7 Things That Make Choosing A Costume For A Show A Pain In The @$$

Dance Culture

7 Things That Make Choosing A Costume For A Show A Pain In The @$$

Jessie Ma
January 23, 2024
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When your team is preparing for a performance, the dancing is the biggest, but not the singular, part of the artistic process. Turning choreography into a production involves several more elements, including: staging, props, lighting- and of course, costumes! What you wear on your body is critical when it comes to dance- it can either hide or highlight or complement or distract from your moves. Thus, choosing a costume can be a difficult process for a team. But since it is also one that depends on the comprehensive artistic vision of the set, this nifty flow chart/infographic can help make your #costumestruggles a bit easier to navigate:

1. The MONEY

This applies to any and all costumes, really.

You're probably not going to have a spare astronaut suit or full on cowboy hat-britches-boots combo laying around in your closet, so themed sets often require dancers to buy at least part of their costumes.

And if you're a student / worker / dancer / car owner with current gas prices (gee whiz), I doubt you are A-okay with blowing a bunch of money on a costume you'll only wear for a few performances.


  • If you already own a part of the costume you have to buy "Black shoes" - oh! done!
  • Buying something for the costume that you'll probably wear irl (in real life) Oh! These joggers are actually cute. ANDDDD every time I wear it people will know I danced in (Team)'s 2013 VIBE set. Hohohoho~


Again, with any costume, but most particularly with themed costumes- to cut our wallets some slack, we have to make a lot of stuff! Sewing on details or cutting up shirts, it requires a a few team members to get hands-on. It can be a tedious process- sewing is fun, but doing it 40 times to 40 pocket tees gets tiring.


  • Costume making parties bond teammates! Your fingers are about to fall off too? Awwww, Little!!!
  • It allows for someone to take the spotlight of being team seamstress! Oh my shirt? Soft, huh? It's made of Wifey Material.


There's a bit more research that needs to be done depending on your theme, and a lot more questions to ask.Does everyone fit the theme?Are we staying true to the theme, historically / technically / scientifically like seriously.Are the main characters too flashy? Not different enough?

There are a few more problems that come with it- when we have such specific costumes, you have to REALLY keep track of all its components. Like how can you play a pirate if you're missing your beard and hook and parrot?!

And you're also not gonna be wearing this costume on a regular basis irl. tbh. Unless it's Halloween.


  • A free Halloween costume!

4. The HYPE

Sooo a lot of hype sets tend to go with a trend that's hype. Confusing sentence but you get me.

But the thing with trends is that they're not timeless. Dropcrotch pants, paisley, color block, FLORAL PRINT POCKET TEES... I can't confidently say that our grandchildren will go thrifting for these pieces and marvel at how classic and iconic they are.

But like who cares?!


  • It looks super cool and "in" when you're performing. Like Wow, that team is dope and clean and are ultimate fashion trendsetters for these next 2 weeks!!


One of my biggest nightmares is having a wardrobe malfunction on stage that will be immortalized in 4K...

So it's important to tuck everything in, safety pin it, and check for a costume's danceability. Tight pants ripping, nip slips, or not being able to grand plie- AHH!


  • 'Feelier' sets allow for a bit more artistic freedom, so if a nip does happen to slip- hey! We're just pushing artistic boundaries. Very modern of us.


We reached a certain point in performance history where every color combo has been done before.

Khaki and maroon? Black everything with gold accessories?


  • Costumes don't have to necessarily be innovative and out of the box to be cool. Often, the classier combinations are the the most appropriate and set-flattering.
  • A bulk of the costume doesn't have to be bought or made! As long as you can pass your heather grey as a granite grey, if you don't mind standing out a little...


Black pants, black shoes, and team shirts! Using a tech-rehearsal outfit for your actual performance may feel a bit... basic. But it's a great go-to! If all else fails, it will ALWAYS work, and it will ALWAYS be timeless!


  • Team shirts provide a sense of unity. And the group photos will be soooo IG-worthy.

And to note the major events within this whole struggle,

here is a timeline in which your thoughts go from blase blazer to panic panties (and then back to smooth sailing slacks):

What are some bumps you ran into while deciding on a costume for your performance? Comment below to share with us?You can wear whatever you want when you take class on STEEZY Studio! Sigh up today to start your training griiiind.