Friday, May 20, 2011

On the Costumes

If your child is in the Alphabet levels, or a Low Freestyle Skater at our rink, your kid is damned to a Group Number. I say "damned" because it seems that the Group Numbers are pretty low on the totem pole of priorities for Show Management.

A Group Number will involve the children skating in a circle, breaking apart to do a spin or swizzle (pick your level), skating in a circle, crossing the ice in some direction, and skating in a circle. The choreography is not intense, and is usually tailored to the lowest skilled skater of the group.

In a Group Number, you also get the PreFab costumes. These are taken right out of a dancewear catalog. They are cheap, flimsy, and the definition of Flash and Trash, a term which I use lovingly. They are not much better quality than a Target Halloween costume.

For what they are, they are fine. They're made for that one year end recital, on a normal stage in a normal dressing room with normal kids. But no tap dancer ever went sailing into a boobytrap blades that Indiana Jones would be intimidated by while on a gritty, wet surface, then went to go play hockey with dodgeballs in the gym/dressing room for two hours, to say nothing of doing this for four nights in a row.

During Winter Show, I was doing prefab costume repair by Friday. Hems were tearing loose, maribou was coming off, buttons were gone, sleeve caps were shredded, and loose sequins everywhere. By Sunday's end of the run, most of the Boy's costumes were completely trashed. "You get to keep the costume" is not a selling point for being in the show. Again, these costumes were simply not built for this kind of abuse.

Apparently a solution that the Costume Room suggested was that the kids could not wear the costumes except for when they were on the ice. Well, this is okay on the surface, but where, exactly, do you propose 100 or so little girls change clothes easily and quickly without their parents? Twice? Not gonna happen.

So, I don't know what the solution to this problem could be. Some girls will probably shred their outfits and suffer the consequences of playing with those damn dodgeballs that someone keeps thinking is a great idea to have in the dressing room. Meh. My thought is to have them wear long coats or bathrobes or something while they wait. Possibly hot, but protect the outfit. And get rid of the dodgeballs.

I don't know about you, but this outfit just screams "I LOVE DODGEBALL!!"

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