Dance Costumes Galore!

For several years I have been the Red Door Dance Costume Manager. I was excited to take on this fun and important job! Imagine buying costumes with someone else’s money, and outfitting every dancer I see on a weekly basis in sparkly, fun costumes! This was going to be the best job ever! I knew I could do this- I’ve clothed an entire family for … well, lots of years.

It turns out there’s a lot more than buying costumes to the role of Costume Manager. For starters, did you know that there are more students at Red Door Dance Academy than there are in the average elementary school in Wylie? This year we will outfit our students with over 1200 costumes for recitals, competitions, and The Nutcracker. This fall we measured over 600 dancers for recitals and competitions. We then select unique costumes for every dance. This year we have over 150 different costume styles, each with its own tights and accessories.  Then we order the costumes early enough that they can be made and shipped to us well before they are needed for the many events our dancers participate in.

I start wielding my magic wand at this point in hopes of getting costumes as quickly as possible, managing exchanges and dealing with ever changing delivery dates.  This year has been an especially interesting year to find, order and receive costumes. The disruption of the global supply chain (I am a logistics coordinator as well) has been broken for the last year. It sometimes affects our ability to get costumes that we,and our suppliers, expect to be here in plenty of time.

   

Sometimes our orders end up like a disaster movie plot. This is a true story – last October we ordered costumes for one of our competitive teams. The manufacturer notified both us and the costume company that the costumes were on their way from the factory.  But, a month later I got a notice that these costumes were no longer available. What happened?! It’s very dramatic. A cargo ship hit a patch of very rough weather in the Pacific Ocean causing 40-foot swells to send some containers overboard. Then—if you can believe it—some of the remaining containers caught fire. (The crew was safe.) You can’t make this stuff up. 

Then we get to do a particularly fun task.  We individually unpack every costume, check it out and hang it with written instructions in its own costume bag. Over Christmas break, we packaged about 750 of those costumes with the help of our amazing STAR dancers (our teen assistants). 

My job is not done though until every dancer has their costume and is happy. 

We love costume season and I love making it happen for your dancers!