Bling - Bling

Glitter - Sparkle - Shine - Flash  

Dance halls are the right place to wear the brightest costume jewelry. A delicate necklace is perfect for dinner at a fine restaurant, but on the dance floor it would never be seen. This is where to have fun with the wildest colors and boldest styles. Chunky plastic bead necklaces and bold ear rings show off your crazy side.

The first thing that should be considered when choosing jewelry to wear to a dance is safety. Those vintage beads might be the perfect color but if that vintage string breaks it will be the center of attention. If beads go rolling across the floor they could cause a fall. The dance would have to stop while they were swept up. Earrings and pins can also come loose and get stepped on. Make sure that every thing is well attached. All clasps and clips need to be in good order and strong enough for the piece. Replace any loose pins or other worn findings. 

Jewelry findings are available in many hobby shops and fabric stores along with ‘how to’ books. To get the perfect accent for your ensemble just make it your self. This is not very expensive or time consuming. There are many different styles of necklace clasps, earring backs, and pins that can be used to make or re-do jewelry. Magnets can be purchased from your badge dealer. They work as well on large broaches as they do on badges. Look at reworking some of the costume items already in your jewel box.

Another place to look for great costume jewelry is in second hand shops. If the necklace is the right color, and the right price, but not the right length get it any way. Consider a bargain necklace as a source of beads that can be remade into a perfect accent for your ensemble. The proper length necklace is one that fits the neckline of the dress. Usually, for this activity, shorter necklaces are better. Long necklaces could get caught on your partner’s badge during a swing or bounce up into your face during a Dive Thru. By restringing a long necklace there may be enough beads left over to make matching earrings.

The size of earrings is the choice of the wearer, but don’t make them so heavy that they are uncomfortable. New earring backs can be purchased for pierced earrings and pads that can be added to clip ons for a better fit. Clip ons can easily be turned into pierced style with jewelry findings and a bit of glue.

Hair clips and head bands can also add sparkle to your outfit. Don’t settle for plain clips to keep your hair back, at a dance you can wear the flashy stuff. Do you have a tiara from high school? Dust it off and wear it with your head held high. There is no reason not to show off and it will improve your posture. You can’t slouch with a crown on your head. 

Wrist bracelets can become tangled in someone’s shirt cuff during a Turn Thru. Consider an ankle bracelet instead. Ankle bracelets are just larger versions of the wrist bracelet and there is less that they can get caught on. Why should the upper half get all the jewelry?

Shoe clips are another fun accent to sparkle the lower part of the  outfit. These special clips can be positioned on the toe, the side or the strap for a variety of looks. Just make sure that they are firmly attached.

Belt buckles can be a very interesting accent. A plain one can be made fancy with glue on beads and sparkles. If there is enough bling on the front of the dress turn the belt around and put the buckle in the back. When we are in a square many people are looking at the back of the outfit.

Rings can be a problem when angeling with new dancers. They have a tendency to hold hands too tight and to not let go. They are just unsure and nervous. After a while they will learn to touch and not grab hands. For the first few lessons leave your extra rings at home.

For a real bling go to Sue’s Sparklers ( She has iron on crystals, metals and beads. I have used several of her designs and they go right through the wash. Just follow the instructions carefully and they will add shine to any garment.

The amount of bling on your outfit is up to you. This activity is a great place to let the wild side out. Those pieces that you would never wear to the office are perfect for the square dance hall.