What To Wear When Dancing Your Face Off

While some might consider their favorite Saturday night outfit to be the one that looks best when Instagrammed, we follow a very different set of standards. It needs to move. Or, at the very least, allow us to move. After all, if we're looking to dance our faces off and refuse to take a break until the DJ calls it quits, we need a sartorial partner that can keep up. Give us skirts that sway, fabrics that glisten from every angle, and shoes that don't limit us to a shuffly step-touch.
So, to put our dream dance outfits to the test, we recruited some of R29's very own dance machines — the technical and theatrical, the twirlers, and those who are unafraid to drop it low. And, in case you're hesitant about which outfits you can wear out, pronto, and which you should save for something a bit safer (like...sitting?), we threw our own in-house dance party to make sure these garments are worthy of a night full of can't-stop-won't-stop moves. Feeling warmed up yet? Click over.
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Photographed by Aliya Naumoff.
Samantha Yu, editorial assistant

My personal dance style in five words:
"Small girl filling the space."

I will never refuse a dance when _____ is playing:
"'American Boy' by Estelle. (Six years after it came out, it's STILL my pump-up song!)"

My forever dance muse is:
"Bob Fosse."

If I could be summed up in one signature dance move, it would be:
"A JUMP!"

The Outfit Tip:
We love a dress that swishes but, hey, it's not for everyone. Pick separates that allow for just as much movement. A loose-fit, cropped sweater in a confetti-like texture and high-waisted shorts that flare out will do just the trick.

Osklen shorts, Wanderlust earrings.
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Photographed by Aliya Naumoff.
Naomi Nevitt, shopping & market director

My personal dance style in five words:
"Don't stop unless you're thirsty."

I will never refuse a dance when _____ is playing:
"Alan Braxe."

My forever dance muse is:
"I don't really have a dance muse — I just love to bop!"

If I could be summed up in one signature dance move, it would be:
"Crazy legs."

The Outfit Tip:
There's a reason why flappers look so sensational in drop-waist silhouettes. The flipped-at-the-bottom shape really highlights every twist, shake, and hop. Metallic platforms optional (but highly recommended).

Marissa Webb dress and ASOS shoes.
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Photographed by Aliya Naumoff.
Candace Sautman, associate PM/producer

My personal dance style in five words:
"Hippy meets hip-hop honey."

I will never refuse a dance when _____ is playing:
"Lauryn Hill, Bob Marley, Travis Scott, or The Weeknd."

My forever dance muse is:
"I don't have a dance muse. I take different styles from all types of artists and genres."

If I could be summed up in one signature dance move, it would be:
"Jig with a little two-step."

The Outfit Tip:
Not only does this look allow for comfort when breaking it down (sneakers and a T-shirt for the win!), but the addition of a fun, frilly, and, in this case, fuzzy accessory will be like your own personal prop on the dance floor.

adidas shoes and Tanya Taylor bag.
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Photographed by Aliya Naumoff.
Gina Marinelli, associate fashion features editor

My personal dance style in five words:
"Leave everything on the floor."

I will never refuse a dance when _____ is playing:
"I will dance to absolutely anything, but nothing gets me to the dance floor quicker than 'Baby Boy.'"

My forever dance muse is:
"There are too many to name, but if Baryshnikov and Beyoncé had a lovechild, I imagine that'd sum it up."

If I could be summed up in one signature dance move, it would be:
"Definitely a kick."

The Outfit Tip:
Opt for a fuller skirt silhouette when you're ready to cut a rug — one that expands with your every jump, and stretches with every kick. Buh bye, body con.

Mega Mega snap bracelet and Aperlai shoes.
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Photographed by Aliya Naumoff.
Sarah Azpeitia, UX & product designer

My personal dance style in five words:
"Expressive, spontaneous, performative, emotive, dramatic."

I will never refuse a dance when _____ is playing:
"Salsa, anything salsa."

My forever dance muse is:
"Sofia Boutella, and Catherine Zeta-Jones as Velma Kelly in Chicago."

If I could be summed up in one signature dance move, it would be:
"See: this."

The Outfit Tip:
Look for textures that will catch the light as you shimmy (or, in Sarah's case, salsa). Lustrous, glittery fabrics will make you feel like your own personal disco ball. But, feel free to layer with a plain, white tee if you want to keep this party just a bit more casual.

Betsey Johnson dress and Steve Madden shoes.
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Photographed by Aliya Naumoff.
Jessica Roska, senior editor, brand experiences

My personal dance style in five words:
"Wannabe boy band backup dancer."

I will never refuse a dance when _____ is playing:
"First of all, I never refuse a dance, ever. I'll admit, I'm usually the first and last on the dance floor. I grew up doing all types of dance — ballet, hip-hop, modern — so, different artists and types of music get me moving. Put on Lil' Wayne, and I'll drop it like it's hot (and like I'm at a high school mixer). Put on Earth, Wind & Fire, and I'm finding a dance partner, stat, and twirling like it's my job."

My forever dance muse is:
"Michael Jackson (obviously)."

If I could be summed up in one signature dance move, it would be:
"Jazz hands. Not that I do them frequently (okay, sometimes I do), but they're fun, spirited, and always take you by surprise — just like my moves."

The Outfit Tip:
Dance is a 360-degree activity, so be sure to keep the back of your ensembles in mind when planning what to wear. Look for subtle, unfussy details (like this gorgeous pleated back) that act as a bit of a sartorial surprise when your twirling really starts to take off.

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Photographed by Aliya Naumoff.
Sara McDowell, associate photo director

My personal dance style in five words:
"Always working with the beat!"

I will never refuse a dance when _____ is playing:
"Beyoncé! (Come on, who can resist? Not me.)"

My forever dance muse is:
"Break dancers. They're my secret aspiration. I've always wished I could pull that out as a party trick."

If I could be summed up in one signature dance move, it would be:
"Some sort of arm-raised, hand-swing thing that coincides with some hip swishes. It's not fancy, but I know I'm really feeling the music when that happens."

The Outfit Tip:
Keep it minimal and just add some flare at the trim of your ensemble, like this feathery detail. When you move, it moves: it's that simple.

Topshop dress.
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