About Coach Erin

Erin is a 17 year veteran dance team coach in Minnesota. A 3 time MADT coach of the year (2009, 2010, 2014) and winner of 2 state championships in high kick with the Cannon Falls Bomber Dance Team. In high school Erin danced for Winona and Apple Valley high schools. Erin is a nationally known blogger, writing for the Radio City Rockettes and a Hollywood movie among other projects. Erin also teaches on a freelance contractor basis for many MN high school teams and can be contacted for date/time availability at mnhsdanceteam@gmail.com


July Costumes Series: The Line Up’s New Home

We’re back this week talking about costuming for our July series.  Today we’re going behind the scenes at The Line Up and their bright, shiny, and new location!  I got a chance to catch up with the team there and share some great thoughts about next year’s costuming with you. 

New Location:  The Line Up moved over a small hop, skip, and a jump to another office space just down the road from their old digs.  They’re now located at 9625 W 76th St. Suite 140 in Eden Prairie.  The new space is HUGE compared to the old one (16,000 sq feet vs. 9000), and the creative vibes were certainly set free by the new freedom.  The move took place at the end of April (in a snowstorm no less) and the place is looking pretty well setup now.  I’m told there will be an open house coming up soon – so check back to hear about dates for that. 

front area

Look at all the samples on the back wall – Now that’s a shopping rack!

What’s New:  Sublimation is huge right now and The Line Up has added a much bigger machine to custom tint larger fabric pieces and use this technique in new and creative ways for this year.  The days of expensive air brushing options are over as teams find ways to save money and get the look they want.  Fabrics around the building are focused on brights and layered fabrics, with lots of embellishment.  In the style department, ruching, big volume skirts, and structured shoulder looks were dominating the new designs and custom garments floating around the production area.  Being summer, there were a ton of new NFL looks coming out – you’ll be seeing those hit the field come August.  The NFL is heavy on embroidery and custom logo work, something that can be used for MN teams as well.  Also in August, The Line Up will have their new catalog release for the year which will include more focus on mix and match items as well as more of the catalog online.     

customer lounge

The customer lounge

The production floor

The production floor

After a tour of the new place, I talked with Pam Gleason, the coordinator of online sales to talk about getting the best results when working with MN dance teams and our stringent rules.  One thing to know about The Line Up is that they can always make modifications to online styles to meet your needs and tastes.  This can often be cheaper than an entirely custom design.    However, being willing to take advice about what will work (especially from a construction standpoint) can save you both cash and frustration with a change that has unintended consequences.  More great advice from The Line Up team while I was there:

  • ·         If using sublimation, don’t get too hung up on color matches as they blend well together from the floor. 
  • ·         Keep your details to a reasonable limit, especially when considering cost or re-use.  (After all, Coco Chanel always said to take off the last accessory you put on…..)
  • ·         Keep the number of people involved to a minimum.  Usually 3 people or less keeps the number of opinions from being overwhelming.  Someone probably won’t like something about the costume, so don’t try to please everyone all the time. 
The right costume is a legal update to a catalog design.

The right costume is a legal update to a catalog design.

The left costume is not MN legal.  Lace over skin and open backs

The left costume is not MN legal. Lace over skin and open backs


Getting a good fit:  Be sure to have the same person take measurements for the entire team.  If you have strange sizes or proportions, custom sizing is an option even with non-custom designs.  Being comfortable in what you are wearing is critical to a happy performer.  If you’re layering fabrics, the fit gets tighter – think about sizing up when layers create a tight bust or hip.  If you’re fortunate enough to have time for a prototype, put it on as many dancers as you can and move in it to get a sense of true fit. 

Costumes for next year are starting production now, what will your team be dreaming up?  Thanks to The Line Up for the sneak peek – check back in August for updates on the new catalog release.  Also in August, MNHSDanceTeam.com gets a yearly upgrade and we do a back-to-dance shopping special series on where to get the best gear and save some cash too!  Be seeing you then!

Minnesota High School Dance Team Online All content property of Erin Kruesi (c) 2012. For entertainment purposes only.