Presentation is defined as “the manner of style in which something is displayed” (Oxford Dictionary). In competitive ballroom, you are that thing on display. By entering a ballroom competition, you have agreed to be put on display and judged. While what you wear is not as important as how you dance, visual presentation is a serious consideration.
For our purposes, we’re going to break down presentation into five aspects:
Judges admit that appearance attracts immediately, be it for better or worse. They are likely to look more kindly upon a couple that presents well. This is the couple that graciously enters and exits the floor. Their hair and makeup are well-done and their costumes flatter both their bodies and their movement. They appear to work as a partnership and present a positive attitude on the floor.
On the other end of the scale is the couple that is thrown together. They appear disheveled or perhaps their makeup or costumes are unflattering. They might run onto the floor last minute or visibly argue. Either way, this semblance of disorder does not make a good impression, even if the dancing is there. In an ideal world, judges are looking for the full package: the dancing and the presentation.
Presentation is also a way to express that you take pride in what you do. After putting in the long practice hours and shelling out money for lessons, you should take pride in all of the work you have done. Good presentation serves to enhance the canvas of your dancing, to elevate the canvas of your dancing to an incredible masterpiece.
For more on competition presentation, look for our upcoming posts on costuming, hair, makeup, partnering, and attitude!