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Behind the Design: The Ohio State University's 2023 UDA Uniforms

Posted by Jessica on Feb 7, 2023

The Ohio State University Dance Team

Team:  The Ohio State University Dance Team
Coach: Melissa McGhee
Location: Columbus, OH
Style: College Dance Team - Jazz & Pom
Instagram: @ohiostatedanceteam 

Behind the Scenes of The Ohio State Dance Team’s Custom Uniform Designs

This past winter we had the honor of working with The Ohio State University Dance Team to design their custom pom uniform and jazz costumes for UDA nationals!.  This was a special project for us.  Not only is this innovative team a constant source of creativity and aspiration, but we also partnered with Preciosa and Rhinestones Unlimited to feature the transformative power of rhinestones and our new rhinestone production capabilities. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at these incredibly sparkly designs, all captured at our production facilities in Minnesota!!



POM Dress: Ombre Meets Lacing

The project started the in-depth design process by gathering inspiration, sketching ideas, and working with Melissa to create a look that would fit with the overall concept, music, and choreography.   For the team's pom uniform, the team considered a few initial ideas -  a biketard instead of a dress, an all black look, and mesh cut outs - before landing on their final design. 


Design inspiration for Ohio State University dance team uniforms

A designer sketching an illustration for the Design inspiration for Ohio State University dance team pom uniforms


While the overall silhouette of the pom dress was simple, a few hidden elements really elevated the piece. Two of our favorite additions are the crisscrossed laces at the back and  the rhinestones! The back is an unexpected design element for Pom, but it worked well in combination with the simple yet striking ombre bodice. 

Of course, team colors  and branding are always a requisite with pom uniforms!  The bodice allowed for plenty of space for a large logo and plenty of rhinestones. The custom colors and logo design were created using a process called dye sublimation, where digital artwork is illustrated, printed, and pressed directly onto fabric.  This unique technology allows for a wide range of color and design capabilities!  

OHIO Sublimation2-1

sublimating pieces for the ohio state university pom uniform

cutting pieces for the The Ohio State University custom pom uniform

a rhinestone machine

working on rhinestones for the Ohio State University Pom Uniform

Final sketch and images for the Ohio State University Pom Uniform


Jazz Costume: On Glittering Dream


To begin the design process for jazz, the team explored a few different design directions through mood boards.  The initial ideas were varied, but there were a few reoccurring themes: mixed material embellishments, metallics, and subtle nude and white colors mixed with black.  We worked with Melissa to illustrate a few different concepts before she decided to dive deeper into a nude and black rhinestone bodysuit. 

The jazz costume is a rhinestone dream - the stones are the focal point and transform the streamlined unitard into a glamourous red-carpet look!  The final look was decorated with crystals by Preciosa, and includes 4,400 stones on each costume!  This is admittedly an insane amount of stones - we went all in before actually counting how many stones were used (def not recommended, haha!). 

The number of stones was made possible by applying them with a rhinestone machine.  The machine picks up the stones and places them on a sticky transfer sheet.  We then place the transfer sheet on the fabric pattern piece and iron on the stones.  The team added a few larger stone by hand to complete the look. 

With shimmering nude mesh, a classy open back, and a boot cut leg, this costume was all glitter on the floor at UDA Nationals! 

 Congrats, Ohio, on your memorable performances!

a rhinestone machine

The Ohio State University design process

sewing the Ohio State University custom jazz costume

tagging and finishing the ohio state university custom jazz costume

The Ohio State University dance team jazz uniforms hanging on a garment rack











The final design for the Ohio State University Dance Team custom jazz costume

Detail of rhinestones for the Ohio State University Dance Team custom jazz costume



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Topics: Behind the Design, Team Spotlight, College

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