What 2 Wear: Modern Performance Wear for Under $30!!

By Jadée Nikita

When it comes to modern performance wear you want garments that are form-fitting and functional.  You want pieces that highlight the dancer’s lines and at the same time, show off the choreographer’s choreography.  Try to stay away from loose and baggy garments for technical pieces.  The audience appreciates seeing dancer’s strong build and toned body, so don’t cover it up with ill-fitting garments.  If you opt for loose. flowy skirts and dresses, make sure they don’t distract from the dancer’s movement range and from the overall aesthetic of the piece.

Our favorite modern performance wear pieces include barely there underwear garments in nude and black, mock turtle crop tops in lace material, and hi-waisted sheen shorts.  If you opt for flowy skirts and dresses, make sure the top is form-fitting.


If you are choreographing a technical piece with lifts or partnering work, sometimes the more simple the outfit, the better.  It allows the audience to focus on the routine, and the dancer’s technical abilities and overall strength.  It says you are confident, light, and not afraid to bare all.

nude outfit


Like the symbolic meaning of a black belt in karate, thats what a black ensemble is to technical dancers.  Black garments have the power to make a large group look polished and sleek.  When curated properly, a dancer’s lines are best highlighted in a simple black brief and black spaghetti-strap bra top.  If you really want to get fancy, go for a long-sleeved lace mock turtle-neck crop top, or pair a colored footless tight, like red, with the brief.  Imagine when you see 10 girls battement their legs in that outfit!  Wow!  This says power, strength, and overall domination.

Color, Appliqués, and Skirts!!  

Other options to consider when it comes to costume design for a modern piece is color, high–waisted shorts, and different accessories to add to your garment like criss-cross effects, appliques, and skirt options.

Essential Foot Wear

Talk about making it count when it comes to functionality!  Footwear is essential to modern dancers.  Our attitude: use it or loose it.  Sometimes it’s best to just wear those tattered, holy-soled socks, or just go barefoot.  But when it comes to uniformity for performance purposes it’s best to wear something that the dancer’s feel comfortable doing their technical tricks in (i.e turns, leaps, partner work, etc), something that’s best for the performance surface (I can’t explain how many choreographer’s overlook this detail.  Don’t be one of them!), and something that completes the dancer’s lines.  Our favorites are Capezio’s foot undies and their new Pirouette II Canvas shoe in nude, regular black crew-high work socks (not nylon or cotton, but poly cotton), and for our Fly Gyal’s who love breathability along with functionality, check out Danskin’s new Sling-Back Half Sock.  A pack of 3 only costs about ten bucks!

Lace Turtleneck Crop Top $29.95 / Invisible Booty Short $7.95 / Body Wrappers Adult Bikini-Cut Panty $11.8 / Body Wrappers Padded Convertible Bra $22.45 / Capezio Medium Cut Brief $9.85 / Capezio Adult Bra Top $15.65 / Mix-Its Capri Lightweight Legging with Inside Seam $7.85 / Double Platinum Adult Emballe Boy Cut High Waist Short $18.85 / Capezio Unisex “FootUndeez” $18.00 / Capezio Adult Pirouette II Canvas Shoe $14.70 / Danskin Sling-Back Half Sock 3 Pack $10.75

Cover Photo Via Parsons Dance

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