Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dress Me!

We leave for Buenos Aires tomorrow to compete in the World Tango Championships. 400 couples are entered from 25 countries. There are two categories: Stage Tango and Salon Tango. We are proud to represent the USA as 2009 Salon Tango Champions. Over 12,000 tickets have sold out the event!
I'm packing, trying to decide what to wear for the competition. It's winter in Buenos Aires now, so I am trying to get my head wrapped around winter clothes to pack too.

We do not wear costumes when we dance Argentine Tango. We just dress like we're on a date night of sorts. Salon dancing means social dancing, so there are no sexy Dancing With The Stars kind of glitzy dresses cut up to there. There are no jumps of lifts in Salon Tango. It's rather calm and elegant. Judges look for a real connection between the couple, musicality, and following rules that stress moving around the floor in a line of dance, and keeping the feet on the floor (though you can lift your shoe just up to the knee). Certain stage figures are strictly prohibited. Why Salon Tango is so important is that it is the root of everything tango. Stage Tango comes from it. Salon Tango is what drives all dancers, and its beauty is treasured, fostered, and preserved.

#1 - The Milonguera Black and White Dress

Here are four looks I am considering.
#1 is the dress I wore in New York for the win! It represents the woman who dances socially and regularly in the dance halls of Buenos Aires. Those dance halls are called milongas, and the dancers are called milongueros (men), or milongueras (woman). I chose this dress because it is vaguely retro, a nod to the Golden Age of The Tango in the 1940's - 1950's. It was a great contrast to all the sexy dresses the other women wore, and it stood out visually, and I was very comfortable wearing it. The judges got the homage I was paying to the archetypal milonguera (who inspires my dancing). I also feel it's a good luck dress since I already won in it. The white blouse is a classic milonguera look, and the bustier is very now - it laces up the back, so the back interest is nice when dancing backwards. The blue sandal style dance shoes are sexy.

#2 - Sexy black Vivienne Tam dress

Look #2, is a very sexy Vivienne Tam dress. The sheer over dress hugs my body and has a great fishtail detail on the back. I would wear the red satin Chinese print shoes with it. My reservation is that it is another black dress in a sea of black dresses. Black is the favorite color for tango dancers.

#3 - Red with black lace Professional Tango ShowDress

Look #3, is a "professional" dress I had made to wear when we do tango shows. It fits beautifully, and the red color is spectacular, and the little bit of sparkle plays well under lights. The red suede shoes with black lace insets are a perfect match. My reservation is that I don't want to represent myself as a Stage Dancer when I am competing in Salon Tango.

#4 Retro Black and Red Dress

Look #4 - This is a last minute contender. I bought this retro style red and black dress with a peplum dress online, and it's at the tailor. I'll pick it up after work. It's very 1940's and looks great on me. I had it shortened to show my legs. I would wear red shoes.

I'll take all four with me. Alberto wears a jacket, dress trousers, shirt and tie. He looks very handsome. We don't match our outfits as they do in ballroom competitions, though our colors often coordinate.

So dress me! Tell me what your vibe is! We have two to three chances to dance. If we make it through the fist round, we move to the semi finals. If we get through that, we dance in the finals for a win! In New York I wore the same dress (The Milonguera) over two nights of competition (I have two of the same dress). Everyone said my dress really showed well and stood out.

We don't compete until the beginning of next week, so you have plenty of time to please help me!

Mil gracias!
(A million thanks...)


Diane Dorrans Saeks said...


You will be fabulous.You will win.

A thought: follow Diana Vreeland's advice...just before departing take off one thing.

You are so beautiful and you are such a handsome couple, I think keep it super simple, nothing at all distracting from your limbs and feet and arms and back and head. No frills or 'design' - just the beauty of your dancing and power and grace.
Oh, and thank you so much for 'Radio Tango' which I now have on bookmarks. Fantastic. A million thanks for that.
I think you'll win!

The Consummate Hostess said...

Have so much fun and good luck!

Julia said...

Good luck! I'm sure you'll win.

I don't know much about dancing but I would think what you wear is extremely important. Are judges usually conservative? It's all so subjective.

Maybe go with the Milonguera the first night and see from there? I love that Vivienne Tam dress, I bet it looks great on.

Linda/"Mom" said...

*WISHING YOU WINNING with DRESS #2!!! (And remember to breatheeeeee!!!!)~~~


Linda in AZ *

Anonymous said...

i LOVE the second dress. simple and beautiful with a very flattering line. best of luck. kathi xoxoxo

Anonymous said...

If I were to be offered one of those outfits to have as my own, it would be that Vivienne Tam knockout. I also like your "Milonguera" and the history and authenticity associated with it. Since you've explained the difference between Salon & Stage Tango, I agree that the 3rd outfit (as wonderful as it and its shoes are!!!) is too stage. The 4th is a cute little number, but maybe too daytime???? In the end though, you've got to go with your gut and wear what lets you prove your moves! How exciting this all is! I wish you well!

amber said...

