Dance apparel has undergone a great change since the 1890’s, as the male dancers started wearing kilts or long pants which was a refreshing change from their traditional costume. The women wore embroidered dresses whereas the men wore kilts, jackets, ties and knee socks. Dance apparel can be wide ranging - theatre, opera and ballet. Dance apparel must be designed with comfort and elegance in mind.
Dance apparel made with 90% cotton content and 10% Lycra content stretches at all levels and offers comfort to the dancers. The dance wear made of cotton and Lycra is also durable, thick and opaque. It has a flat finish and absorbs perspiration. The cotton/lycra apparel can also be custom-dyed. Some dance apparel is also made of recycled products. Dance apparel in fabrics such as stretch velvets and spandex in solids, print and textures with glitter or holographic finish offer variety and choice. Colored and textured stones can be used to embellish dance wear.
The dancers are advised to opt for authentic looking, comfortable tights which fit them perfectly. Choose dance apparel made of material that is long lasting and durable. The dancers should see to it that dance apparel is cut larger in the feet and longer in the inseam so that the costume does not pinch the toe or the heel. Dance apparel that places more strain on the seams wont last for long.
Many shops stock dance apparel for recitals and performances. Some dance designers specialize in custom design ballroom and Latin dance wear whereas others specialize in opaque dance tights with a variety of colors and sizes. The tailor-made ballroom gowns look attractive with swarovski crystals. Dance apparel made of rhinestone and rhinestone accessories looks attractive.
- Metallics: It gives a shiny metallic look. It can be stretched well and provides a great deal of comfort.
- Nylon/lycra: It is moderately shiny and can be stretched in all directions.
- Stretch Vinyl: It is extremely shiny and stretches moderately. It is heavy and tight fitting.
- Micromesh: It is made of nylon and it is stretchable but not opaque. This fabric is used for stage costumes.
- Luxury Velvet: It looks like rayon velvet. It has a limited stretch but is soft and beautiful to the touch.
The manufacturers of the dance apparel charge an extra price if they have to apply custom dyes for the costumes. They also charge an additional amount for cutting the horizontal and the vertical panels in the apparel. If the customers require extensive revisions in their dance apparel, then they are charged accordingly. The following dresses and tights are available to the ballet dancers:
- Double Empire Camisole Dress: These dresses come in a variety of colors. The different colors help in enhancing the mood of the dance. Double-cascade chiffon skirt and small chiffon wings to the shoulders exude elegance and style to the dancer.
- Long Sleeve Single Empire Dress: These costumes are painted on polyester chiffon and are washable.
- Seamed Convertible Tights: These tights are made of soft, absorbent material and are also stretchable. Professional ballet dancers use them.
- Long Skirt Dance Dress: Such a dress is made of crepe or any such dreamy fabric that lends an ethereal look to the dancer.
- Footed Tights: These tights are ultra-soft and could be stretched. These tights are used by ballet dancers on stage.
Maintaining Dance Apparel
- Deep jewel tone colored dance apparel looks good if black or the silver color is incorporated in it.
- The trim could enhance the costume, so care should be taken while selecting the trim. But care should be taken to see that the end result is pleasing and aesthetic not chaotic and haphazard.
- The dancer should also avoid mixing metallic shades, as it tends to create chaos.
- The dancers are asked to avoid the ’all-black’ costumes, as such black costumes tend to hide the movements of the dancers.
- The circle skirt of the dancer should be hemmed in an appropriate manner. The hem in the circle skirt should be marked weeks before the performance.
- The dancers should ensure that their harem pants are neither too long nor too short. A long harem pant makes a person trip while the short harem pant makes him look strange.
- The edges of the dance fabric should be neatly hemmed and trimmed.