or above (which is when I got mine, i'm now open).

Cillista

Comment #10169178 deleted
Removed by imadanseur (79325) on 2014-02-03 09:29:16 This is off topic

re: How does your teacher feel about adults wearing solo dresses?
By rosalinde
On Fri Feb 28, 2014 02:23 AM
1. What's your teacher's solo dress policy?

My teacher wasn't into competing (though she had done so when she was younger & she's a certified teacher), and the school was recreational until I joined. I started bugging her about feiseanna right away and that brought the costume issue up. Basically she set a limit which I then crossed (tip: not a good thing to do ...). In the end anything went and in 2010 I got my Elevation. I've since retired so I don't have a new one, but I would have gone for a BNDM fully blinged-out dress in a heartbeat if I was still competing.

2. What do you think of adults wearing solo dresses if they're competing in the adult category?

Over here we only have &overs. And older dancers wear solos of all sorts: from schooldresses to very toned-down to the latest-and-greatest.

3. How do you feel about people competing in adult novice/adult prizewinner wearing school dresses? I'm hoping to make novice soon and if I go by my teacher's philosophy, I'll be competing in novice and prizewinner wearing my school dress.

It's quite common over here for older dancers to keep dancing in schooldresses until they are in Open. By that time they are usually wearing some kind of solodress. But it's truly all about the dancing. If you look neat and your dress fits well, you are all perfectly set to compete in Novice and PW.
re: How does your teacher feel about adults wearing solo dresses?
By saoirse3473member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Feb 28, 2014 03:19 AM
SlipjigSuperhero wrote:



So here are my questions for you guys:
1. What's your teacher's solo dress policy?
2. What do you think of adults wearing solo dresses if they're competing in the adult category?
3. How do you feel about people competing in adult novice/adult prizewinner wearing school dresses? I'm hoping to make novice soon and if I go by my teacher's philosophy, I'll be competing in novice and prizewinner wearing my school dress.


Let me start off by saying that I do not compete in the Adult category, rather I'm a 22 year old who competes in the "& Over" Senior Ladies Prelim.

My TC isn't rather picky on the issue of solo dresses. If a dancer would like to wear a solo dress and is qualified to wear one, they may - the dress in question (for a potential purchase) must be approved. I think this is mostly based on the fact that some dresses simply do not suit a dancer. These situations can be 1- the dress is too short or too long 2- it is a trend that is "looked down upon" (feathers, large hearts and big bows on a 17 year old, "old school" dresses that have a feather trim that look a little too much like a lamp shade, etc), or 3- the dress "out of a dancer's range", which simply means a prizewinner level dancer should not be wearing a dress that was made in the last 6 months and worn by a world champion.

That said, I'm not too sure of my teacher's opinions on solo dresses on adults. But I know several of my TCs in the past have been okay with it, as long as it's level-appropriate. In other words, like said above, it's not really okay to be wearing a 2013 World Champ dress if you're in prizewinner.

As for my thoughts on solo dresses in Novice and PW, I think they're okay, as long as they, yet again, are tasteful. I think if you get a dress while you're mostly in Novice, you should get a used dress that is an older style (I think a nice 5 panel or a really simple soft skirt dress would work great) that isn't super "blinged" up with rhinestones and flashy sequin, etc. However, if you're more PW (with one or two dances left in Novice), I think you can get away with something a little "flashier". I say this because all in all, when that day comes that you do advance into Prelim, most people want "the look". A lot of prelim dancers are wearing their dresses from PW, and that's MORE than fine. I know that when I got into Prelim, I wanted a new, updated look; it was a reward of sorts to me. Just remember that whatever you chose to buy, be it used, or custom made, you have to love it. Otherwise, it's not worth the money. And as long as you love it, who cares what level you're in. I had a dark red and gold dress that I wore back in Prizewinner, and if I didn't out-grow it, I'd still be wearing that darn thing - and it didn't even have a dropped waist. But I loved that dress way too much. And that's all that matters. But as a final word, I think owning a solo dress is fine if you're Novice/PW. Just be sure to be all novice/pw with nothing left in Beginner.
re: How does your teacher feel about adults wearing solo dresses? (karma: 1)
By fouleafmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Mar 11, 2014 01:05 PM
I'm having issues with this as well. I have started dancing again after finishing up undergrad and then graduate school but I still have my old solo dress. I am of a level to wear it (PW/Novice), generally speaking. However, the way that my school is organized, the adults are separate from the main body of the school and are taught by a different teacher. Rumor has it that the head teacher does not like adults in solo dresses. However, I haven't specifically been told "no", I just need to wear it only at "out of area" feisanna.

My first feis as a solo competitor since restarting is coming up and I'm trying to decide if my solo is "inappropriate" and I should just sell it and let someone else wear it or if I could just get it altered (I've shrunk a little) and wear it, despite the pressure to wear nothing but black velvet. I'm a little frustrated that, at 24, I'm supposed to be consigned to wear nothing but plain, black velvet.

Any thoughts? Is it too young for me?
re: How does your teacher feel about adults wearing solo dresses?
By DancinMomma
On Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:30 PM
Adults at our school wear solo dresses if they have them. Our dresses tend to run more traditional though.

This year the western region oireachtas will have an adult traditional set special. I don't know if we've discussed what we are supposed to wear - I will either wear my solo dress or my school dress. :)
re: How does your teacher feel about adults wearing solo dresses?
By Hop_123member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Mar 12, 2014 04:18 AM
Jupitergurl, is that a Silverlode dress? Its gorgeous! and it is definitely not too young for you. You might tell your TC that you have your solo from previously and would like to wear it and let them see it. Its very classy. And as you can see from all the pictures, adult dancers are not consigned to wearing black velvet!
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