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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Booty-Shaking, Pop and Lock, All-Night Dancing: What to Wear.

Plugging into Electro-Funk 80's music turned me into a dancing machine. One 11-hour night, I tore up the dance floor with my dance partner of two first names - Billy Freddie. For a fund-raising Dance-A-Thon, with only 10-minute breaks on the hour, we unleashed all our uninhibited moves: the bird, the smurf, and a dance all our own that looked like rotating and spanking ourselves... sometimes we moon-walked. Slow-dancing was not our cup of tea. When Billy Freddie and I danced, we meant business and we burned calories. It's only fair though - to admit that my key to success on the dance floor that night must be attributed to the jumpsuit.

From experience, it was evident some dances didn't fit the look of a skirt or dress. Heels were out of the question for this kind of dancing. Big, jumbled piles of heels always grew on the outskirts of the dance floor.

Your realize, if you aren't new to exercise, that perspiration is a part of energetic activity. If you dance fanatically (acquiring a great pore-cleansing sweat), then you cool down very quickly and chill. To burn the midnight oil and showcase all your best moves, you need clothes that move with you, without constricting, and without looking bedraggled after a few hours... and a jumpsuit met all the requirements.

A girl in the dorm loaned the loose-fitting jumpsuit to me. It was made by Esprit I think - of either cotton or a synthetic parachute-type material. The neck was wide and the sleeves and legs narrow, but long - so that I could roll them and they stayed in place. It was sand-washed olive green and buttoned up the front.

With the jumpsuit I wore red pointy-toed flats (also borrowed... and by the way, it's a good idea to have a change of shoes if you plan to dance 11 hours, because your feet will appreciate the switch).

Double-belts were in style at this time and I wore my red one loose and low. Enormous red plastic earrings were probably involved - but I'd like to forget those.

Billy Freddie's dance-steps were familiar to me and he knew mine as well. Frequently one of us would invent a new move - the other would notice and try it out.

By 5 AM only one other couple still danced. We stopped, they danced a few minutes more.  I trotted back to the dorm and slept thirteen hours.

On a quest to pinpoint this type of jumpsuit, I found a 1985 Simplicity Esprit sewing pattern 7007 that seems very similar. Of the same cut are Simplicity 6394 and even a vintage Pierrot costume by Advance.
Simplicity 6394. Ditch the tie-dye, add a loose belt, roll the cuffs, you're ready to dance all night.
Ultimate jumpsuit freedom.
Want a little music to send you into jumpsuit dancing mode? Here are three links:
The first two songs fit into the dance/pop/proto-electro-funk/rap/hip-hop/breakdance category and the third is an amped-up retro remix (with original 1966 film footage featuring as much energy as I had that 11-hour night).