When it comes to competitive dance, there is a lot of aspects that are NOT in your control. But one thing you can do is make sure your appearance at competition is perfect. A finished look that is consistent with your group will not only make you look great on stage, but it will give your group a uniform look that exudes professionalism. The last thing you want to do is to distract the audience from your amazing dancing. Head pieces that fall out or inconstancy in their appearance can lower the overall value of your presentation. The judges won’t notice your beautiful stretched foot if your costume is falling down or your hair is messy and out of place.
1. Costume Fit: It is important that the costume fits properly. If a dancer is uncomfortable in their costume, it shows on stage. They should not be pulling tugging or adjusting the costume in any way. It should be comfortable and fit them well to ensure it presents well on stage and is not distracting to the dancer or the audience.
2. Costume Style: When selecting a costume for a routine, it is important to take every dancer in to account. Choosing styles that are flattering and appealing to your students, parents and audience members will help to sell your routine. Each member of the ensemble should feel confident and great in their costume.
3. Costumes that are Age Appropriate: Dancers should wear costumes that cover their body in a way that is appropriate for young children. Two piece costumes, bra tops and bare legs are not appropriate costuming. Dancers should aspire to be seen as classy. Covering their legs with tights not only finishes the look on stage, but protects them and keeps their muscles warm while dancing and performing.
4. Noticeable Undergarments: Showing any type of undergarments is not becoming on stage. Being sure to tuck nude leotards or any straps out of view. Wearing appropriate undergarments when needed is important as well to ensure there are no costume malfunctions.
5. Messy Hair: It is important that dancers use plenty of gel to smooth hair before going on stage. Loose hairs create a halo in the stage lights and it looks sloppy. Use plenty of bobby pins in your bun to ensure it doesn’t fall out. If your required to wear a ponytail, make sure you either straighten the ends or curl the ends. Otherwise, your hair can look unfinished. Whatever the hair style required, make sure it is neat and polished.
6. Tights with Runs or Holes: Tights that are worn out and have holes and runs DO NOT look good on stage. The judges are usually right at your feet staring at your bottom half. You want them to see a fresh pair of tights that match your shoes. You should always have class tights and performance tights separate. Always keep extra tights with you, you never know when you could get a run or a snag.
7. Accessories that are NOT Secured Properly: Whether it is a part of your costume or a hair piece, ensuring everything is properly secure is key to avoid unnecessary distractions. Jewelry should not be worn when dancing unless it is part of a unique costume request from your choreographer.
8. Nail Polish and Care: Nails should be natural (no polish) and trimmed. Having long nails can be hazardous to the people around you since you are in such close proximity when dancing. Not to mention partner work and tumbling aspects to consider.
9. Dirty or Mismatched Shoes: Shoes should all be the same shape, color, style and over all look. Brands can differentiate. Shoes should be kept clean for class and performance. Dance shoe care is very important to help make them last and for sanitary reasons as well.
10. One Shoe Look: This is NOT OK! It is an unflattering trend on even the most amazing dancers. You would never see anyone on Broadway with one shoe? So please, wear them both or don’t wear any. 😉