Have you ever wondered what it’s like costuming our dancers for our annual performances? From the very beginning Miss Robin & Miss Christine decided our difference from traditional dance studios would be to create costumes, rather than purchasing them from costume catalogs. Costumes catalogs are often expensive and don’t take into account sensory and unique sizing issues. Because we purchase real clothing, our dancers are more comfortable which allows them to concentrate on the dance and not what they are wearing. As an added bonus, very often they are able to wear them again for special occasions!
We also have a very talented group of volunteers that help us each year with basic alterations like hems as well as more complicated things like taking apart two outfits and combining them to create one fabulous costume. Another group of volunteers helps us with building the various props you see on stage. We couldn’t have a successful performance without them!
Each instructor spends hours thinking about their dancers’ costumes, shopping for just the right pieces, and putting them together into something that is both fun to wear and eye-catching from the stage.
We thought it would be fun to ask each teacher about this unconventional costume process. Here’s what they had to say.
Miss Christine D.: What was your favorite costume of all time?
The year my dancers created the costumes themselves. One Saturday, the girls dancing to “Good Times” took to their costumes with puffy paint and created their look with their own flair.
Miss Amanda: What’s costume was the most fun for you to design?
This year’s alien costumes have been so fun to put together because I get to think outside the box. I love creating a look that is different and weird.
Miss Colleen: How do you decide on costumes?
Because of my dancers’ high sensory needs, comfort is the most important thing, followed by the theme I am trying to create and the personalities of the dancers.
Miss Christine A.: As a newbie, what surprised you most about the costume design process?
I was surprised as to how difficult it was to find costumes to fit a specific theme, ex. “Danger Zone.” It was easier to find different parts of the costume from different places and bring them together to compute my vision.
Miss Lisa: What’s the hardest part of costume shopping?
Finding the perfect costume. I tend to get a specific idea/ vision and so I sometimes have a hard time finding the perfect thing to match that vision!
Miss Elissa: What’s your favorite part of costume shopping?
Finding “the piece” that pulls everything together. It’s a great feeling!
Miss Robin: What don’t people know about the costume process?
The amount of returns we do! One year I purchased 5 different costumes for just one class. It is so important to find the right fit for each and every dancer so that they shine on stage!
On Saturday, May 9th you will get a chance to see the costumes come to life during our Annual Performances at Cleveland Hill High School. Showtimes are 1pm & 6pm. Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter pages in April, when we post a few costume sneak peeks!