What To Do With Old Dance Costumes?

You are not the only one who isn’t sure about what to do with old dance costumes. The storage and the junkyard are not the final destinations for them. Let’s check out these simple yet effective solutions!

What To Do With Old Dance Costumes?

You don’t have to be shy if you harbor a strong affection for your old attire and oppose the idea of simply throwing it away. Old dance costumes offer a whole lot more benefits than you might think. Store them like a keepsake, give them a transformation, or gift them to a new owner – the choices are aplenty.

Keep them for the sweet memories

A lot of parents like to keep the first costume they bought for their child, and dance might have a strong bond with the attire they have performed and won with. You will hardly find this sentimentality between a dancer and a borrowed outfit.

For more tips on keeping your dance in the most favorable state, please refer to the next part of the article!

Repurpose old dance costumes – Make Halloween outfits

It would be such a waste to throw expensive costumes with high-quality away when you can use them for different purposes. Children love to dress up and play in their imaginary world, and pretty ballerina costumes are always the top choice.

Furthermore, maybe the attires are not suitable for performance anymore, though costume parties might be the time for them to shine. Some outfits for Halloween are incredibly expensive, the princess outfits for example. However, let’s not forget how pretty and elegant dance costumes are. With a few additions and changes, you can literally enhance the old attire.

Sell old dance costumes – Where to sell?

Not everyone has the budget for brand-new dance gear, and they would love to have your old attires at a fair price. It comes in handy if you own a costly costume that you don’t want to simply throw away or give away for free.

  • Where to sell old dance costumes?

You can create a post on the Facebook market or similar platforms and state the price. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of doubts and tracking, you can create an account on a shopping app.

Other than online shops, flea markets are also a great idea, especially when you have other items to sell besides your dance costumes. Some market sellers will sell and collect the money for you as well.

Something you deem old and in need of replacement might be very useful to others people. The local studios would love to have some outfits for their newbie dancers for example, or a dance museum might include it in their exhibit.

Furthermore, if a family member or a close friend of yours is about to take dance lessons, they would consider it a heartfelt gift.

Where to donate old dance costumes?

Here are a few addresses you can contact for dance costume donations:

  • Donate to Dance: Any type of dancewear, costumes, and shoes, as long as they are only slightly worn, will be distributed to schools in need.
  • Traveling Tutus: They prioritize ballet slippers and costumes, new tights, and tap shoes for children, but adult sizes are accepted too.
  • From Our Hearts to Your Toes: Your donation will be sent to remote and rural locations for children who aspire to dance.
  • TDF Costume Collection: There is no limit for TDF except for wigs, and they’re on a mission to bring the passion for dancing to everyone.

Upcycle old dance costumes – How to do?

Dance costumes are usually not cheap, hence the materials are of great quality even when the stitches are already worn out. Here are some DIY ideas for old dance costumes:

  • If your dance costumes consist of two prominent parts, you can utilize either of them as a new shirt or skirt. Don’t forget to be cautious and attentive to the hems and the stitches, so your recycled garment will look neat.
  • Leotard Tote: You can turn an old leotard into a tote bag by simply attaching a handle and keeping the tutus intact. Adult leotards work too, but the soft colors and adorable embellishments of a child outfit still win!
  • Applique flowers: You use old dance tights to make applique flowers that will be a great enhancement to a plain jacket or shirt you have.
  • Ankle socks: We bet you have thought of something similar every time you look at the tights of your dance costume. Go google, there’re numerous guidelines showing you how to turn them into pretty socks.

Another trend popular among dance parents is collecting pieces and patches from every attire their child adorned each year before sewing them into a small quilt. If you are not skilled in sewing, don’t worry! We are aiming at a gift here rather than an artwork.

DIY Quilts from Old dance costumes
DIY Quilts from Old dance costumes

Check more: Best Recitals Gifts for Dancers

Tips to Keep Your Dance Attire as Good as New

Treat the sweat stains

Sweats, makeups, and accumulated dirt are all frequent threats to your costumes. Sometimes, you can make it quick with spot-cleaning, but it won’t help you get rid of the stains in the long run.

The first thing you can do is avoid eating or drinking anything with colors or greasiness when you are wearing a dance costume unless you have a robe or a napkin.

If you are not sure whether you can machine-wash your costume or not, choose the safe way and wash it by hand with a soft detergent. The chemicals for dry cleaning are quite harsh, so you’d better keep them as far away from your performance attire as you can.

Get rid of the odor

Having a type of perfume you like so much that you want to use it everywhere is nice, but your dance costume will thank you if you spare it. The smell of perfume will seep into the fibers and eventually worsen itself.

However, our main concern is the accumulation of perspiration and bodily residue, because you can’t throw your dance attire to the washing machine as you wish. Handwashing with cold water and soft detergents is always your best bet.

Care for the rhinestones

Performance costumes often come with sequins and rhinestones, which look gorgeous but are unfortunately vulnerable. In most cases, you should keep a tube of craft glue in your kit.

Before you adhere the little beads to the fabrics, don’t forget to insert an extra layer in between, so the glue won’t seep through and turn your clothes into a sticky mess.

Nonetheless, if you don’t have a flair for repairing, leaving the task to someone skilled would be a better choice.

Keep them in garment bags

Storing dance attire properly is essential. It starts with preparing a spacious area so the costumes are not crushed and compressed. If you manage to do this first step, your dance attire won’t get unwanted wrinkles.

Don’t fold your dance clothes, especially when they have rhinestones and sequins on, for these small decorations might end up shredding the fabrics and permanently ruin them.

You won’t regret purchasing good-quality bags for garments. They can store your costumes respectively and maintain their prime conditions while being very convenient when you need to travel.

You’ll love: 9 Best Dance Bags for Classes & Competitions


If you’re not someone who loves keeping everything for the sake of memories, knowing what to do with old leotards or ballet costumes saves you from the dilemma. Your old outfits can bring joy to struggling dancers or transform into something more fun, it’s all up to you!

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