Dance Costume Ideas For Teens

When creating or purchasing dance costumes, you can come up with fun costumes teen dancers will be happy to be seen in.

When creating or purchasing dance costumes, it's important to consider the special needs of teen dancers. You need to avoid cutesy elements and give the teen dancers the chance to celebrate their more mature style. Older dancers can also wear more elegant, detailed costumes because they will take better care of them. Their dancing skill level should also allow them to work through potential costuming distractions, like wearing a heavy skirt that makes it more difficult to execute turns or carrying a prop.

When deciding on a costume, consider looking to the season for inspiration. In the spring, think light and gauzy pastel costumes. For a holiday performance, an old-fashioned skating outfit would make for a classy look. Save the elf costumes for the younger kids, though. What about a Cinco de Mayo dance with authentic Mexican dresses? Or a Halloween dance with spooky zombie/ghoul costumes?

If you're dancing to a song from a certain era, play up the connection. Flapper dresses, poodle skirts, hippie attire, or disco wear can be fun to dance in and even double as next year's Halloween costume.



You can also look to the narrative of the song for costuming ideas. You could use black and white striped "prison outfits" for dancing to "Jailhouse Rock." Dress up in "˜40s-style military dress for a song like "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy." If you use a song from a soundtrack, mimic the costuming of the movie or musical. Just remember to stay away from overly cutesy ideas like making everyone dress up like an animal.

But sometimes you don't want an elaborate, thematic costume. A solid-colored leotard or unitard is a classic dance look. The leotard can stand alone or be an economical costume choice by simply adding accessories to take it from dance to dance. Wear the leotard itself for a modern dance, add a skirt for ballet, and wear it with a vest for a tap number. Try to stay away from tutus. Unless it's a very traditional ballet number, tulle skirts over leotards and flowing dresses are preferable for older dancers.

Never underestimate the ability of sequins to accent a costume. A roll of sequined elastic can be quickly cut and sewn together to make headbands, belts, ponytail/bun holders, and wrist and ankle cuffs. Obviously, putting all of these together at once would be gaudy, but a well-placed bit of sparkle under the lights will catch the audience's attention.

Dance shoes are fairly standard, but you can make small changes to enhance your costumes. Teen dancers are great for this because, as mentioned before, they should be strong enough in their dancing that a small change from the usual shouldn't get in the way of their performance. If you can find shoes that are cheap enough to only wear a few times, consider dyeing them to match a costume. Just be aware that shoes that are dyed will usually become stiffer. Tennis shoes can also be a fun dance shoe substitution. As another option, you can even glue taps to the bottom of them, or most any other shoe you think might add to a costume.

With a little thought and creativity, teen dancers can wear fun costumes they're happy to be seen in.

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