Packing for Dance Competitions

This weekend is dance competition #1 for the season. The dancers and choreographers at Lake Area Dance Center have been working hard in preparation for this weekend. Packing for a dance competition is a little like packing for vacation. There are many things you need to bring, and you need to be prepared for anything.

I recently asked my friends on facebook and twitter what the top 3 things they can’t go to a dance competition or recital without (besides the obvious of costumes, makeup, shoes, etc). Some of the answers I got were:
* “Water, safety pins, glue” (from a Dance Mom)
* “Camera, safety pins, bobbi pins” (from a Dance Mom)
* “Cheerios, bobby pins, and a giant water bottle! :)” (from a Dancer)
* “Extra tights, headphones, and hairspray” (from a Dancer)
* “My DeWalt drill, Mountain Dew, and sunglasses” (from an Instructor)
* “Underwear (to change into clothes), string cheese, security blanket from birth” (from a Dance Mom)
* “Snacks, mirror, and a dark sense of humor” (from a Dancer and Assistant Instructor)

My twitter responses seem to have disappeared, but I know there were a couple of Dance Dads that had responses in the line of: “Advil, a flask, and Mountain Dew.”

I’m getting everything I can think of that we might need in Grace’s Dream Duffel. Here are some of the must-haves I have come up with:
* A blanket to sit on or hold up while she changes into her next costume
* Flip flops they made at their dance sleep over (for wearing between dances, and after she’s done dancing)
* Makeup in case she needs a touch up before going back on-stage (including extra eyelash glue and an extra set of lashes)
* Hair spray, bobby pins, brush (in case of a hair emergency. We’re lucky, no hair changes)
* Clear beverages
* Snacks – looks like string cheese is a winner, though, we will likely have other non-messy/staining snacks as well.
* All accessories (shoes, hat, hair pins, earrings, tights – with an extra pair of each, undergarments, body tape, safety pins)
* E-6000 and extra rhinestones
* Dance jacket and change of clothes for after she’s done dancing
* Kindle/ MP3 player, i-pod touch, coloring books, etc. to occupy kids during long waiting periods
* Costumes
* Camera with a charged spare battery

I’d love to hear of other things you may think of that are not on any of the above lists. Please feel free to comment!

Additions made 4/6/12:
After our first competition, there were a few things we didn’t have, that we wished we had:
* Qtips (for make-up and lipstick mishaps)
* Kleenex
* Travel Toothbrush (lipstick on the teeth, or rushed mornings where that step was missed make this a must)
* Make-up remover wipes (we always had them last year, but ran out. I guess I forgot to replenish our stock)
* Baby wipes for after lunch and/or snack clean up.
* Hair glue (Grace has fine hair, and gets those little wisps after not much time – no matter how much hairspray we use)

I will continue to update this list as I come up with other ideas. I’d still love to hear yours. Feel free to post a comment!

An updated version of this post can be found at: Revised packing list


5 Comments (+add yours?)

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  2. Chloe Brooks
    Jul 29, 2013 @ 11:01:47

    Well you need extra hair nets, black and brown, and a extra pack of little elastics and bobby pins. I dance in Abby Lee Dance and she’s pretty strict about that especially at the showcase. Chloe Brooks


    • Sarah S.
      Jul 29, 2013 @ 11:54:17

      Yes, definitely hair nets – can’t believe I forgot to mention that!! The color usually will depend on your hair color (unless your dance teacher specifies otherwise). And, you need more than one… we have ripped through many of them, and have to replace them often!


  3. Anna
    Aug 09, 2013 @ 23:00:06

    This is a great list! I would bring plastic bags, spare tights and stretching equipment.


  4. gracesdance
    Feb 17, 2015 @ 19:04:43

    Hay I love your blog would you mind checking out my blog


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