Competition Costumes


All across the country, studios are getting their costumes ready for competition. From a judges perspective, first and foremost, we want to see costumes that fit properly and the dancers feel great in. We also want costumes to represent the style of the routine and choreography.
It’s hard to concentrate on that gorgeous passé or those perfectly executed pirouettes when a dancer has a costume malfunction. We are sitting on the edge of our seats hoping everything stays put until the music ends. We let out an audible sigh of relief when the dance is over and we didn’t see anything we weren’t supposed to see.
Here’s some food for thought as you dive into designing the look of your routines!


Are the dancers confident in their costumes? How they feel can make or break a routine. Each and every dancer must feel good in the chosen costume. It’s what makes the team unified. Even catalog costumes may need some alterations, so allow time after delivery to make adjustments prior to your first performance.


Shorts should cover the entire bottom. Preferably, wear shorts that have elastic around the legs so they stay in place. If wearing briefs, which may expose the “cheeks”, use fashion tape or glue to hold the costume in place. Shorts and briefs should never ride up. A dancer should never be tugging at their briefs on stage. It takes them, and the judges, out of the dance. If they are uncomfortable, so are the judges. Check out our favorite shorts from Divina Dancewear


Tights add a finishing touch, and solve all of the challenges above. Think about wearing tights when appropriate. Capezio offers quality and variety of styles.

Also check out Shades Of Dance, specializing in skin tone convertible dance tights for people of ALL shades.


If wearing a half top, bra or low cut style, make sure there is ample support and coverage so everything stays in place during the dance. Using flesh fabric or mesh to match skin tone can help a dancer feel secure if you want the look of a deep neck line. If tights are not a part of your look, make sure you use fashion tape to secure the bottom of your leotard. Check out this beautiful Blossom Black Floral Leotard by Chelsea B Dancewear.


Have your dancer wear their costume in rehearsal, just as they would on stage. Sit about 6 ft away from the dancer and watch the costume and choreography during the performance. Remember, the judges are usually up close and personal so take special consideration of angles and lines of extensions, developpes, etc…If you can see it, so can the judges.


We don’t have a preference of catalog costumes vs custom made. The costume score is only 10% of overall score. If the costume represents the style of the routine, and is well fitting, the dancers will project confidence, have fun and that’s all that matters! Deductions happen when costumes don’t fit properly, a dancer adjusting the strap on their dress, a costume falls apart or loses pieces on stage. Costume companies take great pride in their quality and designs. Not every dancer can afford a custom-made Swarovski stoned costume. Catalog costumes can be both time saving and budget conscious, and they can successfully represent your vision! If you want to add that extra something to a store-bought costume, consider embellishing after purchase.


Don’t forget about hair and make up. Create a hair style for the entire group that is unique to your team. Make sure wispies are slicked back before each performance. Our favorite make up, MAC Cosmetics, has many colors to choose from. Choose a matching eye shadow, blush and lip tone that all your dancers can wear which will create an ensemble look. If wearing earrings, make sure they have a double back so they don’t fall off during the performance.

Best of luck this competition season! We hope to see you in one of our upcoming cities.