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5 Questions to Ask when Choosing a Costume – Ladies Edition

There is so much that goes into making an impression on the dance floor.  From the choreography to the technique, the makeup to the costumes – it ALL counts.  Choosing the right costume isn’t as easy as simply finding something that looks good in the mirror, there are multiple factors that (should) come into play.  Since getting a costume is an investment, you want to make sure it’s one that pays off.  To help you with your next costume purchase, here are 5 questions you should ask before saying “yes to the dress”.

  1. Does it accentuate my strengths?
  2. Does it conceal my “work in progress” areas?
  3. Is it appropriate?
  4. Does it move well?
  5. Does the dress compliment my style?

Let’s take a closer look!

Does it accentuate my strengths?

What is the area you excel in?  Do you have strong powerful legs?  Or perhaps, you have great movement in your back?  A costume that shows off the areas that are your strengths, directs the audiences and judges eyes to those places.

Plus, you will feel rocking every time you see a video of a dress that does this!

Does it conceal my “work in progress” areas?

A costume can also give you a leg up on concealing those “work in progress” areas.  For example:  If you are still developing strength in your legs and may not have your balance on point (yet!), an ultra-short skirt will not work to your advantage, but a longer diagonal cut may do just the trick!

Is it appropriate?

In this category, there are a few things to do the “appropriate” test on

  1. Is it “appropriate” for the style of dance?
  2. Is it “appropriate” for the ballroom? Too revealing is a big faux pas
  3. Is it “appropriate” for your age? To see a 10-year-old in a scandalous costume doesn’t sit well.  Choose costumes that compliment you.

Does the dress move well?

If it looks good in the mirror it doesn’t mean it will look good on the floor.  You will be moving 95% of the time you are wearing the costume, so it’s imperative to see it move.  When finding a costume designer, you should look for someone with quality sewing skills, and someone who is either a dancer or has had heavy exposure to the dance world.  A designer who knows the type of movements that the dance style requires will help you bring the dress to life!

Does the dress compliment your style?

Feminine and classic, sassy and powerful, we all have a style that is unique to us!  One way to express your interpretation of dance is to pick a costume that compliments your personal style.  If you would describe yourself as a “classic”, a hot pink leopard fringe dress may not work towards building a cohesive story.

 

Remember, dancing is a visual activity.  You are bringing to life a story, and expressing it from the inside out.  Choosing the right costume is important in creating a cohesive story, but when it comes to styling it’s only one piece of the puzzle.  To invest in the dress but not pay enough attention to hair and makeup, can result in a sloppy look on the floor.  Talk with your instructor about the image you have for your dancing, and employ their help to assist you in creating that winning look.

I’d love to hear your experiences with choosing a dance costume in the comments.  How was the experience for you?

Until next time,

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Comments 4

  1. Great article Sarah, and oh so true. It reminds me of my ballroom competition days when I really had no clue as to what I was doing in terms of costumes. I wish I had you around at that time! My mistakes were many and mostly because I didn’t follow the rule of “do you feel awesome in that dress”. If the answer is no then it’s not right for you. I settled for what I thought I should wear but in hindsight it was a disaster! One person said I should wear bright colours so that I would stand out and boy did I stand out, not in a good way! 🙂 Follow the rules above and you’re sure to find a dress that makes your feel like a winner!

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      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! And thank you for sharing your experience. I know what you mean, there is so much to think about in the beginning it can be overwhelming!

  2. It really is important to take the article’s advice and find a costume designer with quality sewing skills. After all, when they’re designing the dress they have to make sure that it can move to match the dancer’s movement. In order to achieve that it may need to be sewn in different ways.

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