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Differences between American Smooth & International Standard Gowns

This blog will explain the main differences between American Smooth and International Standard dance dresses and you'll learn why the history of each dance style matters when choosing your outfit.

In addition to that it will share some  SECRETS that you can use when ordering a new dress so that you make sure it's going to look super flattering and unique. 

Table of Content

  • Introduction
  • Meet the expert
  • The 5 most comfortable heels to buy in 2023
  • Tips to find comfortable heels
  • Fun facts
  • Conclusion

Historical Background of International Standard

Ballroom Dancing as we know it today It origins in the European court of the 17th century being primarily performed by nobility and the elite as a display of grace, refinement, and social status.

Later in the 19th century the Waltz emmerged revolutioning the social dancing with flowy movements in closed positions

As the 20th century dawned, ballroom dancing adopted new dance styles such as the foxtrot, tango, quickstep, and Viennese waltz

“Foot health problems can affect anyone of all ages. A podiatrist can help restore the health of your feet and prevent problems. The list below offers options that fit your needs, as well as general advice on what to look for when shopping for comfortable heels.”

 - Katerina Herman

Historical Background of American Smooth

American Smooth dancing originated in the United States during the mid-20th century as a fusion of traditional ballroom dances with elements of American social dancing, creating a style that allowed for more freedom of movement including open coreographies and open-frame compared to its strictly structured European Ballroom

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers played a significant role in popularizing and shaping the style of the actual American Smooth Dances

Why should this be taken into account when designing a dress?

Go-To Block Heel Pump

A low block heel and forgiving toe box keep your toes comfortable all night long. These classic black pumps check all the boxes when it comes to comfort and timeless style.The shoes feature a block heel that tops out at just the right inch for stability. We recommend keeping your heels under 3 inches. Go-To Heel's almond-shaped toe is a classic design that does not pinch your toes. A rubber outsole provides cushioning when your foot hits the ground, giving your ankle and joints a break. Note that even though these shoes are labeled as

Finley Closed Toe Heel

Light cork makes it easy to walk in heels. Podiatrists advise avoiding flat insoles for most foot types. But it’s especially important for those with flat feet who need a shoe with the right arch to provide the balance and support they need. These lightweight cork heels have built-in arch support and a memory foam footbed to hug your feet. Although the heel height is above the recommended three inches, the toe platform compensates for the height, and they’ve been specially designed to distribute weight evenly and support your unique arch position.

Ziva Kitten Heel

A timeless classic that provides ankle support with the backstrap and a flared heel for added stability. Podiatrists recommend wearing supportive flats for sore feet, but if you want to spice up your outfit with comfortable heels, the lower the better. Our expert suggests looking out for shoes with improved heel midsole cushioning and support. This can help protect the plantar fascia from becoming strained. These kitten heels feature a contoured foot design and deep heel cups that support the fascia in your feet. Note that these shoes are a little narrow - they may not be great for people with wide feet.

Everly Pump

Available in three widths, these pumps feature walkable heels and provide non-slip outsoles. With a pair of pumps like these Naturalizer Everly heels, you may be able to get through the day without any discomfort. They sit below the recommended 3-inch heel height and feature the brand’s signature open-cell foam padding to make it feel like you’re wearing the shoes and not the other way around. Choose from one of three widths (narrow, medium, wide) and strut with a pair of shoes that works for day or night, casual or special occasions.

What should be taken into account when designing a new dress?

Design of the Skirt

Keeping in mind the classic origins of ballroom dancing, skirts should be done with many layers, giving a majestic feel that reflects its aristocratic beginnings.

However, as American Smooth Dresses have been influenced by social dances with their flowing movements and open styling, skirts should be less voluminous and allowing an easy and graceful motion.

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In International Standard dancing, where partners primarily maintain closed positions, the back of the dress is predominantly visible to the audience throughout the dance. The front upper part of the dress is typically seen only briefly during the opening and closing.

Conversely, in American Smooth dancing, the entire dress is practically visible throughout the performance allowing the audience to see the full designs from various angles.

As a result, American Smooth dresses are designed to be eye-catching from all perspectives while International Standard Dresses are mostly having an exclusive design at back and more simplistic at the front 

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International Standard dresses often have wings or floats attached from the wrists to the back, creating a flowing and elegant effect.

 However, such additions are not suitable for American Smooth dresses because the dance figures involve many turns, and adding wings would cause them to become entangled with your partner,and not allowing you to move.

To add more flow to an American Smooth Dress you it can be added some piece of loose fabric in a place like the shoulder making sure that it will not disturb your partner


In American Smooth, dancers can opt for a skirt slit to enhance leg movement and have a more feminine effect, as well as incorporate various bodice cutouts for a modern touch.

However, in International Standard, such features are strictly limited as skirts must remain fully closed, and any cutouts on the bodice should be covered with skin-colored lycra to maintain a more conservative appearance.

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Fun Facts About High Heels

Men's high heels are made to be comfortable and look good, so they will replace the standard sneaker as an everyday shoe. Men are also likely to buy more expensive shoes in order to get a better fit and style. The market for men's shoes will grow by 10% every year through 2024, according to Business Insider. In 2023, there will be almost 4 billion pairs of men's shoes sold each year—a nearly 50% increase from 2022 levels!


London is the most fashion-forward city in the world. It's also a good place to shop for high heels for men, as many stores specialize in selling them. The men's fashion scene is growing rapidly, and there are many stores that sell high heels for men. You'll find everything from classic black pumps to sexy patent leather boots or lace-up loafers with chains attached — especially,there are even some sparkly pairs available too!


Tokyo is a city of contrasts, where you can find high heels and sneakers at the same time. It’s also home to some of the best nightlife in all of Asia, making it an ideal place for any man who wants to dress up on a regular basis. If you're looking for something more low-key, there are plenty of other options: Tokyo has some great shopping districts as well as traditional markets where you can get your hands on just about any shoes!


In conclusion, the differences between American Smooth and International Standard dance dresses are crucial  for dancers looking for an outfit that complements their discipline.

Understanding the historical context and technical requirements of each style is essential for selecting dresses that not only enhance performance but also reflect the elegance of each style.

By being aware of these differences when designing a new dress dancers can elevate their performances and truly embody the essence of their chosen discipline.

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