Dance Costumes for New Dance Mums

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BzzAgents Guide to Competition Worries

So, your darling child has decided they want to do competitions, in my case this was Freestyle dance. They have attended the lessons and been told they are ready to do competitions. They are excited , you on the overhand don't have a clue. First thing don't worry, you have a few things you need to buy but these can easily be done on a budget ( although some mum will spend a small fortune - but this happens whatever the hobby)
So things to organise:
  1. Competition Membership - normally you have to pay an annual membership to be able to compete. My daughter's was £14 for the year.
  2. Costumes - depending on the dance style this will be different ( but the rest of the article will focus on freestyle as this is the type of dance my daughter does)
  3. Make up and Hair - This will depend on the age of the child.
  4. Things to entertain your child while at the competition - The day can be very long especially in the beginning stages
  5. Money - I haven't ever got away from a comp with out spending more money but I'm sure it is possible.
So presuming membership is sorted, your dance school will help you organise this.

COSTUMES
As a beginner, generally you will need two or three costumes per comp depending if you are only doing solo or competing in pairs as well. Your dance teacher will have informed you of this already. In Freestyle the main types are fast ( also called solo) and slow. There are very specific rules for fast; you have to wear a one piece or two piece basic outfit in plain colours ( no stones/ patterns/ extra fabric etc). This means a leotard or crop top and leggings or catsuit but plain colour. If you chose crop top and leggings (or shorts) then these can be contrasting colours ( top one colour/ trousers a second) but just one colour per piece. Its worth saying her hair accessories are limited to one item ( wrap or pony cone for example) to match again plain, with no sparkle.  Slow is more complicated / expensive as there are no rules. These are the sparkly costumes that can be as fancy as you want. Currently the in things are lyrical costumes ( so easy to do on a budget) and feather head pieces. Although you will see many other styles out there. You then have the choice of stones or no stones ( or whether to stone it yourself! - much cheaper but sometimes not worth the effort). Best thing you can do is go to a comp before hand and have a look. Ebay is great for picking up second hand costumes to start with and your dance school will have names of local costume makers. My daughter's first slow came in at under £20 for a stoned white leotard with florescent pink bits which I updated, which was later replaced with a stoned lyrical for £65. However other mums have spent over £1000 for their child's first slow. There is something for every budget.

Make Up
No make up or tan for children under 10 . No glitter or sparkly bits for beginners fast (solo). No fake lashes for children under 12. After that pretty much anything goes. I tend to take my daughter for a spray tan ( costs £5 a go at her age but at least i can pick the level of intensity and it looks ok) however you can do it yourself. Avoid oil based ones as these tend to be harder to get out of costumes afterwards. Cheap make up works as well as expensive if you decide to use it. I use a range of Barry M's with stuff I have bought from the local market and snazaroo white face paint. Basics would probably include; bronzer, bright pink blusher, red lipstick, black eyeliner, white eyeliner/ facepaint and mascara. However will soon include different colours and glitter for slow. The make up may look ridiculous close up but does make a huge difference when they are on the floor dancing. One mum told me if it doesnt look stupid you have not put enough on ! ( Always take make up with you to top up during the day. )

HAIR
Again the bigger the better, crimped, hair pieces, back combed, donuts, grips and spray at the ready. As far as I can tell the bigger and more extreme the better as the whole point is to get your child noticed. Practice loads at home first. You will learn to be able to breathe in an atmosphere of hair spray ( another essential for the day)

OTHER THINGS TO TAKE:
  1. Lots of food and drinks ( snacks go down well and saves you money buying extra while you are there)
  2. Costumes
  3. Hair spray, grips and make up
  4. Safety pins ( you need these to attach your child's number and to do any emergency fixes)
  5. Simple first aid ( plasters and paracetamol)
  6. Pen
  7. Entertainment ( ipod/ phone/ereader/ look bands etc)
  8. Enough Money for emergency purchases ( and there will be lots of stalls tempting you all day)
  9. Earplugs ( if you dont like loud music)
  10. A whole heap of patience
After that smile and enjoy. Pack all into a case ( one with wheels makes it easier) I use a beauty/ hairdressers trolley case which works really well.
The other mums will look after you on the first comp ( and generally for a long time afterwards) Dancing will quickly become the second family.
Good luck and thanks to BZZ for getting me to write one of these as part of their promotion. Hope it has helped somebody
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