This week is one of our favorite weeks of the year – costume week! Because our Sunday classes are all technique classes and rehearsals for competition, we have a little break in the costume reveals – so we thought we’d share a little peek into the processes our instructors use when selecting their recital music and costumes. Most teachers spend hours curating lists of potential songs for each class – I know several of our instructors began searching for recital music when we set our fall schedule last spring. The costume and music choices you hear this week are the result of hours of listening, searching, and planning.
Every teacher has a different style they prefer to choreograph to for each genre of dance – and we love giving our instructors free range to choose music that moves them. The best routines begin with a choreographer who is excited and inspired by the music! We choose to keep our recital themes pretty loose and general so instructors have a wide range of music choices without being limited to songs about a specific topic.
First, instructors listen – A LOT. We listen to current popular music, we listen to oldies, we listen to contemporary re-makes or covers of oldies, we listen to independent and small artists, movie soundtracks, Broadway soundtracks… and then when we hear a song that will make a great dance, we save it for later.
After we have a list of several songs that could work, we listen – AGAIN. We compare songs to each other, consider the tempo for our class, plan how we can edit the music to an appropriate length for recital. We consider what costumes could compliment the music and our idea and theme behind the piece.
Once we’ve selected music, we screen each song (both the instructor and studio director) for content in lyrics, making sure that it aligns with guidelines we follow for our YPAD Certification.
After we screen the music, we double check that we don’t have duplicates – every class at the studio has their own unique recital routine created just for them with unique music, costuming, and choreography.
At The Pointe, we order over 1,000 costumes per year for competition and recital routines. This is a considerable investment that we know our families trust us to make wisely. Because there are no costume stores where we can visit to view costumes and bring them home, we only order costumes from companies that we have developed great working relationships with and that we know and trust. Miss Vanessa actually serves on a studio owner advisory council for a costume manufacturing company – giving her opinion on costume designs, materials, packaging, and more. We try to support the industry’s first YPAD Certified costume company as much as we can as well – we consider costume ordering one way to “vote with our dollars” and hope to support companies that create great costumes and have a similar mission and vision for the dance industry as we do.
We receive catalogs for the season between July and September – and as soon as they come in, teachers are browsing and looking for costumes that could go well with the music ideas they have in mind for each class.
Teachers select costumes that meet our YPAD criteria and fit their vision for their choreography with the music. Our studio director then double-checks every costume for standards, budget, and ensures we don’t have duplicates.
At The Pointe, we are so proud to showcase our dancers at recital with choreography, music, and costuming that shows the best aspects of dance education. Using 100% “dad-approved” music and costumes is one part of the equation that makes us so proud to be The Pointe.