PART 1: Matching the Shade of your Fishnets to the Shade of Your Shoes!
When planning your competitive look, matching the color of your fishnets with your dance shoes is a crucial element.
Years ago, the trend was to match your dance shoes to the color of your dress. Lately, it’s become more popular to keep your shoes nude, as it gives you a seamless and long legged look.
Historically, most ballroom shoes were nude satin. As dancers started to emulate the “latin” look, tanning gained popularity, thus the latin tan shoe was born.
In this tutorial, we used Capezio’s Tope and Sun Tan fishnets to demonstrate the difference in color and its effect on different colored shoes.
Because there are many options, our tutorial will give you tips for finding your perfect shade.
The main idea of having nude shoes and nude fishnets is to create a seamless line from the bottom of your dress to the floor, giving you the effect of having an extended leg.
If your shoes and tights are different shades, this effect is not achieved. This is distracting for the judges, and they will focus on your footwork instead of your entire leg movements and lines.
If you want to wear a darker colored shoe that either fits better or is more comfortable, what you can do is select a matching color of fishnet tights; so as to create the same effect even if the shade of your leg is lighter.
As Lena explains here, if you were to match your shoe and fishnet shades incorrectly, there would then be no point for your shoe to be nude!
(please refer to our tutorial video on dying shoes).
PART 2: Altering the Length of Your Tights!
No matter which manufacturer you choose, most fishnets are cut very long from the top elastic to the crotch. While this cut may be a minor annoyance to non-dancers, ballroom and latin dresses are typically tight fitting on the waist and lower, showing the line where your fishnets sit.
In this tutorial Lena Kosovich will teach you a few tricks you can learn to make sure this doesn’t happen.
- Your fishnets
- Scissors (preferably fabric scissors)
- Elastic (thin but strong)
- 1 Safety Pin
- Optional: Sewing Machine, needle, and thread
Step 1: Place your fishnets on a flat surface so that the front of the elastic rests on top of the elastic on the bottom.
Step 2: With a pair of scissors cut off the elastic
Step 3: Cut off an inch of the fishnets (you can cut it lower if you prefer but just be careful not to cut off too much).
Step 4: Measure around your waist. Use this measurement (plus an extra five inches) to cut the thin elastic.
Step 5: Put your safety pin on one end of the elastic.
Step 6: Feed the safety pin through the loops of the fishnets a quarter of an inch down from the top, all the way around. Pull the elastic through until a section of elastic is left hanging out from both where you started and where you finished.
Step 7: Tie the elastic ends together. The elastic should not be so tight that you cannot pull it over your hips, but tight enough that it sits snuggly on your waist.
Congratulations! You have created an elastic belt that will hold your tights up without the elastic lines being visible.
Another alternative is to use the elastic you removed from your tights and reattach it after you reduce the length of the midriff. This method tends to work best if your dress is looser fitting around the waist and hips.
We hope you had fun learning about how to match your fishnets to the shade of your shoes as well as how to adjust their length! Stay tuned for more tips and guides!
Lena Kosovich is a United States and World American Ballroom Champion. She was born in Russia and has trained in ballet, folk and every style of ballroom dancing. She is featured on the Benise: The Spanish Guitar (2010) DVD and has appeared on television including Dancing With the Stars.