What to Wear for Your First Competition: Part 1 with Nick Kosovich

Welcome to Life with LeNique! Today we are here to give advice to new students on what to wear for your first competition. If you are dancing in Latin and Rhythm, or Smooth and Standard there are differences in the costumes you would wear. Today we will be focusing on Latin and Rhythm. In this category, men will wear a Latin shirt (it could be an inside or an outside shirt), Latin trousers, and Latin dance shoes. 


Let's work our way from the bottom up! Latin dance shoes have heels between 1 1/2" to 2". Most of the latin dance shoes you will see have what is called a Cuban heel. This helps the body to be poised forward over the balls of the feet and allows the dance to take toe leads in Latin Dancing. 

When it comes to trousers make sure that they have flexibility. What allows the stretch in the fabric is a material called lycra(also referred to as spandex). Be sure that there is a percentage of Lycra in the fabric so that it fits comfortably. 

Styles of Latin Shirts

If you have been to a competition before some male competitors will have rhinestones on their Latin shirts.

Beginners usually don't have rhinestones when they start. However, it is smart to purchase a Latin shirt that can be rhinestoned later.

*Be sure that it is made with stretch fabric so it is comfortable and that it is suitable for your body type. 

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Outside Shirt

Outside shirts are very popular for Latin and Rhythm. This style shirt hangs outside of the pants. 

They are a bit more form fitting through the waist. Reason being so the judges can still see your hip action in your Latin dancing!


Inside Shirts

Inside shirts tuck into your pants and are made similar to a bodysuit. This allows a dancer to move freely without having to worry about the shirt coming untucked.

If you decide to wear an inside shirt it is important that it is made to your body type.

If you have anything you want to hide, make sure that it is not too fitted.  


Choosing the Color

For beginners, it is always better to stick with black. For two reason:

  • You never know what color your teacher or partner might be wearing.

  • Also, black is always the most flattering!

The more you compete and advanced you get, feel free to go through the colors of the rainbow. Whatever you choose can match your teacher or dance partner. But for now, stick with black.





Thank you for reading!!!

Watch out for next weeks episode!!! 


Nick Kosovich is the former United States and World American Ballroom Champion. After competing for 36 years he retired from competition dancing in 2005.

Nick is an Emmy Nominated Choreographer for Dancing with the Stars He also was a professional dancer on Season 2 and Season 3 of Dancing with the Stars.

He is from Perth, Australia  and the Co- Founder of LeNique. He currently resides in Los Angeles, Ca with his wife and co-founder Lena Kosovich.