Sparkle In the Spotlight 2018 Costume Competition

Sparkle In the Spotlight 2018 Costume Competition

Posted by Rhinestones Unlimited on Nov 13th 2018

As part of our celebration of 20 years inspiring amazing dance costume creations, we present to you the first participants in the Swarovski® Sparkle In the Spotlight 2018 dance costume competition!

Six early participants have kicked off the competition, and they do not disappoint:

1)  Christine Murphy Designs:

Strassing custom crystal designs out of Onalaska, Wisconsin, Christine Murphy gives us a sapphire oasis on a leotard and open front skirt the color of desert sands.  Layer upon layer of three-dimensional texture in her signature style begins with our DIY Ovation Appliques in deep blue. Expertly color blended between Golden Shadow and flashes of large Crystal AB shapes and that add warmth and intrigue, heavily encrusted swaths of cobalt sweep thickly down the front of the costume and around to frame a keyhole back, then are carried up into an elaborate headpiece that makes the look larger than life.

 2)  Elle Bauer Designs:

An independent designer who’s made a name for herself in the Twin Cities dance scene, Elle Bauer gives us a showpiece in ombre shades of blue that is at once focused and ethereal.  A sheer halter style leotard feels like a second skin, with lacey appliques like sea spray washing over the dancer’s sides, culminating in a deep blue across the hips.  A dramatic open back cuts low beyond the waist, and swaths of chiffon billow like wings.  It’s a fantasy piece that sets the mind racing.

3) Ignite Dance Connections:

A custom costume company based in Chanhassen, Minnesota, Ignite Dance Connections has created a sophisticated showpiece contrasting warm nude and ice blues.  A sheer, long sleeved leotard with a shimmering pale blue trunk adds layer upon layer of Ovation Appliques down the front in deep V’s of color, like brush strokes.  Slim bands of color cut through a cutaway keyhole back, and drape around the hip, and tone-on-tone texture accents the arm movement.  The effect is concentrated sparkle in subtle shades.

4) Ilogear:

A Miami-based designer and manufacturer of dynamic, contemporary dancewear and activewear, Ilogear gives us a warrior look in vibrant plum.  Colorblocked between panels of sheer nude, the saturated purple shade forms the base for the high-waisted trunk and top onto which a belted “chainmail” skirt panel and plates of shoulder armor sit.  Square crystals dot the lines of contrast like royal jewels and crystal-covered epaulettes blaze between metallic spikes.  The look is fierce, confident and energetic: worthy of a goddess.

5)  Larkin Dance Studio:

A legendary competition studio based in Maplewood, Minnesota, Larkin Dance Studio has designed an exotic showpiece of grace and strength.  A layered costume, it begins with a nude camisole leotard foundation, and adds a dusty rose lace skirt that falls away from right hip to left ankle.  A heavily encrusted décolletage piece- like a breastplate of sculpted armor- moves across the shoulder caps, collarbone and throat, opening into keyhole cutout that lights a fire over the dancer’s heart center.

6)  Stephanie Woe:

This Minneapolis-based custom costume and accessories designer also owns Summit Dance Shoppe, a successful Minnesota competition dance studio.  She’s created a showpiece that conjures that old Hollywood glamour.  In lemon yellow satin, the bra top and skirted trunk are covered with classic Crystal shapes, chunky stones contrasting with delicate floral plumes that spill over the skin.  Thick bands of crystal come together in back to highlight the dancer’s sensuality of movement.  This piece is flirty, fun, confident and definitely dramatic.

If you’re ready to push some boundaries in the name of innovation and would like information on participation in upcoming contests, please contact us at

All participants of the Sparkle In the Spotlight 2018 Costume Competition receive a selection of Swarovski® and Ovation products to incorporate into the design.  We want to see your knowledge of upcoming costume trends, an awareness of movement and your unique perspective.  The Swarovski® team will be judging the competition and will announce the winner of a $500 product voucher in January.

Stay tuned to our Instagram and Facebook pages through December as we share each showpiece with videos and inspirational images.