How To Measure Dancers Using a Measuring Tape

 Hi everyone! Today here we have Ryssa and she’s going to be our model so we can talk about taking your body measurements. Let’s start!

The first thing you are going to need is a tape measure. Most tape measures come in centimetres (cm) or inches (”). We want to start with our centimetres, that’s the one we prefer. There’s no right or wrong, it’s kind of up to you, but we prefer it in centi.

You also need to download our body measurements guide. That can be found on our website under measurements. What you’ll see here is a whole form and you basically need to go accordingly to the form.

When taking measurements, the first thing you need to do is to get the dancer to stand with their feet apart or open parallel. And then have them put their hands out to the side.

  1. Let’s begin with the first measurement - the bust / chest. Go around the biggest part of the chest to make sure you’re taking a clean measurement.
  2. Next, go around the waist. Always go around the smallest part of the waist, and take the clean measurement.
  3. Go around the hips, going for the biggest (widest) part of the hips. You can take your time to make sure and adjust the measuring tape so that it’s on the biggest round.
  4. For the collar measurement, it really depends if you want to do a High Neck, Mock Neck (some people call this a Turtle Neck), or if you just want to do the base round collar. If you’re going a Turtle Neck (or Mock Neck), go around the middle of the neck. If you’re not doing a High Neck, go around the base collar of the neck, and this will give a clean measurement. Again, don’t pull the tape too tight.
  5. Next, we’re going to take the shoulder measurements. For the shoulder measurements, you’re basically going to measure from shoulder bone to shoulder bone according to the contour of the shoulder. Now, some people have a more narrow or sliding shoulder, while some people have what we call a swimmer’s shoulder. Whatever it is, go according to the contour of the dancer. Look for the shoulder bone and go over to the contour of the shoulder down to the other shoulder bone. Now, why we don’t want to take a flat measurement is because this is not the same for every dancer. So, we want to make sure that we go over from one shoulder bone to the other. 
  6. We’re going to take the back length. For the back length, we’re going to go from the middle of one shoulder down to the waist.
  7. We will be taking the arm hole measurement. For the arm hole measurement, again, we want to make sure that it’s not too tight so that it’s comfortable for the dancer. Raise an arm up, put the measuring tape around and over, and take the nearest measurement.
  8. For the upper arm, you basically want to take the bicep measurement. The biggest part of the bicep is usually just under the armpit below, and just over to the front. 
  9. The next measurement we want to take is the wrist measurement. You want to make sure that you’re going over the wrist bone. 
  10. The last arm measurement that we need is going to be the sleeve length. Look for the shoulder bone, place your measuring tape there at the start, and go all these way down to past the wrist bone. This is going to be the sleeve length. 
  11. Next, we will take the girth measurement. Have your dancer stand with feet apart and open parallel. Go over to the centre of a shoulder. Always make sure that you are tugging as much as you can, not too tight, and just take the closest measurement over. Again, we’re measuring it from the center of the shoulder.
  12. We have the crotch measurement. Start from one side, put the measuring tape at the back of the waist, go over to the front, and make sure that you have a clean measurement. 
  13. We’re going to take the thigh measurement. Have your dancer cross her arm, go around the biggest part of the thigh.
  14. And then we have our ankle measurement. Go around the smallest part of the ankle.
  15. Finally, we are going to take the pants length and/or skirt length measurement, either of which depends on your costume. For the skirt and pants measurement, start measuring from the waist coming down, to the mid-thigh measurement, above knee, knee length, below knee, mid-calf, and full pants length.

After you finish taking all your measurements, make sure to check them through, and have your dancer’s name and surname on the forms. Send them over to us at Free Movement via e-mail, WhatsApp, or even Facebook Messenger. Then we will check it through one more time to make sure it’s good to go. After that, just hang on tight for your costumes, and we’ll be happy to finish them! Until next time, see you soon!


Click here to download our Body Measurements Template.

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