I’m a first time eisteddfod solo mum – how do I know what to buy.
Always chat to your dance teacher about what vision she has.
Be age appropriate.
Make sure your colour preference is right for the music/choreography. For instance, if purchasing a tutu and the music piece is soft and pretty/floaty, it will better suit pastel colours. If the piece is strong/vibrant with jumps etc. your piece will likely suit stronger colours.
A good designer should be able to help you through these steps and be happy to listen to your piece of music and help you in this area.
Make sure you and your child is happy! …..this is one of the most important steps of all. Occasionally a teacher may be very strong in her visions. It is my personal belief that a happy dancer makes a better performer. Striving to find a happy medium is better than a young dancer being sent out on the stage feeling her costume is a disappointment. I have heard everything over the years….. I have had some very sad 2nd hand tutu’s appear with some disheartened mums and dancers who would like me to wave my magic wand over the tutu and make the poor old limp biscuit turn into a beautiful Cinderella……all whilst ‘not making it look too good’ cause the dance teacher says the judge will expect more of the child.
Lesson 1: Don’t spend too much on a 2nd hand tutu which requires adding lots of things on it to pretty it up. Firstly the amount and quality of the tulle may not be able to hold up the weight of the adornments, and secondly the fabrics maybe suffering from age themselves. 2nd hand is a great option if you are buying something that is reflective in price and you aren’t going to be spending excessive amounts redecorating or refitting.
What about lyricals, jazz, tap and other costumes? The above rules apply. Also take into consideration what tricks, turns, leaps and floor work is involved in the choreography.
Eg: if you are rolling around on the floor a lot a long skirt is going to get in the way and is likely to be ripped if stood on by the dancer getting up from the floor.
Take into careful consideration your dancers shape. what styles are flattering. Does my dancer have a long torso, are her legs short, are we a little plump, is her skin really pale.
Eg: A long torso is better not to have a high neck halter neck style as this can accentuate.
Costuming for your first solo should be an exciting time not a stressful time, your costume is a big part of the memories you and your daughter/son are going to be creating. You are going to look back over stage photos and videos for many years. Personally I love nothing more than listening to a mum and dancer saying just how much they love their costume, or which is their all-time favourite. This means I have done my work as a designer. The hard part for me is being able to change their mind over and over again as they grow and start new exciting choreographies requiring new costumes.
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