Dance Costumes for Competitions

tap costumes

Dance costumes for competitions have to make as powerful and memorable an impact as your moves. Shop as carefully as you rehearse, because you only have one chance to wow the judges. Find a costume that stands out from the other teams' costumes to make the best impression.

Dance Costume Resources

For the most informal styles of dance costumes, dance suppliers like Discount Dance Supply, Danskin, and Capezio have basic dance dresses, tutus, and outfits that can serve as fine costumes for small budgets. A single accessory can make a plain dress or unitard into a fantastic costume. For teams with considerable costuming budgets, check out the following costume specialists.

Diamond Dance Costumes

Diamond Dance Costumes: A classic dance costume shop, you will find traditional recital-type costumes from this supplier. Contrary to many costume shops, this website can often turn around orders in less than a month. The costumes are only available to dance studios and dance teams, so call for a catalog and pricing if the costumes shown on the website are appealing.


Dance-N-Things: Specialized in outfitting dance teams, this shop offers discounted pricing because buyers are purchasing bulk quantities. While there is a minimum purchase of six of an item in order to get the special pricing, the low cost is well worth checking out this site. Affordable basic dancewear can be found in many styles; paired with a few killer accessories, these performance basics can really shine.

Satin Stitches

Satin Stitches: A well-respected name in competition wear, Satin Stitches produces professional grade costumes that are worn in some of the most elite performances and competitions in the dance world. Custom costumes allow a choice of color as well as guaranteeing the perfect fit.

Leapin' Leotards

puple ballerina costumes

Leapin' Leotards: Offering several types of laid-back costumes, this company has been outfitting dance teams for more than 25 years. Mix and match items in order to obtain a whole new look, or go with one of the preselected color palettes for a classic appeal.

Triple Threat Dancewear

Triple Threat Dancewear: Founded by two sisters, this company is run by a designer and a dancer in order to produce the most fashionable and functional dance costumes possible. This young company has taken competition costumes to new levels, with asymmetrical lines, feather tops, and hot accessories.

Dancewear Solutions

Dancewear Solutions: Dancewear Solutions' selections of performance wear are essentially basic leotards and skirts but with a bit more pizzazz, such as a touch of glitter, sparkle or shine. These do well for complex numbers where you want to be sure you have a good fit and striking but simple look that lets your footwork take center stage.

The Costume Closet

The Costume Closet: The Costume Closet is an excellent choice because it offers consignment costumes for rent as well as sale, so you can save a lot of money. On the other hand, if you have plenty of money to spend and are willing to make an investment in an individual costume, they also offer custom designs. They cater almost exclusively to dance teams, which is a real boon because outfitting a group of dancers well can cost a fortune. With the money saved, you can purchase one of their 200 styles of wigs as well.

Pumpers Dancewear

Pumpers Dancewear: Offering custom designs at reasonable prices, all made in the United States, Pumpers offers a range of styles and fabrics, as well as plus sizes and a variety of men's wear. They claim they can either copy something you've seen in a catalog, or combine multiple designs into one. They swear by their on-time delivery, their motto being "No one dances naked because of Pumpers." It's not exactly catchy, but so long as your costume arrives well before the performance date, everyone's happy.

Everything Shiny

Everything Shiny: If you only look at one Web site when shopping online for costumes, let it be Everything Shiny. The selection is staggering. You can buy anything imaginable, but can also arrange for custom designs. Either way, know that each costume is hand-sewn and each sequin and bead put on one by one, guaranteeing durability as well as a more beautiful polish.

Budget Costume Ideas

swing dance costumes

If you can't afford a custom-made costume, but still want a unique look, you don't have to be handy with a needle to devise something that suits you. Haunt your local fabric shop for trim and fabric remnants that you can sew or even glue on to give your costume its perfect sheen. Be as bold as you feel, you have nothing to lose and everything to hopefully win.

Alternatively, take a standard costume catalog and flip through it, but don't limit yourself to the section in which your genre of dance falls. Pair a jazz feather hat with a black tutu for ballet (instead of the bun accessory offered with the tutu), or a fiery red flamenco accessory on a white lyrical dance dress. In this way, your costumes become highly memorable without coming across as strange or mismatched.

Competition Costume Shopping Pointers

The most important part about choosing a good costume is complementing your personal style and style of dance, as well as finding the right fit. Use these pointers to guide you in choosing the right costume for your competition.

  • Your costume should reflect the tone and mood of your piece.
  • Less is often more and you don't want the costume to overwhelm either your body or your work. Know the value of classic style and simplicity. Even a red-hot number can be overwhelmed by inappropriate costuming.
  • Measure twice for a good fit, but order in time so that you can do alterations if needed. Most costumes will need some type of altering, so plan accordingly.
  • Choose costumes that look good on the entire team.
  • Keep in mind when you're ordering that you generally need to give the supplier six to eight weeks to fill a basic order. Add another four weeks onto that if you are ordering specialty shoes that have to be dyed, and add another four weeks onto that so that you get the costumes in time to practice in them.

Preparing Competition Wear

As the date of the competition nears, ensure that the competition dance costumes for your entire team have arrived, are complete, and fit the dancers. Check everything as it arrives or at the very latest between 4-8 weeks before your dance competition. Be sure to practice a few times in the new gear so that everyone can get accustomed to any accessories as well as the way the costume may limit certain movements or change the way movements feel. Practice several times in front of a mirror as a group to ensure that the costume looks good, makes a statement, and that it doesn't get in the way of the dancing.

Costuming Is Just One Competition Element

While competition dance costumes are an important part of your routine, the most important element should remain the steps, figures, and formations that your team executes. By choosing the right outfit, you will flook and feel good in front of the judges.

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Dance Costumes for Competitions