Dance Becomes Easier When You Have the Right Apparel

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dianna schneider

May 11, 2009, 10:10:46 PM5/11/09
to dancejag

Dance costumes, or apparel is an important component of any dance
competition, movie, or stage presentation. The look can make a dancer
or dance group really stand out to the audience. A lot of effort goes
into costume design. Most people when they think of dance apparel,
they think "flashy" or "glittery" and "sparkly," even. However, the
best designed costumes are beautifully designed pieces that will
compliment the performer and the choreography. If it sounds like a
complicated process, it is! There are not only a vast array of styles,
which consist of colors, textures, and materials of fabrics, but it
also the fits and how the all these individual components come
For instance, certain colors will show off certain dance moves better
than others, and the way the light reflects from the fabric can really
enhance a dancer's form. Also, the color can represent the
choreography of the piece itself, a sort of representation of the
dancers dance moves. Color should never distract from the dancer, and
sometimes this can be a difficult accomplishment for a costume
Fabric itself is a huge consideration in the design of a piece. The
fabric must show the moves and not the body. The audience needs to
concentrate on the moves of the dancer and not be too dazzled by the
dance wear, itself. The fabric can be loose or tight, but should never
inhibit a dancer from movement, such as traditional clothes would.
Choosing a costume or designing a costume that is comfortable is the
most important step toward a successful dance event. For instance,
dancers never dance in traditional clothing, because most fabric we
wear everyday is restrictive. Even when dancer seem to be wearing t-
shirts and jeans in the movies or on stage, they are not. The cut and
material are especially made to allow the dancer full range of
movement and most times allow the dancer's body to breathe and keep
Another important factor in costume design is comfort. If the dance
apparel is beautiful, but the dancer is uncomfortable, then the
purpose will be defeated. Comfort is sometimes put on the back burner
of design and when you see a performance where comfort has been
disregarded, the performance will suffer. It is crucial that comfort
be implemented into the design process early on; otherwise, the dancer
may not be able to perform the moves needed at all.
The key to a good dance costume is that it must accentuate the dancer
and not hinder the dancer or the dance in any way. A good dance
costume will enhance the audience's experience of the piece. If the
costume is too flashy in color or fabric, then not only does it
detract from the dance moves being performed, but it also detracts
form the overall choreography of the piece. And last but not least,
comfort is king here. No matter if all the other pieces come together,
if the dancer is not comfortable then the performance will suffer.
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