After taking the time to choose and order the perfect costumes for your dancers, it's smart to put just as much thought into their cleaning and storage. Disaster can strike even the most experienced dance companies, as Patti Fitzpatrick, San Francisco Ballet's veteran costume supervisor, can attest. Recently, a gorgeous crystal-encrusted tutu for the “Diamonds" portion of George Balanchine's Jewels, on loan from another ballet company, was inadvertently dry-cleaned on high heat. “When we got it back from the cleaners," says Fitzpatrick, “all the 'diamonds' had cracked and we had to replace them."
It's not “one-size-fits-all" when it comes to taking care of dance costumes and accessories, and a little know-how is all you need to preserve them. With some extra TLC, you can be sure that your costumes stay as fresh and vibrant as possible.