Loving the first two outfits. The red Chinese shoes really add an edge to the Vivienne Tam frock. Yet there is something so arresting about the simplicity of black & white for REAL tango dancers. What a wonderful accomplishment. Just being there will be a thrill! Enjoy... and bon chance!

Lindsey Conrad - Nabors said...

Love all the dresses, but the first one, black and white - is my fav! I am a sucker for b&w!

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

I say go with the Milonguera dress. Particularly because of how it worked for you last time! I love the slow authenticity of salon tango.

BEST of luck to you two. Break a leg and come back with the title!!!

pve design said...

Oh, why not throw them up in the air and the one that lands first is the one to wear! I think comfort is key to move and some drama, like a big flower pinned on your shoulder!
Wishing you the best. Have fun!

Design Junkie said...

As much as I love #2, I vote for #1 or #4. They both have such a great 1940s Evita-esque feel to them, and #1 has that great sexy secretary look that black and white often has---like Rosalind Russell in an old movie. But I know you'll look great in whichever you choose. Best of luck. Enjoy BA.

Visual Vamp said...

via e-mail:

"Love them all! especially those chinese red shoes, but have to agree with you about the @2 black dress -- being another in a sea of black dress's so I would leave it home... but take the shoes...

Best of luck to you both!

Visual Vamp said...

via Facebook:

"Robin Tara made a comment about your note "Dress Me!":

The Robins agree -#4 - black and red."

Visual Vamp said...

via Facebook:

"Chris Wiltz
Go, go, go, Valorie! I like the 40s dress. Bet you look the fab vamp you are in all of them, though."

"Carla Sue Fox
I love the black and white "lucky" dress....but they are all beautiful and you'll look stunning in any of them."

"Robin Case
ooo I love this know I do! lol I vote for either the V. Tam or the Retro black and red. If you do the red and black Val, do a little feathered fascinator in your hair...hell, do one either way. But, either of those dresses would really flatter your figure."

"Ron Maher
Best of luck to you and alberto!!
Bring home a win and have fun there as well."

Visual Vamp said...

via e-mail:

"Dear Valorie and Albert,
I am so pleased that you’re representing U.S. Argentine tango dancers in Buenos Aires and am confident that you’ll win.

Valorie, I have no clue as to how to respond to your blog, but I’m voting here for your dress. I’m sure you look beautiful in all four of the dresses you showed, but the one you wore in NY and the retro red and black dress are both perfect for salon tango. Wear whichever of those makes you feel the most confident and comfortable. You’ll be right.
All good thoughts to both of you,

Carol said...

love them all, but I'd pick #1 and #4, both standouts and a nod to the past!

vicki archer said...

My vote is for number one Valorie and Good luck to you both....xv

Fifi Flowers said...

I say you go with the WINNING dress!!! You two will be FAB!!! I can't wait to hear all about your adventure!!!
Good Luck!

GrannySmithGreen said...

Numero Uno! It's lovely and classic--and a proven winner!

Sabina said...

I'm with Robin, the Vivian Tam or the new red and black with the peplum. Take them all, and good luck!

Anonymous said...

I like #1 but with red shoes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lady! We're two ships! I'm sorry I missed you before ya'll left. I hope the epic flight to B.A. wasn't too packed. My vote is for #4. I love the black and red and the clean, classic lines of it. You're going to be great!

Robyn said...

good luck at competition!! I just happened find this on amazon (a coupon/deals website had a mention) It's 50 tango songs for $1.99! Here's the link:

thought you might be interested.

Renee said...

Congratulations and how super fantastic.

My favourite is number 2.

Have the most wonderful time.

Renee xoxo

Down Comforter said...

#1 and #4 are definitely my favorites. Good Luck!

Greet said...

I'm glad to have discovered your blog!


Jack said...

You will be fabulous.You will win.No doubt in that...TK....keep going...All the very best..

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Renae said...


I have been out of town and out of touch. OOOOhhhhh How I wish I could be in the audience to watch you two..I know you will be fab. My fave dresses are #2 and #4...I know you will be gorgeous.

Shake a leg Girl, can't wait to hear all about it.

Blessings and big (((hugs))).

Beadboard UpCountry said...

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Furniture removal said...

Look # 1 looks too classic
Look # 2 doesn’t feel right for the event
Look # 3 it looks too oldies for me
Look # 4 it’s perfect! Classy, elegant very sophisticated, professional look, I love it!

Wellington Jobs said...

Definitely the last outfit very chic classic looks, but not too much. All the other 3 are kind of over the top for me. But hey! It’s just a suggestion.

Elise said...

Hello, I had to leave a comment for you because you have such an incredible blog with an eye-catching and creative header shot! Beautiful pictures and writing; I've been really absorbed reading your posts. Thank you for sharing them and best wishes....

Vickie H. said...

Don't think I have ever commented before, but follow you in my "favorites" daily. Wishing you the best of luck! Love dress #2 but not for you to be lost in a sea of other black dresses. So, #1or #4...go with your gut won't ever go wrong listening to that. You and Alberto will be STUNNING!!!