Where to Find Inspiration for Your Next Dance Costumes

Trends may come and go, but dance costumes are forever. Whether you’re digging through your closet going down memory lane or flipping through photos, reminiscing on past recitals and competitions is more fun when you have exciting costumes.

As a dance studio owner or manager, finding inspiration for new costumes each season can be difficult, especially if you want to stray from costume catalogs. When you know where to look, you can find ideas everywhere. Here are some places to find inspiration and ensure your dancers will be excited about their new costumes.

Pop Culture

Pop culture changes each and every day, but that means you have more than enough inspiration to pull from. Whether you are lining up to see the Barbie movie or viewing Selena Gomez’s new music video, pay attention to what outfits and costumes you are seeing. Is there a theme? Can you pull inspiration from some of the outfits? Keeping an eye on trends in pop culture will help you create exciting costumes for your upcoming recital season. 

Social Media

The words ‘social media’ is a big bucket for many different platforms. Popular ones for dancers include YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest. 

Many dancers or dance companies have their own YouTube channels. While you have probably surfed YouTube for choreography inspiration, you may not have thought about it when seeking new costume ideas. Reviewing channels like New York City Ballet or Hip Hop International and taking notes on their costumes is a great way to find inspiration. 

When it comes to Pinterest, we know that many dancers flock to the platform to scroll. We suggest using the search bar and searching keywords like ‘black and white dance costumes’. This will lead to specific results. Create a secret board to keep your costume ideas and prevent any lurkers from spoiling the surprise before the announcement. 

Instagram is another platform to pull inspiration from. No matter where you look, you will see videos and photos of skilled dancers from around the world. Take some time to scroll through feeds or search names of dancers you are familiar with and take note of costume trends. 


The music is often your first decision when beginning the planning of a recital or showcase. Music determines choreography, decor, costumes, and the mood of the entire performance. Sit down and listen to the music you have selected. Is it telling a story? Once you have settled on the story and mood of the music, you should have some ideas for costumes. If your designer is open to it, send them the music and your ideas as well. They may come up with some ideas you haven’t even thought of. 

Fashion Blogs or Shows

When looking at trends in the fashion industry, it can be hard to envision how that would influence your dance costumes. If you look at the fashion staples, like trending necklines, colors or accessories, you can find some inspiration. Fashion blogs like Atlantic-Pacific and My Fash Diary can give you some ideas on how to pull runway designs into your costume selection. 

Modify Last Year’s Looks

Sometimes, rather than going back to the drawing board, you can look at last year’s or the years’ past looks. Is this year’s theme similar to one you had 15 years ago? Pull up the costumes from that and see if you can draw inspiration from there. If budgets are tight, consider modifying last year’s costumes and reusing them. Some easy ways to change a costume include:

  • Shortening the length of sleeves, skirts, or pants
  • Add a collar or trim
  • Create pops of color with accessories
  • Add new appliques or rhinestones

There you have it! Finding inspiration for this season’s dance costumes can come from platforms you are already using or ones that you haven’t thought of. Whether you’re creating something completely new or drawing inspiration from years past, let your dancers in on the excitement. Create a contest or set a date for the costume announcement. Either way, with a little hard work and some help from a dance studio management software, your recital season will be a success!

About the Author:

With experience as a competitive swimmer and coach, Haley is passionate about helping Jackrabbit clients get the most out of their class management software. As part of the Marketing Team, she spends her time connecting with clients and showing future clients how Jackrabbit can change their business for the better. Outside of work hours you can find Haley out on the boat, on the search for the best brunch food, or cheering on the South Carolina Gamecocks.

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