TDW Snapshot :: Costumes

Updated: Nov 13, 2019

Ever wondered about the in's and out's of recital costumes? Well, you're in luck! We are spilling all of the details of the magical world of dance recital costumes! If you don't care (and that's totally cool with us), check out these first few details and then be on your way!


Your 2020 Recital costume fees are posted to your TDW account.



You can view your account at any time in the TDW Portal.


Costume fees posted on November 1st, and you have until January 1st to pay for them. You can pay for them all at once or one at a time, your choice.


Costumes fees are not automatically withdrawn with your tuition. You can pay via your portal account at any time. You can also pay via check or card at the front desk.


Your costume fee includes costume, any hair accessories, tights (if required), and garment bag.


Costumes are made to order. Due to this, we are unable to offer refunds for costume fees once ordered.


That's all of the need to know information. If you want the inner circle details....read on!


We begin the recital planning process in late September, as the costume catalogs start arriving. A bulk of our initial planning is costuming! We start flipping through the pages, and the brainstorming process begins. What will the theme be? What music will we use? It's a fresh slate at this time, and it's FUN for us to envision how we will bring these ideas to life in the coming months!


Last year for the first time, Kathy and I traveled to Atlanta, GA, to the Universal Dance Merchants Association (UDMA) costume show. Up until this point, we had only ever viewed and ordered from the catalogs. We saw our choices for the first time as they begin arriving in the spring. But now, we had seen the costumes in person! It was a game-changer!


This year we took some of the staff to the UDMA show in Chicago, IL. We viewed thousands of costumes! By the end of the day, we were dizzy with ideas, or maybe just dizzy from all of the glitter and sequins we saw!


It was a productive trip! We have a theme, songs, costumes, and heads full of ideas!


Next, we work on getting all of this information into spreadsheets. We analyze price, fit, colors, variety, and styling. We try to fit each song and costume to the personality of each class. We cross our fingers and hope that the students are as excited about our selections as we are!


You know when you are shopping with your kids, and you find something that you LOVE, and you know that it would look great on them? You hold it up to show them, excited at your find and then.....they shoot you down. They would never wear that, how could you even suggest it?!


That's sometimes where we find ourselves. How do you costume an entire class when two dancers hate the color pink, and one doesn't like anything that has sequins, and another doesn't want anything poofy?


We actually have no idea how to please everyone. But we sure try! That's the beast and the beauty of dance recital costuming. One costume can be both someone's favorite of all time, and someone's least favorite. And to that we say, C'est la vie! We put a lot of thought, care, and love into what your dancer will be wearing up on stage, and we hope that each costume is their next "most favorite of all time!"


We also start measuring students at this time. We use a combination of measurements and charts to choose each dancer's costume size. We do accommodate for growth and are pretty accurate with our sizing. We anticipate that a few things will need altering as all bodies are different!


After measuring and sizing, we are now ready to place our orders! We do this in December and January! Ordering costumes is not your typical online shopping experience. The majority of costumes are made to order. That is why the turn around times are so long! Our approximate delivery dates range from March to May!


We unpackage, inspect, sort, and label all costumes as they arrive. Instead of passing them out randomly as they come, we prepare a garment bag for each student. This has their tights, accessories, and costume. We then pass them out all at the same time!


And then they are in your hands! Where we hope they don't get lost, eaten by your dog, or tossed in the washing machine!


We are always interested in the details of creative processes and how things work. We enjoy sharing ours and hope that you appreciated this synopsis of the recital costuming process.

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