Dance Costume Designer

Put together showy outfits that Dancers can move in.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$33,000 – $131,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Dance Costume Designers do?

The color, the movement, the sparkle—without costumes, Dancers would be like flightless birds. The Dance Costume Designer carefully chooses every fabric and texture to capture the story of a ballet or a jazz routine all in the way a skirt flows. He turns concepts into creations, whether he’s creating a pattern for a catalog or a single outfit for a Hip Hop Dancer.

Track a Dance Costume Designer down during work hours and you’ll find him standing over a table full of fabric swatches and thread. As a Dance Costume Designer, you mix and match pieces until you have an idea that fits your client’s needs. On Monday, you’re making matching leotards for a team, and by Friday, you have an order for princess costumes for a children’s recital.

You sketch the designs on paper and then snip, tuck, and sew your way to a prototype ready to show the client. When the design is finalized, you turn into a Tailor. You measure the Dancers and make alterations. With all that jumping and spinning, your costume must be durable yet flexible to avoid ripped seams or flying sequins.

You take multiple orders at once and multitask projects in your cozy office, complete with all the sewing space you need. Then it’s time to deliver the finished product. Soon, your costumes are touring the world. Time to take a bow!

Should I be a Dance Costume Designer?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • How to become a Dance Costume Designer

    Most Dance Costume Designers have a Bachelor's degree or an Associate's degree. Chart?chd=s:is9pap&chl=no+college+%285%25%29|certificate+%2826%25%29|associate%27s+%2836%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2824%25%29||doctorate+%289%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,5,36
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