How to get the perfect performance costume

So, my pole family and I are just under four weeks away from our Halloween show (shit the absolute fucking bed) and it’s reaching the exciting stage of rehearsals where the costumes are starting to appear at our weekly practices. And there are some badass costumes making an appearance!

As I waffled on in my previous post “How to write a show routine”, your choice of costume will play a massive part in your overall performance, so it’s important to have your costume nailed before the big night. Personally, I find putting together a sick costume to be one of my most favourite elements of performance preparation, therefore I thought I’d whip up a little blog comprising of my best bits of advice when it comes to costume creation.

  1. Abide by the rules and regs at  all times

Now this rule is especially important if you are preparing a costume for a competition, as the majority of competitions have set rules for costumes. For example, some competitions have a rule where no costumes that are tied together with strings are allowed. Other comps can have different rules per competition category too. If you check out the rules for Pole Theatre’s Classique category, then you’ll see that the dancer must wear heels and remove part of their costume in their performance. If you’re competing, it’s vital that you get your costume sorted and in all honesty knowing you’ve got a killer outfit that won’t get your disqualified will ease your stresses too.

For showcases instead of comps, there are often a lot less rules and regulations, however depending on the licence of the venue you’re dancing in, a minimum clothing allowance will apply. Make sure you know the minimum allowance the moment you know you’re performing to give yourself all the time in the world to create a kickass costume that won’t land yourself or the venue in hot water.

  1. Make sure that your costume fits your song/theme nicely

If you’re dancing to a really dark, heavy song and want to conjure up a sultry, sexy vibe for your audience, wearing a light colour like baby pink and soft, fluffy accessories won’t cut the mustard. In my opinion, a lacy, dark outfit with some garters and straps would be more appropriate. Basically, accentuate your routine and really make it stand out by ensuring that your costume goes hand in hand with the vibe of your song and/or theme, be it anything from a celestial, angelic dance to a stomping, aggressive tour de force.

PS- Glitter is usually a banging choice for the majority of routines!

  1. Keep your genitals under lock and key

Vaginas, willies, bum holes and balls all serve a purpose, but that purpose sure as hell isn’t joining in with your routine. The last thing anyone needs during their performance is your fanny flaps/hairy balls trying to break free mid-way through a trick and give the audience a wave, so make sure that your choice of bottoms keeps all your organs under wraps. If you’re unsure whether or not your bits and bobs are hidden away in your costume, then…

  1. …Rehearse in your costume as much as possible!

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP! You may have created the most dazzling, brand spanking new costume which fits your song down to a T and could give Theon Greyjoy an erection, but if it falls to bits into the first minute of your routine, then it’s back to the drawing board! As I’ve banged on about previously, get your costume together as soon as possible and start practicing in it asap so you know that on the night you’ve got a sturdy, dependable outfit that’s going to go the distance during your performance.

  1. Don’t leave it until the last minute to prepare a killer outfit

You cannot underestimate enough the art of (attempting to at least) having your shit together. Some folk work brilliantly when stressed and under pressure, but that sure as fuck isn’t me. I am very much the tortoise as opposed to the hare and like to plod along at a steady pace in order to minimise my old performance nerves and stress. Getting shit together early in terms of your costume will enable you to get it honed and perfected come show night. This point is extra important if you’re getting your costume made by one of the many talented pole seamstresses there are out there, as letting them know what you want made in advance will be less stressful for them too as they will have more time to sew your costume.

So those are my top tips. If you have any cracking tips for costume preparation that I’ve missed off this list, feel free to drop them in the comments below!

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