Tell us about your favourite costume from childhood.
Growing up, I didn’t really have ‘costumes’. We didn’t do halloween, and even when we did, we didn’t really get into costumes. For us, Halloween was done at night, but it was always so incredibly hot, so costumes had to involve a singlet, shorts and thongs. Maybe some face paint.
It wasn’t really very common for kids in our town to get dressed up, as we didn’t really have the resources to create costumes, unless it was something that was planned a couple of weeks in advance, or if we had really craft-savvy parents who could go all McGyver on us and create a show-stopper costume out of a few scraps of old material and some safety pins.
Apart from that, the only other costumes I really had were the costumes I had when I was dancing competitively. I can’t say that I had a favourite, but there were a few of the girls’ costumes that I absolutely loved. One in particular was a red and black military-style number, complete with a military-like captains hat, not to mention a kick-ass multiple-award-winning routine that went with it. It was our Senior Jazz Troupe number and it was outstanding. I always wanted to be able to dance that routine from the day I joined the school and saw the girls rehearsing it.
As a kid it was mesmerising and hypnotic. I was having private lessons at the time and it was so distracting to me, I couldn’t concentrate because I just wanted to watch what they were doing. A few months later and I was dancing that routine in our lounge room – over and over and over again. I knew it. I knew every different part of that routine. I knew the music inside and out, and knew the moments when people came on and came off.
But I never got to dance it.
I never got to have that military costume.
I did however get to have a skin-tight purple velour one-armed unitard, with sequin detail from the sleeve, across the torso and down the opposite leg. It was so many shades of wrong.