You’ve Got the Look

November 5th, 2019 by Elizabeth Radabaugh

Dance Costume

Dance CostumeFor competition, dancers not only have to work hard to present excellent technique and performance quality, they should also present themselves in a complete and clean look. Dancers should take their appearance seriously. It’s important to present a professional, polished and put together look. If you look good, you’ll feel good and therefore, you’ll do good! In today’s blog, here are some tips to make your look as polished and perfected as your dancing.


Hair on the Side of Caution

An important and tricky issue is hair. Ultimately, it is up to the choreographer which hair style he or she envisions. However, it is up to the dancer to make sure you have followed that vision. Take your time and make sure you have done your hair properly. If your hair style is supposed to be pulled back neatly, it is your job to make sure you are crisp and clean for the stage. Dance CostumeThere is a plethora of hairsprays, bobby pins and hair elastics on the market today to help make your hair style flawless. A recent trend has been to use bun rollers or “doughnuts” which are great ways to create a perfect bun. Be sure to secure them properly. A tidy look is always welcomed by your judging panel.

If your routine calls for your hair to be down, please don’t think you can just walk on stage without doing anything to your head. While having your hair down can give a free and wild look to your dancing, make sure you put in the effort to groom your hair. Your hair should be styled so that the judges can see your face. It distracts the judges when hair is covering your eyes. You want to pull the judges in with your facial expressions and not distract them with untidy hair. Whichever style your presenting on stage, make sure you are adding to your look and not distracting the judges from the performance.


Costume Eventualities

Dance CostumeIt important to present a clean and neat costume. Undergarments are necessary. It is also necessary to make sure no one can see them. Be sure to test out your costume at home or at your studio. Be certain that everything underneath your costume stays there. Your costume, including your shoes and tights, should be clean. Anything with holes or stains are not for competition and should be used for rehearsal only. Your shoes should also always stay tied. This includes tap shoe laces and pointe shoe ribbons. Taps should be secured to your shoe. It’s a great idea to always have a Philips screwdriver in your dance bag to lock down any loose screws. Pointe shoe ribbons need to stay tied but also tucked in. I used to wrap my excess ribbon around the inside knot multiple times until all excess ribbon was wound. Whichever method you choose, be prepared for any eventuality on stage. Again, you want to do everything in your power to make sure nothing about your costume distracts the judges.


In closing, take your look seriously. Running into the competition with bed head shows that you are not putting in the effort necessary for success. Treat your art with professionalism. Be prepared for anything. Plan and anticipate. Give yourself the look of a world class dancer and you’ll soon dance that way!


Marissa Staniec is a performer, choreographer, teacher and adjudicator for StarQuest with over 20 years of experience in the dance industry. She also hosts, writes and produces her own podcast on iTunes called “Beyond the Mirror: A Dancer’s Podcast”.