Custom Dance Costumes During Busy Season

In a year, we costume between 100-200 dancers and cosplayers.  Most of that costuming occurs from August through April.

ContenderWear™ The Ultimate Custom Dance Costumes

By May of any given year, the item “Deposit on a Custom Dance Costume by ContenderWear™” is made available in our store for the upcoming busiest part of the season (July-February).  Only one custom costume option per week is available on our website shoppe.

We may also offer early bird bookings in January for the upcoming season in July, where we will hold your booking appointment at a discounted rate.

Customers can also opt to contact us directly for a billing/quote. ContenderWear™ label custom dance costume customers will have the option to schedule first as it is our flagship brand.  

ContenderWear™ custom dance costumes can come together within a week, but that depends on your placement in the queue, supplies on hand, and level of intricacy of your costume design.  When it is your turn in the queue, 3-7 days is the norm, which does not include the ship time for remote fittings or the amount of time the costume is held before shipping it back to us to finalize.

Plain Brown Label™ Budget Custom and Semi-Custom Dance Costumes & Cosplay Costumes

In May, a limited number of bookings for Plain Brown Label™ is made available in our store for the upcoming busiest part of the season (July-February).  Our flagship brand ContenderWear™ takes the bulk of the bookings, but a few PBL will be available.

We may also offer early bird bookings in January for the upcoming season in July, where we will hold your booking appointment at a discounted rate.

Please call us directly if you would like to have a PBL Custom or Semi-Custom dance costume or a cosplay costume created just for you or your performer.  

PBL semi-custom costumes can possibly come together within a day or less, depending on your placement in the queue and provided materials required are on hand.



HotMess Dance Apparel™ Dance Costumes and Separates, Sans Rhinestones

Please call us directly if you would like to have an HMDA custom dance costume sans rhinestones, tweaks done to catalog costumes, custom separates or semi-custom dance costume created just for your dancer or dancers. 

Timeline varies widely depending on the work being commissioned and your placement in the queue.

NuptialWear™ Wedding & Prom Formals & Accessories

After our busy costuming season, we go straight into weddings followed by prom.

NuptialWear™ Bridal & Prom Dresses and Accessories

NuptialWear™ is our brand for beautiful, one-of-a-kind, sleek gowns, which are made to order and usually out of stretch fabrics.   

NuptialWear™ Alterations

Any alterations and enhancements done on pre-made, off-the-rack formal wear including rhinestones.  Please call in advance as some off-the-rack pieces can be designated as a one-time-use garment and may not fit our criteria as reworkable. 

About Our Founder, Lona Smith

Lona came to the US from Denmark. She grew up surrounded by artistic and craftsy relatives, who painted, sewed, knitted, crocheted, tatted, and drew.

When she first moved out on her own, Lona had the fortune of having several sponsors in pageants and eventually was a runner up in the Miss California/Miss USA pageant. While in pageants she began to do a bit of modeling and a few national TV commercials.  She was  pursued by the fabulous Nina Blanchard in 1979.  It was during Lona’s  pageant and modeling days that her affinity for fashion and style really flourished.

When Lona met her future husband, he gave her a Sears Kenmore sewing machine, and the fun began with Christmas crafts, soon followed by home décor with the purchase of their first home.   A few years later, she was sewing baby layettes, toddler clothing, and Halloween costumes.  Halloween costumes evolved into period stage costumes for History classes that her son was enrolled in, which required them to act out historical events. At that same time, her daughter became more involved with dance, eventually joining competitive teams.

Dance competition costumes were required; dance wear was required…stuff that made you stand out at conventions was an absolute must. High School letterman jackets needed to be embroidered; a new sewing/embroidery machine was in order for these tasks, and an overlock machine was needed to better create stretch garments after being recruited by yet another group.  If you can sew, you become very popular and busy with dance groups!

