Solutions For Common Dance Stains

Everyone knows the sinking feeling that comes after spotting a stain on an otherwise pristine costume. But it happens all the time, and unless you're in a company with a wardrobe department, it's up to you to get out that stain. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with some quick fixes.



One of the most common backstage stains is also one of the easiest to remove. If you notice a white streak on a dark-colored costume, find a piece of dry cotton fabric (a sock or sweater) and rub the two fabrics together until the deodorant streaks disappear.



Lipstick stains are tricky because the makeup contains both oil and wax. Try pouring a small amount of rubbing alcohol onto a rag and blotting as much of the stain as possible. Avoid a rubbing motion that could cause smears. Next, spray a bit of hairspray onto the stain and wait 10 minutes before wiping with a wet rag. If a stain is still there when you get home, dab it with grease-cutting dish detergent and wash the garment in cold water.



The first step you should take to remove blood from a costume may sound icky, but it usually works: Try spitting onto the stain and then rubbing the fabric together. The enzymes in saliva that help digest food can also help dissolve blood. Another trick is to steep the blood-stained section in a bowl of hydrogen peroxide for 10 minutes, remove and rinse in cold water.



 To get pesky yellow stains out of the arms of a light-colored costume, try crushing two aspirins, mixing them into a half cup of warm water and soaking the fabric for two to three hours. If you’re short on time, dissolve one tablespoon of salt into a liter of hot water and dab the stains with the solution until they disappear.



  • When running water over a stain, be sure to run it from the back of the stain. This will force the stain back out through the fabric, instead of pushing it deeper into your clothing.
  • Before putting a stained garment under any sort of heat, make sure the stain has been completely removed or the heat will set it into the fabric.
  • If a stain is particularly tricky or the costume is delicate, take it to your dry cleaner and have it taken care of professionally.

Latest Posts

Getty Images

How Can I Stay Motivated While Training at Home?

Ethan Ahuero was having a good year: he was in his first season dancing with Kansas City Ballet II and had been presented with the opportunity to choreograph on the second company. "The day before we shut down I had a rehearsal, and I was so happy," Ahuero says. "The piece was coming together and this was the first time I felt really proud of my creative process."

Suddenly, the coronavirus pandemic brought everything to a halt. With the company's season cut short and the studios closed, Ahuero found himself attempting to continue dancing from home, with his choreography project put on hold. Like many other dancers around the world, Ahuero is dealing with disappointment while struggling to stay motivated.

Keeping up with daily ballet classes may feel difficult right now; inspiration can seem hard to come by when you're following along on Zoom and short on space at home. Below are a few simple tips for finding new ways to stay motivated.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Courtesy Goh Academy

Pro-Pro Priorities: The Top Skills to Focus on During Your Final Training Years

As told to Rachel Caldwell

Finding the right pre-professional training program can be daunting. Then once you're there, what should you focus on in order to succeed? To shine some light on the topic, we talked to five leading teachers and directors who have seen scores of students move on to flourishing ballet careers. Here's what they suggested for young dancers on the pre-professional track.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Tulsa Ballet in Ma Cong's Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music. Kate Luber Photography, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet.

Updated: Mark Your Calendars for These Online Ballet Performances

Updated on 5/21/2020

Since COVID-19 has forced ballet companies around the world to cancel performances—and even the remainder of their seasons—many are keeping their audiences engaged by streaming or posting pre-recorded performances onto their websites or social media channels. To help keep you inspired during these challenging times, we've put together a list of upcoming streaming events and digital performances.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks