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Dance is expensive and one of the most expensive parts of dance are the costumes. If you have a child who dances, you know this. I have spent upwards of $1000 a year on dance costumes for the end of the season dance recital and dance competitions.  After 11 years of dance and my daughter having 4-12 dances each year plus competitions, we have a closet and boxes full of old costumes.  All these costumes year after year can get overwhelming. 


With the price of costumes ranging from $60-100 each and the majority of them will only be used once, what do you do with all these old dance costumes? Keep them in storage bins? Throw them away?  Here are six ways to repurpose and reuse old dance costumes. 

Use The Costume Again

Talk to your dance studio owner and/or dance instructor to if there is a way for costumes to be used again the following year. My daughters first solo costume was her ballet costume from the year before. This year a few of her costumes will be used again next year for different things. There are many places costumes can be reused in other performances, solos, duos, trios etc in the upcoming year. They cost so much money, so reusing them for another dance performance and competitions is a great option. 


Turn Your Dance Costumes Into Halloween Costumes

This is one of our favorite ways to repurpose old dance costumes. After spending $400-1000 a year on costumes, the last thing I am buying is a Halloween costume. So we use old dance costumes for this. A light purple lyrical costume because a Rapunzel. Her scarecrow and monster costumes for dances well became scarecrows and monsters, a tap costume became a 20’s flapper girl costume. Her hip hop costume became a Kim Possible costume one year. An old ballet costume can be turned into zombie ballerinas or a broken doll. The ideas are endless. 


Play Dress Up With Your Old Dance Costumes

If you have young dancers or younger siblings, one of the awesome ways to repurpose recital costumes is to add to your dress up bins. Little kids especially girls love to dress up and what better way to use old costumes! They can dress up in their favorite costumes as ballerinas, princesses, etc. Not to mention this saves money from having to buy actual dress up costumes.


Sell Your Dance Costumes

Another great way to get rid of your old costumes is to sell them. There are places online where you can sell used recital and competition costumes and make back a fraction of the cost. Most people set the sell price at 1/2 of what they paid for the costume. . In fact social media is full of dance attire groups for this purpose. 

You can also try your local consignment store and Ebay of course. Selling old costumes can also be a fundraiser for the competition team at your dance studio. 

Dance Costumes

Donate Your Dance Costumes

Another thing you can do if you don’t want your daughters costumes hanging around is donate them. Nursery schools, mom’s day out, daycare centers or other school programs would probably love to have them for their dress up areas. Check your local high school drama department or local theater companies to see if they could use the costumes 

You can also donate them to a local thrift store for other little girls to be able to have them. You can also donate them to a non-profit organization such as Dance Fairies which accepts donations of costumes and dance wear to share the love and gift of dance with kids in need. 


Save Them 

Not all of them but the special ones like their first costume, solo costumes, custom costumes, their senior year solo, etc. One way to do this is in a shadow box with their dance   shoes, I've seen this a lot with ballet costumes and toe shoes. 

Another way to save special costumes is by during them into a dance costume quilt. This would make a great present for a high school or college senior

What ways do you recycle old dance costumes to make room for new costumes? 

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