Well dancing-daughter Tracy went to college, and Lona thought she would be pretty much out of the dance costume sewing business, but Tracy began teaching dance again.  Early in 2013, one of the studios that Tracy worked for was closing their doors permanently, and they would not have a theater staged recital. Tracy’s dance students had been working so hard on their routine, and Tracy wouldn’t have it that they did not have an appropriate costume, something special to wear.  What was needed was an inexpensive solution to what would be their final performance at this studio, and with that, HotMess Dance Apparel™ was born.

That same year, Tracy and her beau Nick opened their own dance studio. A new brand name would be needed for high-end, competition dance costumes, and ContenderWear by Lona Smith™, which has evolved to ContenderWear™, became our second brand.

Lona used nothing but the finest products to costume her dancer when she competed, and she will use nothing less for YOUR DANCER.

Lona Smith Creates™ brands have been expanded to include Archerciser™,  LiturgyWear™ for praise dance costumes, NuptialWear™ for blinged out bridal goods, and on August 1, 2017, Plain Brown Label™ for new custom and semi-custom dance costumes on a budget.

During very busy times and for rush orders, our costume artisans and sewist friends are ready to create items for their discerning, unique-costume-seeking customers, so that they can be delivered on time.

Calling or Meeting With LSC Dance Costume Artisans

Please feel free to call, text, or DM (www.facebookcom/lonamillersmith) us to schedule your custom masterpiece or group ensemble costumes!  We will be happy to assist you with any questions or concerns that you may have.  If you don’t live in the immediate area, we are more than willing to schedule a fB, Zoom, or other Video session to assist you with your measurements to insure a proper costume fit.  Most of our customers, both individual and studios, are located well over a thousand miles from us; we don’t meet in person, but yes, we meet via video chat.  We have been there for them, and we’ll be there for you.  We would love for you to have fabulous costuming too!

We also meet in person; we can meet with you at our location in Sunny Southern California OR for group costumes (8+) and soloist (5+) we’ll be happy to meet with you at your local studio.  We are in the Inland Empire, directly serving the communities and vicinities around: Riverside, Moreno Valley, San Bernardino, Alta Loma, Loma Linda, Yucaipa, Rialto, Fontana, Redlands, Ontario, Chino, Redlands, Hemet, San Jacinto, Colton, Grand Terrace, Corona, Norco, Banning, Beaumont, Palm Springs, Perris, Menifee, Murrieta, Temecula, Lake Elsinore, Perris, Canyon Lake, Mira Loma, Jurupa, Corona, Norco, Nuevo and anywhere in between.


Ordering and paying directly (rather than through a third party or consignment) always saves money!  We do accept cash,  most credit & debit cards, and PayPal. Yes, we can arrange cash on shipments.

Our Artisans have arranged pre-made one-of-a-kind ContenderWear™ custom costumes in our stores: &  If you find one that you love, but it’s not in your size, we can make a similar costume just for you in just about any color.


You may have seen our various brands on dancers from these studios (alphabetically):
  • Aurora Monroe School of Dance, California
  • Barfield School of Dance LLC, Tennessee
  • Cary Dance Productions, North Carolina
  • Dance Barre, Ontario, Canada
  • Dancing In Riverside, California
  • DanceWorks, Indiana
  • Dancing Images Dance Center, California
  • Elite Dance Force, Louisiana
  • Florida Dance Workshop, Florida
  • In Motion Training Center, California
  • Just Dancin’, New Jersey
  • Just Plain Dancin’, California
  • Miki’s School of Dance, North Dakota
  • Modern Conceptions of Dance, Louisiana
  • No Limits Dance Academy, California
  • NorthPointe Dance Academy, Ohio
  • Perfect Pointe SOD, California
  • PowerHouse Dance, Connecticut
  • Schwimers The Dance Center, California
  • Sonshine Performing Arts Academy, Missouri
  • Studio 19 Dance Complex, Pennsylvania
  • Studio 84, Illinois
  • Sullivan Dance Studio, Illinois
  • Susan’s Studio of Dance, Texas
  • The Dance Place, New York
  • The Dancers’ Studio, California
  • The Surge Dance Center, Washington
  • Xtreme Dance, Iowa