Many people would say that the style of a Latin dance costume is sexy. However, the word "sexy" may be too mundane to describe a Latin dress. It is purely functional to use exposed designs such as open back and tight fitting bodice to reduce resistance and to free the dancer up for the speediest move. The Latin costume for the lady dancer in general is short and above knee with reasonable exposure of the back and leg line. It is a much lighter weight version compared to its ballroom counter part since the Latin dance style does not cover as much volume in the floor space as the Ballroom dances. The Latin dance styles require dancers to put more weight on the floor with much pelvic rotation. In order to accentuate such kind of movements, Latin dress designs adopt more asymmetrical cut or bias cut. Whenever the lady dancer changes direction with a hip twist, the asymmetrical or bias cut hem will fly out according to the speed of the dancer's action. This makes the dancing more exciting to watch.
Rows of fringed in bold colors are widely seen on Latin dresses in a dance show or even competition. This fringe design is effective to show off the shimmy as well as the batucada actions of the dancers. The fringes also give the audiences prominent visual effect to the extent of the dancers' action from a distance. That is why the fringe dresses will never go out of fashion in the design of Ballroom Latin dresses.
Basically, any bright cheerful colors may be used on Latin dresses. The mood of the Rumba may call for some soft pastel color. But black can still be used for elegance. Black, red are widely seen on Paso Doble costumes to show the passion and the spirit of this dance. And that the length of such dresses may be longer than the other dance styles like that for Cha-Cha, Rumba to facilitate "caping" action.
Similar to the Ballroom dress, the Latin dress is never short of crystal embellishments as crystals are good reflectors of light. Visually, the fly out skirt panels and the glittering stones always keep the audiences' eyes busy.
Like an ordinary fashion, Ballroom Latin costumes also come in trends. In recent years, looser cuts in soft fabric are adopted for the Rumba dance costume on top of a tight fitting bodysuit to give a more romantic appeal and demonstrate the sensuality of the dance. 46
Heels are an important part of Latin dance wear. It is not that these dances cannot be performed in flat footwear. However, shoes with about 2-3 inch heels helps one to achieve the grace that is synonymous with Latin dances. Dance shoes for women include pumps or sandals with heels within the specified height range.
Pumps are open at the sides. They have a closed toe box and have an ankle strap that secures the shoe firmly to the dancer's foot. However, sandals have straps and are open around the toe area.