Packing for Dance Competitions (revised)

DreamDuffelAs our dancers prep for their National Dance Competitions, which are coming up this summer, I thought it might be time to revisit our packing list. 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. Each year, this list gets tweaked a little as I (or other dance moms in my daughter’s group) forget something that could have been useful. Luckily, most dance moms are willing to share and help each other out.

Recently, we had a girl who forgot her hair stuff at home. Her mom was running back home (about 45 minutes away) to get it, but the rest of the dancers were ready to start warming up. I happened to have an extra Hot Buns in the Dream Duffel, so I quickly threw her hair up for her so she could practice with the rest of the group. It was a team effort, as Miss Maria helped make sure it was just right. I was thankful for an easy hair-do this year (a high bun). It feels good to be able to help out, and why not. If tables were turned, wouldn’t you want someone to do the same for your dancer?

Anyway, here’s the most recent version of a complete list of things to have with you at competitions:

I 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, bobby 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.”

As I get 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). *Note: We found that with tights, the flip flops don’t always work well. Grace has switched to a pair of flats to slip on for in between dances if she has long breaks. What’s important, is that your dancer has some shoes other than dance shoes.
  • Makeup in case she needs a touch up before going back on-stage (including extra eyelash glue and an extra set of lashes)
  • Extra lip stick
  • Safety Pins
  • Ibuprofin or Tylenol 
  • Benedryl (Grace had an allergic reaction to banana at a recent competition, now we need to leave it in the duffel)
  • Hair spray
  • Bobby pins, and flat pins
  • Hair glue (Grace has fine hair, and gets those little wisps after not much time – no matter how much hairspray we use)
  • Brush
  • Extra bun form or Hot Buns
  • Hair Binders
  • Extra Hair Nets (it’s amazing how much putting a hair net over a bun cleans up the look)
  • Clear beverages (Grace’s top choices include the “white” Gatorade and Lemonade flavored Vitamin Water).
  • Snacks -string cheese is a clear winner, though, we also usually have other non-greasy, non-staining snacks such as pretzel chips as well.
  • All accessories (shoes, hat, hair pins, earrings, tights – with an extra pair of each, undergarments, tights, body tape, safety pins)
  • E-6000 and extra rhinestones
  • Dance jacket and change of clothes for after she’s done dancing (don’t forget underwear and socks, these are the two items we have forgotten the most)
  • Kindle/ MP3 player, i-pod, books, notebook & markers, etc. to occupy kids during long waiting periods
  • Chargers for electronics
  • Costumes (Duh, right? I have known more than one family that has forgotten a costume)
  • Dance shoes
  • Camera with a charged spare battery
  • Qtips (for make-up and lipstick mishaps)
  • Mirror
  • Kleenex (especially if you have a dancer with allergies)
  • Travel Toothbrush (lipstick on the teeth, or rushed mornings where that step was missed make this a must)
  • Make-up remover wipes
  • Baby wipes for after lunch and/or snack clean up.
  • Scissors
  • Neutral, skin colored band-aids
  • Breast Petals for those dancers who aren’t yet wearing a bra, but need a little coverage
  • Sharpies (for labeling items, covering scuff marks, etc)
  • Plastic bags for garbage. Please remember to clean up after yourselves before you leave the dressing room areas for the day.

I will continue to update this list as I come up with other ideas. I’d love to hear your must have items in your packing list. Feel free to post a comment!

-Portions of this post were originally posted on March 29, 2012

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Packing for Dance Competitions | My Life as a Dancem0m
  2. Trackback: Past Writings | My Life as a Dancem0m

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