It is finished. I am finally done ordering dance costumes.
That is, until they arrive and don’t fit anybody and I have to send them all back.
I do wonder how many hours I spent looking through catalogues, magazines and web site after web site, all to costume 14 dance numbers for two performances. This is only the second dance recital that I’ve put together, so I am definitely a novice at costuming for multiple body types and age groups, trying to get each costume to fit the emotion or style represented by its dance and making sure that the costume won’t inhibit any of their movement. Try it some time. Its much trickier than I would have thought.
Firstly, there’s the fact that dance costumes are unneccesarily expensive. Everyone is very high-tech now with their ‘specialty fabrics’ and mesh linings that wick away even the slightest trace of ‘moisture’ or patent-pending formulas that instantly make you look 6″ taller and 10 lbs lighter. ‘A midnight stretch halter in superior moisture-wick technology fabric with ballet cut legs and 1/4 length handkerchief skirt accented tastefully with scattered diamond points to create a magical look. $72.’ Let me break that down for you; black lycra leotard that absorbs your sweat with a torn-up looking miniskirt covered in paste rhinestones. Hell, for $72 just give me some bedsheets, scissors and a bedazzler and I’ll make you something really ‘magical.’
Secondly, I’m trying to find costumes for young ladies to wear in front of their parents. While almost every 14-year-old I know is perfectly comfortable wearing a triangle bikini to the beach, most fathers aren’t comfortable watching them wiggle around the house in one. I tried very hard to be respectful of both the girls and their soon-to-be-shell-shocked dads, costuming them in dresses that I think would feel glorious and empowering to wear but aren’t heart-breaking to see your daughter dressed up in and slinking around on stage in front of an audience. I also wanted to be aware of undergarments, myself being a girl for whom a bra is a requirement and not a choice. I made sure that everything I chose was both strap and band friendly. Very, very difficult to manage.
Of course, then there are the boys, which are just as challenging. You want them to look like they belong with the sparkly, leggy girls that they’re dancing next to, but you don’t want them to look…erm…well…gay. Well, here’s some news for you: ALL BOYS DANCE COSTUMES LOOK GAY. I finally decided just to order them the least-crotch-oriented black jazz pants I could find, black and white dress shirts, colored ties and pocket handkerchiefs. I’ll pull black blazers and snazzy hats out of our costume stock upstairs and they’ll look fantastic and straight. Which they are. Most of them.
So now that the choosing is complete, I just have to wait for them to arrive. Everyone will open their packages, exclaim gleefully that it is even better than they dreamed and then all of their items will fit perfectly. Its gonna be great. I hope.