So why Feather Three? What is it trying to do in the world?
Why does it exist?
My name is Joel, the founder, lead designer, and sole operator of Feather Three! If you’d like the long version of the answer to this question, you can find it a little further below.
For the rest of us with short attention spans, the short version is:
Feather Three seeks to support forward-thinking dancers with well-crafted, funny, and relevant casual wear. It’s a dancer’s brand, something we wear because it's who we are, not because we think the judges or society will mark us highly for it. We support equality, justice, and shaking up the traditional world of dance. Let’s grow together!
If that’s not enough for you, read on to find out about the name, what Feather Three stands for, and a little about how it all got started. Enjoy!
What’s in a name?
First, to answer one of the most-asked questions:
The brand is named 'Feather Three' because that is the simplest move combination (a feather-step into a three-step) that one can do in Standard Ballroom Foxtrot. A Feather-Three is shorthand for this easy combination! It is where most of us start when learning Fox, and a good feather or three-step is always a part of any routine.
Perhaps more to the point, Foxtrot is often described as a ‘dancer’s dance.’ Why? While it may not have the drama of a Tango or the flirtation of a Cha-cha, most people who’ve danced a good long wall in Standard Foxtrot will agree that it just might be the closest thing to floating one can achieve on two legs. Not always much to look at, but on the inside, ooey-gooey goodness.
By that same token, I want Feather Three to be adancer’s brand.
I like a good performance costume as much as the next, but if you’re like me, you probably spend the vast majority of your dance life practicing and social dancing in T-shirts or other casual wear. Why, then, do we have hundreds of costume makers and, as far as I can tell, no brands for casual wear?
That sounded like an opportunity to me!
As dancers, we often use jargon that is opaque to those who aren’t in the dance world. If I say “Alemena, Fan, Hockey Stick” or “Push, Pass, Whip” to the right group of people, they’ll know exactly what I mean, but to everyone else, it may sound like gibberish. Without being too snooty about it, Feather Three tries to celebrate this unique dancer language.
On Social Justice
I want Feather Three to help dancers express themselves, especially those whom our community has traditionally silenced. Partner dancing in its historic forms has been unarguably steeped in the bitter tea of sexism, racism, and classism. It is Feather Three’s position that all of these deeply flawed and failed ideologies hold us back from realizing the full beauty of what partner dancing can be, in all of its incredible shapes, styles, and colors.
Will we change the dance world with a few T-shirts?
Perhaps not, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying.
On a more practical level, abrandnever changes the world, but its community can! I hope these products inspire you, embolden you, and above all else make you feel happy about being the kind of dancer you are.
For those of you pushing the envelope of what is ‘normal’ in our dance communities to include more of humanity, I applaud you. I hope the designs and language on this site are an accurate reflection of that.
For those who occupy less revolutionary roles but still want to support their friends, I hope one or two designs on this site catch your eye! Your roles as allies and supporters are important, but staying silent helps nobody. In dance we often communicate far more with our bodies than with our spoken words and choosing to clothe yourself in something mildly controversial might be just enough to keep the conversation in the minds of those who still need to be convinced.
Let’s make the dance world a better, more inclusive place.
I created Feather Three in the summer of 2018 because, quite frankly, I couldn't find a dance t-shirt that I liked enough to spend any money on.
None of them were quite right. In fact, most of them were downright lame.
Nothing spoke to the clever, athletic vibe that was so often felt around happy, positive, successful dancers. Nothing looked like inspiration on a shirt. More importantly, the quality of all the other offerings was, quite frankly, bad.
Talking to friends it became clear: people wanted these things, but there was nowhere to get them. A few people had made one-off designs to limited success, but nobody had seen a brand truly serve the needs of forward-thinking, athletic, casual dancers.
Hours of late-night drafting, designing, writing, coding, and then re-doing it all when it wasn’t quite right finally culminated in this, Feather Three!
So have a look around, check out all the nooks and crannies and, if anything strikes your fancy, perhaps go ahead and buy it. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
I’ll see you (and hopefully a shirt!) out on the dance floor!
Founder and Lead Designer of Feather Three
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